Today WalletHub released its ranking of best and worst states for teachers in the nation. Hawaii was ranked dead last as the worst teacher-friendly state and state with the lowest annual teacher salary based on cost of living as compared to the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
“To be ranked at the very bottom of a national study just emphasizes the fact that Hawaii’s teachers are the lowest paid in country which has resulted in high turnover rates and a shortage of more than 1,000 qualified teachers each school year,” said Corey Rosenlee, president of Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA). “This is unacceptable. We need to reinvest in Hawaii’s public schools now and make our keiki the number one priority. The way we can do that is to vote in favor of the Constitutional Amendment which will create dedicated funding for Hawaii’s public schools.”
The study ranked New York, Connecticut and Minnesota as the most teacher-friendliest states (and the District of Columbia) based on two key dimensions -- Opportunity & Competition and Academic and Work Environment. North Carolina, Arizona and Hawaii were ranked at the bottom. For annual salaries (adjusted for cost of living), Michigan, Illinois, and Pennsylvania have the highest annual salaries, while South Dakota, Maine and Hawaii have the lowest.
In the general election on Nov. 6, Hawaii residents will have the opportunity to vote for a Constitutional Amendment that will help to fund public education by imposing a surcharge on investment properties valued at more than $1 million. If the majority of voters approves the amendment, next year’s Legislature will set up the details as how the surcharge will be implemented.
“Hawaii’s public schools are severely underfunded and we all need to all join together to support teachers as well as the entire school system,” said Deborah Zysman, Executive Director of Hawaii Children’s Action Network, a non-profit that is committed to advocating for children. “The Constitutional Amendment is an important step towards improving Hawaii’s schools for our children.”
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