Committee approves $67 million to try to end Furlough Fridays

·By Katherine Poythress

Late Friday night, negotiators from the House and Senate reached an agreement that, if approved by the Legislature, could reduce the number of Furlough Fridays for students.

Students have lost 14 days of instruction this school year due to furloughs, with three more on the calendar. Another 17 are scheduled for next year.

The bill would allow the Legislature to take $67 million from the Hurricane Relief Fund to help put children back in school. The amount exceeds the $62 million Gov. Linda Lingle proposed earlier this year, and falls nearly