• Gov. Linda Lingle, R
Gov. Linda Lingle began the final year of her first term with a multipronged agenda for addressing Hawaii’s teacher shortage, school facility needs, and other challenges facing precollegiate education.
Finance: The Republican governor urged lawmakers to share a portion of the projected fiscal 2006 revenue surplus of $574 million with K-12 schools. She proposed raising the state’s fiscal 2007 education spending by $133 million above the current general-fund education budget of $1.7 billion. That increase would include $90 million in new funds for school construction, repairs, and maintenance.
“Besides the need for a robust repair and maintenance program and new school construction, the [department of education] is facing a severe teacher shortage,” she said.
Read a complete transcript of Gov. Linda Lingle’s 2006 State of the State address. Posted by Hawaii’s Office of the Governor.
A video version of the governor’s speech is also posted. (Requires a media player.)
Teachers: To help address the shortage, Gov. Lingle wants to allow retired teachers to be hired for hard-to-fill classroom jobs for 24 months without losing retirement benefits. She also wants to pay an annual bonus of $10,000 to nationally certified teachers who teach in an underperforming school for three years.
Her plan includes a new emergency certification that would allow those who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher to teach in their degree area as long as they complete the substitute-teacher training program or a similar course.
Charter Schools: Turning to school choice, Gov. Lingle said Hawaii should give charter schools their own district “so they are able to receive funds directly from the federal government.”