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State / In Brief

October 19, 2013
The Associated Press

BOE seeks $65M in funding for schools

HONOLULU - The state Board of Education has voted to seek $40 million more in state funding to operate public schools.

The board is seeking another $25 million in capital costs to install air conditioning in more schools.

The board Tuesday approved the budget request for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The money would be in addition to a $1.37 billion school appropriation by state lawmakers earlier this year as part of Hawaii's two-year budget.

Education board members say supplemental money would boost teaching staff at most schools.

Board Chairman Don Horner says the additional operating money is needed for schools to handle education reforms such as new teacher evaluations and higher standards in curriculum.

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UH engineers design disaster relief boat

HONOLULU - University of Hawaii engineers have developed a robotic boat designed to explore disaster zones before rescuers and other emergency personnel.

It has the ability detect chemical leaks and let response crews know what to expect when they venture into a harbor or port. It also feeds video and photos.

The boat uses sonar and other technologies to map ports and harbors, which may help after tsunami or other catastrophes.

The 160-pound vessel - called an Unmanned Port Security Vessel - is 6 feet long and more than 4 feet wide so it can be quickly deployed in an emergency, said Brian Bingham, a mechanical engineering professor who developed the robotic vessel with a team of UH students.

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UH considers construction moratorium

HONOLULU - The University of Hawaii's board is considering freezing construction to give the school an opportunity to address a half-billion dollar repair and maintenance backlog.

Board of Regents member Benjamin Kudo proposed the moratorium Thursday. He's concerned that spending too much on new projects is affecting the school's ability to take care of the rest of its buildings.

Repair and maintenance needs across the 10-campus system total $487 million. More than 80 percent is on the flagship Manoa campus, many of them dating from the 1990s.

"All new buildings, all new proposals, are worthy, and it's difficult for us to say no, but at some point we have to delay or hold off and slow down so that we have a chance to catch up," Kudo said.

Interim UH President David Lassner called the word "moratorium" scary but said the university agrees the backlog needs to be addressed.

 
 

 

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