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.
The proposals to address compression, create shortage differentials for SpEd and Hawaiian language immersion educators and expand hard-to-staff bonuses are a positive step forward in the HSTA's five-year plan to end the statewide teacher shortage crisis.
The National Council on Teacher Quality reports at least 35 of the major school districts across the country already offer SpEd teachers a financial bonus of some kind, ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 a year. Hawaii offers no pay differential for SpEd teachers.
The state offers a one-time, taxable relocation bonus to eligible teachers who moved to Hawaii from out of state for the 2019–2020 school year.
The Hawaii State Teachers Association, in collaboration with Kamehameha Schools Hoolaukoa Educational Systems and Strategies, offers NEA Jump Start as a way to support candidates as they navigate their way through this complex process.