What's Behind HSTA's Change of Heart?

Katherine Poythress/Civil Beat

The Hawaii State Teachers Association's sudden decision Wednesday to put a rejected contract up for a re-vote by its members caught many off guard.

Publicly, union leaders have said they're trying to help keep Hawaii from losing roughly $73 million in federal grant money. Federal officials are planning to make a decision on the state's Race to the Top grant status as soon as next week.

But school officials say it's more complex. The governor has said the January contract offer is no longer on the table. There are concerns that a "no" vote could authorize a strike. And challenge to the current agreement before the Hawaii Labor Relations Board remains unresolved.

"I'm as curious as everybody else in why they're doing this," said former HSTA Executive Director Joan Husted.

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