Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty


HSTA finally shows their true colors by grassroothawaii
April 28, 2010, 10:32 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

By Hideo Hikida

So a couple days ago, I wrote about how Linda Lingle reached out to the HSTA and asked them to return to the classrooms for the last three furlough days for free as a “gesture to heal our community.” While I’m not a big Lingle Fan, I had to commend her in that she made a brilliant political decision in making the HSTA make the next move.

Well, it seems as though the HSTA has made their move. In a decision that seems as boneheaded as they come, the HSTA has collectively blasted Lingle’s proposal, saying that:

“”To assume you can operate on a voluntary basis is ridiculous,” said BOE Chairman Garrett Toguchi. “It’s troublesome to hear that statement from the governor. I would presume she understands school operations more than that. To make a statement where you’re encouraging people to come back voluntarily is haphazard and reckless.”

So let me get this straight, offered an olive branch by the governor to mend the fences and educate the children (our #1 priority according to the HSTA), the HSTA has instead to chosen to reject the proposal with all the force of a Lebron James Layup Rejection. Finally, it becomes apparent that the truth behind all of this isn’t the education of our children; it’s money. To use the education of our children as a ruse to trumpet a cause to end furloughs but not want to do anything on their part to end it? These teachers have a real, legitimate chance to do something good for the community; to put their money where their mouth is;  to truly show their students that their education IS the priority; not the dollars that go into bank accounts.

Keep in mind that Lingle isn’t demanding that the teachers come back to teach these three days. She’s asking them to volunteer to come back. These teachers haven’t been getting paid for all of the furlough days that have passed thus far. They’ve been given a day of free time to do whatever it is they please; go to the beach, sleep in, laser tag-whatever they want. Granted, they aren’t getting paid (because they’re not working..duh) but it’s a free vacation day for these teachers and students alike. The only thing that Lingle has asked of these teachers is to perhaps use this free time afforded to them to perhaps contribute a selfless, charitable act to the community. Teach the kids. Help out a bit.Volunteer to teach. It’s the same as if volunteered to work your school fair, a marathon or some fundraiser. You volunteer if you believe that the cause you donate your time to is just. The HSTA has set out to make it seem as if they believe in the education of our children is a just cause. Apparently, it isn’t.

Congratulations HSTA, you’ve succeeded in making our already laughable education system worse by painting yourselves as selfish.

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3 Comments so far
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Well, well it is again obvious that the teachers union leaders care nothing about students. But why should they? Follow the money. They get paid by the teachers and the government takes that union dues money from the teachers before they get paid by that selfsame government. They know who pays them. Where are the children in all this? Who is paying attention to them? The answer is, believe it or not, the parents. Are they volunteers? Yes. Do they get furlough Fridays? No. Do they get paid? No. Why not? It seems to me that the children do not have any need for the union and the teacher need might be a bit iffy. But there is no if about the need for parent attention and love. Obviously, our elected officials have their priorities upside down.

Comment by Dick Rowland

I think some of you are missing the point. It doesn’t matter if Lingle would go back and work for free herself. By asking the teachers to voluntarily come back for the last 3 days of the year, she’s making a political move that puts the HSTA in a bad spot. All this time everyone is shouting about education being #1 and that criticizing Lingle … See Morefor not spending $90 million to end the remaining furlough days. But these SAME people won’t volunteer 24 work hours to accomplish the same thing that MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars would.

She didn’t ask them to come back as a viable solution, she did it as a political move. I think it’s brilliant. I don’t see the “sit in” protesters complaining about teachers not wanting to volunteer 24 hours to eliminate the remaining furlough days this year. But they sure have no problem doing a “sit in” protest to spend millions of dollars from a relief fund that is set aside for a specific purpose.

The bottom line is that EDUCATION is NOT #1 for the HSTA. It’s about money. Originally less furlough days were proposed in exchange for removing some “teacher planning days”, but the HSTA didn’t want to do that. Why? Because they felt that if they are going to take pay cuts anyway, they should at least get a few extra days off. If education were truly #1 in the eyes of the HSTA, then they would have traded away some of those “planning” days in exchange for less furlough Fridays.

FURTHERMORE, do you people realize that Hawaii is one of the few states who’s public schools have a short day of class one day a week so teachers can have meetings or “admin” time? How come the vast majority of the country’s public school systems can get their admin duties done without cutting class time short one day a week but we can’t? The impact is pretty big. Take 1 hour a week cut for early school dismissal times the number of weeks in a school year. How many DAYS does that amount to?

Comment by Dale Yasunaga

Well maybe its time for the Governor to take extreme actions and after this school year is over, FIRE THEM ALL and start over!!!! Do to them what Reagan did to the Air Traffic Controllers. Follow the lead of Rhode Island and New Jersey. Reorganize the DOE, make it a Cabinet position, get rid of the unions and collective bargining, and re-hire those teachers that want to teach.

Comment by BrettK




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