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Lawmakers move to keep school years shorter

By Sam Eifling / Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 06:19 p.m. HST, Mar 04, 2014

State lawmakers have passed measures in both chambers to set the public school year at 990 instructional hours over 180 school days.

Both the House and Senate have advanced bills that would repeal a 2010 law that scheduled an increase in the school year to 1,080 hours by 2016.

Lawmakers who disagreed with that measure said in discussion that mandatory time in class does not necessarily improve student outcomes.

The Department of Education supports the bills, saying they would save the state money. The Hawaii State Teachers Association opposes them, saying instructional hours should be determined by collective bargaining rather than legislation.

Other educators tell lawmakers that longer days would drain resources that could be better devoted to better curriculum and teaching.

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Anonymous wrote:
Why should instructional hours be set through collective bargaining? The bigwigs in HSTA are not educators, so how would they know what's best for students? And besides, they owe loyalty to TEACHERS, so even IF they wanted to help students (and they don't), they are not able to advocate for students, only their members (teachers).
on March 4,2014 | 06:30PM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
Uh Anonymous, I think if you researched before you wrote, you would have found information contrary to your statements. The president of the HSTA is a teacher. He gets paid by the union. The other officers like the VP and such are full-time teachers. Even the executive secretary, Al Nagasako is a former teacher and principal.
on March 4,2014 | 07:14PM
jshon wrote:
Who are the "other educators?"
on March 4,2014 | 06:38PM
Pali_Hwy wrote:
What seems to be left out of the conversation is what would best serve the educational needs of the children. Yes, schools, teachers and support staff cost a lot of dough, but what Hawaii really can't afford any longer is an ignorant populace. It almost seems like a conspiracy to keep 'em dumb and oppressed.
on March 4,2014 | 08:28PM
Brixac3 wrote:
Abercrombie's ad boasts that when he took office there WERE "Furlough Days", suggesting that he eliminated them. The truth is that he changed their name to "Directed Leave Without Pay" Days, which is Political speak for Furlough Days. In addition, he changed them to Monday's to differentiate them from Furlough "FRIDAYS". He and his political advisers must think that the average Hawaii voter is easily fooled. If history is any indication, Hawaii voters are likely to vote for him again. If you're voting for a person who things of voters this way . . . Hmmm?
on March 4,2014 | 08:32PM
2localgirl wrote:
Ah, seems that they don't think our kids need any more instruction.....
on March 4,2014 | 09:36PM
serious wrote:
If they don't need more instruction than why start them in pre-kindergaten?????
on March 5,2014 | 04:01AM
HAJAA1 wrote:
Private School
on March 4,2014 | 10:13PM
hawn wrote:
HSTA opposes longer instruction hours and I agree, what is needed is quality teachers. No matter how long the hours are if the teachers can't teach students are not going to learn anything. Whereas if teachers can teach you can actually reduce the instructional hours. SO, where is the problem?
on March 5,2014 | 05:21AM
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