DOE, BOE leaders commit to a multi-phased approach to help end the teacher shortage crisis.
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 HSTA suggests significantly boosting the dollar amounts bonuses each year at locations plagued by a high percentage of unlicensed teachers, in geographically isolated complexes and where the combination of vacancies and emergency hires makes up more than 10 percent of the teaching force.
Being a Hawaiian immersion teacher is "more than just a job, it is a mission," say those devoted to the field, which requires huge amounts of extra work creating and implementing curricula in the Hawaiian language that's not readily available.
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.