By Colleen Hanabusa

By now you have probably heard the good news about the end of teacher furloughs for the next school year. I had the pleasure of joining Governor Linda Lingle and other key players to announce the agreement that will finally address a problem that persisted for so long in our educational system.

But today, my interest is not why the problem existed, but how so many diverse elements of our government and our community came together to find a solution.

In the end, the governor’s office, the legislature, and the Department of Education joined with teachers, parents and Hawaii’s banking community to craft an approach to the problem that was novel and effective. I believe that everyone walked away feeling that their interests have been served, and that all parties are satisfied.

This is what we can do when we are willing to collaborate on finding good answers to hard questions. Everyone involved stuck to their principles, but found room to negotiate.  If any one of the many groups or individuals involved had simply refused to budge, no solution would have been possible.

Collaboration is a sign of leadership and a requirement of effectiveness. I am proud to have played a part in helping bring an end to teacher furloughs, and to have helped Hawaii’s students.

Colleen Hanabusa is the Senate president and a candidate for US House District 1

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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