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March 24, 2011  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Hawaii DOE considers cutting school bus services


HONOLULU — The state's Department of Education (DOE) is considering several options to meet proposed budget reductions for the next two fiscal years. One of the options includes eliminating school bus service on Oahu and reducing the amount of per-student funding received by schools by up to 6 percent — or $43 million.

Another cost-cutting option considered by the DOE would eliminate $11 million in funding for special programs such as athletics, after-school tutoring programs and programs for at-risk students.

State DOE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi told the state's board of education this week that all the options are painful — and that some could include layoffs, the Star Advertiser reports.

The proposed cost-cutting options were created to demonstrate to lawmakers what a $110 million reduction in funding would mean to the DOE over the next two years. (A draft budget approved by the House last week would reduce the DOE's funding request by $55 million in both fiscal years 2012 and 2013.)

Matayoshi also said that the financial picture could worsen as the state sees a drop in tourism dollars in the wake of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, according to the news source. She said that once new projections are drawn up to reflect the disaster overseas, the DOE could face a significantly larger reduction in operating costs.



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