NEW UPDATE: OCTOBER 4th, 2010
Furlough Fridays have been cut down to less days and are now called “Non-Instructional Days”. This should make our uneducated masses happy.
Though Governor Linda Lingle never expressly mentioned “Furlough Fridays” in her speech on Friday, she did address the issue of education. Lingle made it clear that she understands that our system of education is broken and suggested that we concentrate more on the time children are IN classrooms rather than OUT of classrooms.
(QUICK NOTE: Furlough Fridays are days where education is taken away from children in order cut staffing expenses to help the State budget deficit.)
Though we agree that Hawaii education has MAJOR problems, Lingle’s statement, “We need to get more worked up about what happens when they are in school rather than when … they are not in school,” is like saying, “When you have cancer, don’t worry about the fact that your doctor will be around even less to cure you, worry about the cancer!” How exactly does one fix a problem when those closest to it are given less time to fix it?
With a culture that obviously struggles to develop its children to be competitive in our world, wouldn’t you think that keeping teachers employed full-time should remain a priority? Yes, our deficit is a big problem, but cutting education is the shortest sighted solution one can propose. In her speech on Friday, Lingle reiterated her proposals to fix our economic woes. She discussed:
- Programs putting unemployed welfare recipients to work. This sounds great, but in our personal experience, a sizable portion of people on welfare in Hawaii aren’t interested in working. The idea of compensating employers for hiring welfare recipients is also a good idea in theory, but if an employer NEEDS an employee wouldn’t they have to hire them anyway? This also seems short-sighted considering that when the program stops, many will go back on welfare because their employer won’t be able to afford keeping them on.
- Tax Credits for construction and Renovation. Island growth is really not a long-term solution either. We have enormously high occupancy rates and big problems with distribution of scarce resources like water, as well as devastating environmental issues to try and fix before we encourage more construction.
So what is the solution to our economic problems in Hawaii? We feel high-tech industrial growth, long term educational growth, and preparation of economic down turns will do us better than any other solutions. Lingle did mention a proposal to set aside 5% of funds when tax revenues are growing. This is a good idea, but government track records in this area have shown that money set aside often becomes reallocated with time.
The implementation of Furlough Fridays is indicative of Hawaii’s prioritizing education below most other things. Lingle insinuates that the problem lies IN the classroom and that the problem is quality. We disagree. The blame falls everywhere between the parents all the way to the top administrators in the school system, as well as on the heads of legislators. If administration would let teachers spend more time teaching than testing, if parents took more of an interest in their children’s education and genuinely wanted their kids to be brighter than they are, if government could find better ways to cut from the budget and possibly take federal aid we might see a brighter future in Hawaii.
Are teachers to blame? Surely some teachers in Hawaii shouldn’t be teaching, but for the most part teachers are NOT the reason for our lagging behind most of the country (and the world) in educating our children properly. The problem is that education is not a priority in Hawaii when it should be #1. Our spiraling cycle of education continues to build on an already poorly educated culture. Much of this is due to our citizens already being poorly educated and not seeing the value in it.
Not only would an emphasis in education be helpful to us economically in the long term, but socially we believe the islands would become healthier. In that, we mean with more understanding of other cultures, higher levels of confidence and income, and a broader more developed economic share of the world’s production and innovation could alleviate some of the ignorance and racial tension that is so prevalent in Hawaii today.
This editorial is just one view point from one of our writers. Quotation and information was found through the Maui News. Mahalo for your reporting!
A NEW DEVELOPMENT IN US EDUCATION:
It’s been reported in the LA TIMES via NEWSER that the State of Utah is considering completely getting rid of the 12th grade in order to save $60 million per year to help battle its $700 million budget deficit.
While we’re at it, why don’t we get rid of education all together? It would save money and we could become a country of manuel laborers. Let’s let the rest of the world use us as labor while they concentrate on management, innovation and all major decisions. Maybe a different country could handle our budgets better too. Yep, we’ll make great pets.