Friday, December 21, 2007


Hawaii: What they do wrong, they can't even do right

by Larry Geller

Drug testing teachers was a bad idea to start with. Now guess what: the Lingle administration won't pay for it, so if it is to start in June 2008, the money will have to come out of kids' educations. $500,000 would buy a lot of textbooks, don't you think?

So much for the "education governor".

Gov. Linda Lingle's administration is refusing to fund planned drug tests of public school teachers despite fighting to add the program in contract negotiations early this year, at the time arguing it would "help ensure schools are safe."

The administration denied the Education Department's request for more than $500,000 to cover annual, random and reasonable-suspicion drug tests of as many as 3,250 teachers, or one in four employees, starting June 30.

"In their base budget of $2 billion, the (education) department will have to cover it," state Budget Director Georgina Kawamura said yesterday.

The administration's decision shocked education officials who assumed they would get extra money but now fear they might need to pull funds from school programs to check whether teachers are high when they come to campus. [ | News | /2007/12/21/]

The cost of defending the state against an ACLU suit will come from... where?

Maybe the best thing to do, for the children, the teachers and the taxpayers, would be for the 2008 Legislature to set aside the drug testing provision and save us all a lot of trouble and expense.

Oh, I'll bet the governor's development programs aren't shortchanged a nickel. I just had to add that last comment. Big bucks for business, steal money from children.


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