In spite of new data showing they were effective, a proposal before the Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE) aims to defer millions of dollars in shortage differentials that the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) began in January for special education classroom teachers, Hawaiian language immersion educators, and educators at hard-to-staff schools.
The Senate Education Committee Wednesday approved a proposal to appropriate $25 million to continue funding differentials in teacher shortage areas and adjust veteran’s teacher pay higher next school year.
The results from an independent teacher compensation study commissioned by the Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) show Hawaii’s cost of living and compression of salaries for experienced educators as the top challenges to recruiting and retaining public school teachers.
Veteran teachers statewide would receive salary increases by moving up anywhere from one to five steps, gaining millions of dollars worth of salary increases if lawmakers approve a proposal from the state schools superintendent.
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.
This school year, returning educators received a pay increase in the form of a step movement, moving up on the salary schedule.
The Hawaii State Teachers Association encourages members, parents and other members of the community to attend a series of listening sessions hosted by the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) on teacher pay. The department's goal is to gather feedback to refine and potentially recommend changes to the teacher compensation system.
HSTA’s efforts to raise awareness about the teacher shortage during the campaign for the constitutional amendment paid off, as the head of BOE’s Human Resources Committee even quoted from an HSTA campaign commercial and said it’s “concerning” that tens of thousands of students are taught every day by unlicensed teachers.
Teachers receive a 3.5% pay hike this fall.