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Appeals Court Upholds Hawaii Teacher Furlough Days

A federal appeals court Monday upheld budget-driven Hawaii teacher furlough days from a lawsuit on behalf of special education students whose parents claimed they would be harmed by lack of instructional days, the Honolulu Advertiser reports.

The Advertiser quoted this excerpt from the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision: "To allow the stay-put provisions to apply in this instance would be essentially to give the parents of disabled children veto power over a state's decision regarding the management of its schools. The (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) did not intend to strip administrative powers away from local school boards and give them to parents of individual children, and we do not read it as doing so."

As a cost-saving measure, in September, members of the Hawaii State Teachers Association ratified a two-year contract with the state that includes 17 furlough days a year for teachers on 10-month contracts and 21 days for teachers on 12-month contracts. Some parents, worried about less classroom instruction and child-care issues, have voiced protest of the furlough plan, the paper had reported.

Parents and children held a sit-in at the state Capitol on Thursday to try and convince Gov. Linda Lingle to personally negotiate an end to school furloughs. Read more about the sit-in on our site here.

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