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Hawaii Judge Refuses to Stop Planned Friday School Closing

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A federal judge last week refused to immediately block teacher furloughs set to begin in Hawaii until he could fully study two lawsuits filed by parents opposed to the budget-cutting maneuver.

The decision by U.S. District Judge David Ezra meant the state’s teachers would on Oct. 23 take the first of 17 days of furloughs this school year as planned, forcing parents to find something else to do with their children on what is normally a public school day.

Parents of 20 public school students filed two federal lawsuits last week in a bid to halt implementation of the furloughs, a result of a new, budget-crisis-inspired contract between the state department of education and the Hawaii State Teachers Association.

The judge said blocking the furloughs so soon would cause havoc. Instead, he set a hearing for Nov. 5 on a preliminary injunction, after the first two furlough Fridays have taken place.

Vol. 29, Issue 09, Page 5

Published in Print: October 28, 2009, as Hawaii Judge Refuses to Stop Planned Friday School Closing
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