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Posted: Monday, October 19th, 2009 4:33 AM HST

Hawaii teacher furloughs to begin on schedule

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Attorney General Mark Burnett says there are no plans to halt state furloughs which would close schools on 17 Fridays despite the threat of a lawsuit.

The teacher furloughs are scheduled to begin this week.

Honolulu attorney Eric Seitz said he plans to go to court to seek an injunction to halt the furloughs. He says the plan is particularly troubling for special-needs students and has a "disparate impact" on low-income families. Parents also worry that less instructional time could limit children's education opportunities.

Burnett says any lawsuit would be without merit.

Hawaii schools had to slash millions from its budget, which was achieved in part through a new labor contract with teachers forcing them to take the 17 days off without pay.

(Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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