HSTA's 2020 Government Relations Priorities

Fund the schools our keiki deserve

A strong public school system drives a strong, dynamic economy. Providing our keiki with quality public education is everyone’s kuleana (responsibility). We all have an important role in supporting learning opportunities for our children.

Students are the priority. As leaders in education, teachers build strong foundations and inspire the next generation so they may continue to shape and enrich our society.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association is committed to the success of every student and teacher. Providing the best education starts with proper funding and resources. Teachers deserve everyone’s support in providing a well- rounded curriculum and learning experiences, implementing the best practices, and developing one-on-one connections with every student.

We encourage the community and our decision-makers to join HSTA in advocating for our students and teachers to transform Hawaii’s public schools.

Download our 2020 HSTA Government Relations Priorities brochure.

Invest wisely and effectively to meet public school needs

  • Create an additional dedicated, sustainable funding source for our public schools.
  • Revise Act 51 to change per-pupil funding ratios in rural district schools to fulfill essential necessities including adequate staffing, curriculum, and supplies.
  • Fully fund Special Education teaching and support staff positions to meet student needs.
  • Fully fund public charter school facilities.

Promote quality student learning environments

Enable quality learning experiences.

  • Allow authentic assessments that focus on providing learning opportunities and creating well-rounded students.
  • Reduce class sizes to improve student learning environments and opportunities.
  • Pass legislation that allows parents/ guardians to opt-out of participation in high-stakes standardized testing without penalty to schools or students.

Expand funding for public preschool.

  • Provide access to high-quality physical education and nutritional programs.
  • Provide access to high-quality sexual health education, substance abuse education, and mental health education and services (including suicide prevention and awareness).

Create an optimal learning environment for our students

  • Fund school facility and technology upgrades including bandwidth.
  • Fund and maintain classroom climate control and air quality.

Attract and retain highly qualified teachers to Hawaii's public education system

  • Provide competitive salaries and benefits reflecting Hawaii’s high cost of living.
  • Provide funding for increased preparation time, teaching positions, additional personnel and material resources.
  • Provide professional assistance including mentoring, professional development, and a supportive, rather than a punitive, teacher evaluation system collaboratively created under the flexibility of ESSA.
  • Pass legislation to support a paid family leave act and provide a separate bank of funding for maternity and paternity leave.
  • Establish programs to empower teachers to rent and buy own homes.

Support democracy and unionization

  • Support amending the Hawaii State Constitution to have an elected Board of Education.
  • Support legislation that will protect and strengthen unions.

Keiki are our priority. Join us and invest in our future!

Government Relations Committee Members

  • Hope McKeen, Chair, Hilo Chapter
  • Ashley Monden, Central Chapter
  • Kori Ann Harvey Oros, Central Chapter
  • Laura Robertson, Hamakua Chapter
  • Samantha Tomori, Hilo Chapter
  • Naomi Calistro, Hilo Chapter
  • Jade Yim Pham, Honolulu Chapter
  • Sharon Saronitman, Kauai Chapter
  • Wendy Nickl, Kohala Chapter
  • Kevin Argueta, Kona Chapter
  • Mark Sacco, Lanai Chapter
  • Tammy Cabral, Leeward Chapter
  • Sarah Milianta-Laffin, Leeward Chapter
  • Hannibal Starbuck, Maui Chapter
  • John Fitzpatrick, Maui Chapter
  • Lokelani Han, Molokai Chapter
  • Jamie Stidger, Windward Chapter
  • Joshua Noga, Windward Chapter
  • Lanny Busher, HSTA-R

HSTA Lobbying Team

  • Corey Rosenlee, President
  • Wilbert Holck, Executive Director
  • Mitzie Higa, Government Relations Specialist
  • Christine Russo, Teacher Lobbyist