By Rep. Lynn Finnegan, Republican candidate for Lt. Governor

Today’s announcement that we have seen the last of Furlough Fridays, clearly highlights how deeply the school furlough issue permeated our community.

Furloughs affected not only our students, parents and teachers, but also became a top priority for our business community which is keenly focused on Hawaii’s economic future.

It will take our entire community to engage in changing the paradigm of Hawai’i’s education system in order to focus on our children.

Therefore, I am ecstatic that Hawaii’s business community, in coordination with Gov. Linda Lingle, the BOE, DOE and the Legislature, have offered an innovative financial approach to ending furloughs and ending the uncertainty we’ve all felt statewide.

Their tremendous support to ensure our students can get back in the classroom is very much appreciated and I applaud their efforts.

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Malia Zimmerman is the editor and co-founder of Hawaii Reporter. She has worked as a consultant and contributor to several dozen media outlets including ABC 20/20, FOX News, MSNBC, the Wall Street Journal, UPI and the Washington Times. Malia has been listed as one of the nation’s top "Web Proficients, Virtuosi, and Masters" and "Hawaii's new media thought leader" by http://www.thewebstersdictionary.com Reach her at Malia@hawaiireporter.com