Education Funding

Hawaii Passes Law Mandating 180-Day School Year

By The Associated Press — June 16, 2010 2 min read

A new Hawaii law enacted Tuesday requires at least 180 school days a year as the state tries to shed its reputation for having the shortest amount of instructional time in the nation.

The law prevents the state from cutting the school year below 180 days due to budget cuts, which is what happened when teachers were furloughed on 17 instructional days during the recently ended school year.

Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona, the state’s acting governor while Gov. Linda Lingle is traveling in Asia, signed the measure into law Tuesday. Hawaii was the only state in the nation that didn’t have a law setting a minimum amount of instructional time.

“If you’re looking at what happened this past school year, I don’t think it can be repeated again now that we have this minimum,” the Republican lieutenant governor said. “That’s taken care of by this law.”

Island students attend class for an average of 4 hours and 43 minutes per day, behind the 5 1/2 hours per day and 990 hours per year of instructional time in most states, which already have 180 school days.

Hawaii’s 180-day minimum begins in the 2011-2012 school year, after the state and teachers union negotiate a new contract. The upcoming school year will have 178 instructional days.

In addition to setting a minimum number of class days, the law also mandates annual instructional time. Elementary schools are required to offer 915 hours a year, and middle and high schools will have to offer 990 hours.

Starting in 2013, all schools must expand instructional time to 1,080 hours, according to the law.

The past school year’s closures arose from a labor contract approved in October that furloughed teachers and cut their pay as the state faced a $1 billion budget shortfall.

“It took this crisis for us to say, ‘Enough is enough,’” said Melanie Bailey, a parent of a sixth-grader, who pushed for the law. “A situation like furloughs can never happen again, and we will never negotiate with our children’s education.”

The contract had also called for 17 furlough days in the upcoming school year, but those days off were restored when the governor, the teachers union, lawmakers and local banks struck a deal costing up to $67 million using mostly state government money.

Acting Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said educators will work to ensure that the added school time is well spent.

“It is also a question of quality, as well as quantity of time,” she said.

Asking teachers to work longer hours may cost the state more money when it negotiates a new contract with the Hawaii State Teachers Association. Those negotiations are scheduled to begin this summer.

Related Tags:

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How Schools Can Implement Safe In-Person Learning
In order for in-person schooling to resume, it will be necessary to instill a sense of confidence that it is safe to return. BD is hosting a virtual panel discussing the benefits of asymptomatic screening
Content provided by BD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
How Districts Are Centering Relationships and Systemic SEL for Back to School 21-22
As educators and leaders consider how SEL fits into their reopening and back-to-school plans, it must go beyond an SEL curriculum. SEL is part of who we are as educators and students, as well as
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
The Fall K-3 Classroom: What the data imply about composition, challenges and opportunities
The data tracking learning loss among the nation’s schoolchildren confirms that things are bad and getting worse. The data also tells another story — one with serious implications for the hoped for learning recovery initiatives
Content provided by Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding Opinion Does Place-Based Giving Make It Harder for Funders to Get Reliable Feedback?
Big donors can be lulled into underestimating the financial, political, and information constraints of place-based philanthropy.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Education Funding Quiz
Quiz Yourself: How Much Do You Know About Using The American Rescue Plan Act to Support Hybrid-Learning?
Quiz Yourself: How well do you know the American Rescue Plan?
Content provided by ConexED
Education Funding Biden Pitches 41 Percent Spending Increase for Education Next Year on Top of COVID-19 Aid
The president wants nearly $103 billion for the Department of Education, although history indicates Congress won't approve that request.
4 min read
Conceptual image of money, a mask, and the American flag.
Collage by Laura Baker/Education Week (Images: HAKINMHAN/iStock/Getty and Cimmerian/E+)
Education Funding Biden Infrastructure Plan Calls for $100 Billion for School Construction, Upgrades
President Joe Biden's $2 trillion American Jobs Plan would also fund replacement of lead pipes and expand broadband internet access.
4 min read
President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen Theater on Dec. 29, 2020, in Wilmington, Del.
President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen Theater on Dec. 29, 2020, in Wilmington, Del.
Andrew Harnik/AP