The Indiscriminate Axe Part 2

The length of a school year in Hawaii’s public schools has declined from 184 days in 2000 to 179 in 2006, an already short instructional year. Now, of course, we have this recession going on, tax receipts are down and the state has to cut back. What did the Department of Education and the Hawaii State Teacher’s Assoc. work out? Cutting the school year another 17 days—nearly a month of instructional time—yielding the equivalent of a 7.9 percent pay cut.

Here’s a wild, radical, crazy thought: How about the teachers take the pay cut and go to work all 17 of those days? You know, like how the rest of us handle a recession at our workplaces?

A mind is a terrible thing to furlough, but this is what you get with a unionized public service workforce that puts adults first and children second. This is nothing more than a tit-for-tat case of, “If you’re going to pay us less, we’re going to work less, no matter how much it wrecks our educational mission.”