Shortage differentials that the Hawaii State Department of Education began in January for special education classroom teachers, Hawaiian language immersion educators and teachers at hard-to-staff schools will continue in school year 2020–21, after the department confirmed the eligibility criteria in a memo published this week.
Based on information gathered during the 2019–20 school year, the department has updated its original shortage differential memo “to ensure the criteria previously outlined aligns with the original intent of the shortage differentials,” Assistant Superintendent Cynthia Covell said in the memo published June 15.
The memo outlines general criteria applicable to all shortage differentials:
The memo explains additional criteria that apply to specific shortage differentials:
There are circumstances where an individual is assigned to provide direct instruction and services but they are not in a position titled Special Education, in those cases, there is an exception process that can be utilized to see if the teacher qualifies for the differentials. Teachers who believe they might qualify for an exception should review the memo for more details. Teachers should be aware that any exception granted in the spring of 2020 must be resubmitted for school year 2020–21.
All teachers who are licensed and assigned to a school-level position in a school identified as hard-to-staff are eligible for the differential. The teacher will receive the differential regardless if the assignment is in a classroom position providing direct instruction and services to students. The position cannot be itinerant, nor can the instruction/services provided at the school be intermittent.
The following chart depicts the qualifying complexes and the corresponding annual differential amount.
Individuals without a Hawaiian Immersion or Kaiaolelo-Kaiapuni Hawaii license should review the memo for more details regarding the fluency requirement for the Hawaiian language immersion differential.
The shortage differentials are implemented and paid for by the HIDOE. The shortage differentials are only paid for by the HIDOE to teachers employed by the HIDOE or employed by public charter schools in positions funded by the HIDOE.
Currently, the HIDOE covers the cost of shortage differentials without any additional funding sources. A charter school could elect to implement similar shortage differentials on their campus, but the funding for those differentials would have to come from the individual school.
Charter teachers employed by their PCS but assigned to positions funded through department-allocated special education funds include the following: Special Education Teacher, Special Education Teacher/Pre-School, or General Education/Article VI Teacher titled position. The HIDOE will process and pay for the shortage differentials for eligible teachers in these types of department-funded positions for both the special education and hard-to-staff shortage differentials. PCS teachers should check with their respective administrators if they are unsure if their positions are funded by the HIDOE.
The shortage differentials were implemented by Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto in January with the intent to seek funding to cover the cost going forward with SY 2020–21 from the Legislature. There is a funding bill that is still alive in the Legislature (which currently includes charter schools funding for shortage differentials). State lawmakers go back into session next week, but given the current economic situation, we do not know if the bill will pass and the funding will be appropriated. In addition, the HIDOE is seeking the possibility of utilizing federal CARES Act money to continue the shortage differentials. As we get status updates and information changes, we will alert members as soon as possible.
All HIDOE-funded teachers who are slated for positions in which they would meet qualifications for shortage differentials in SY 2020–21 should have seen the differential reflected in their recently issued personnel action forms (Form 5).
To view a list of frequently asked questions and answers, please log onto the HIDOE’s intranet website and view the document titled Teacher Compensation Shortage Differential – Frequently Asked Questions. It can be found on the Office of Talent Management’s webpage under the What’s New section.
Should you have any questions, please contact Kimberly Miyamoto, Personnel Specialist, at (808) 441-8437 or via email at Kimberly.Miyamoto@k12.hi.us. Should you have any questions regarding the changing of position titles, please contact your respective Certificated Personnel Regional Officer. Should you have any questions regarding being deemed fluent in the Hawaiian language, please contact Anela Iwane, Educational Specialist, at (808) 784-6070 or via e-mail at Anela.Iwane@k12.hi.us.
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