To Save Money On Education, Hawaii Lays Off Students

Friday, August 6, 2010
By Paul Martin

Joe Weisenthal
Aug. 6, 2010

Just furloughs…


It was a Friday, and Maria Marte, an administrator for an online college that caters to members of the military, should have been at her office at a nearby Army hospital. Her daughters, Nira, 11, and Sonia, 9, should have been in school.

Instead, Ms. Marte was sitting with a laptop in the dining room of her home in this neatly manicured suburb of Honolulu. “Did you already send your registration in?” she asked a client on the phone, trying to speak above the peals of laughter coming from the backyard, where the girls were having a water-balloon fight with some friends.

It was the 17th, and last, Furlough Friday of the year, the end of a cost-cutting experiment that closed schools across the state, outraging parents and throwing a wrench into that most delicate of balances for families with children: the weekly routine

This morning’s jobs report was actually pretty remarkable for the fact that the private sector grew, while the public sector (even ignoring the Census) shrank.

This story doesn’t appear to be going away, and if you’re looking for a sign that our economic problems are over, look for when we stop hearing stories about states laying off teachers, closing libraries, putting employees on furloughs, closing schools, issuing IOUs, etc.

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