Declining tax revenues have forced most public school districts to reduce expenses, increase class sizes, cut extra-curricular programs and find creative ways to make due with fewer resources. In Hawaii the hard-pressed Department of Education took the extraordinary step of adopting a four day school week in 2009 in order to meet budgetary requirements. Still the mantra "it's all about the kids" resonates through the public schools, the halls of government and the offices of the teachers union.
Hawaii's Governor Neil Abercrombie (an old and trusted Obama family friend) may not be able to locate important documents in the Aloha State's Department of Public Records, but last month he did manage to find over one million dollars in funding to create jobs at the Department of Education. The Hawaii Free Press reports:
In an October 14 letter to Gov Abercrombie -- only now reaching public attention -- US Department of Education officials grant a request for the Hawaii Department of Education to shift $1.06M in Race to the Top money out or pre-kindergarten and away from the neighbor islands. The funds will instead be used to create three high-level administrative positions within the DoE Central Office.
At the present time the Hawaii State Teachers Association has been strangely silent about the reallocation of badly needed funds to pay for new DOE bureaucrats. Still, "it's all about the kids."