Gov. David Ige said Friday that his controversial idea of cutting state employees’ pay by 20 percent—including that of educators—might not happen after all, and unions have been told even if salary cuts happen, they’ll start later than originally planned. "It is possible that there would be no salary cuts at all," he said.
The House Committee on Labor & Public Employment, along with the Committee on Lower & Higher Education, will hear SB2488, SD2 Relating to teacher compensation on Friday, March 13, at 2 p.m. at the Hawaii State Capitol, Room 309. Written and oral testimony will be accepted.
"This is a great first step," said HSTA President Corey Rosenlee. "The bill is now going to move over to the House, where we’re going to continue to work with legislators to make sure that we find a way to fund teacher compensation, including things such as the differentials and compression."
The Senate Ways and Means Committee passed SB2488, SD1 with amendments (11 ayes, 2 excused) Wednesday morning. Mahalo to all who submitted testimony on such short notice.
“This is a bold step to finally take care of this problem to make sure that every keiki in Hawaii has a qualified teacher,” said HSTA President Corey Rosenlee in testimony to the BOE Thursday.
"I think our biggest export right now isn't pineapples. It's our most educated children who are moving to the mainland, and they know they can find better opportunities."
This school year, returning educators received a pay increase in the form of a step movement, moving up on the salary schedule.
“I advise every kid not to become a teacher, because it would be irresponsible for me to tell someone to get a four-year degree and not make ends meet,” Eric Hagiwara, a math, robotics, and programming teacher at Waiakea High, said.
More than 120 educators, students and community members spoke about the bad effects of low teacher pay.
Anjelica Aires, a fourth-grade teacher at Queen Kaahumanu Elementary School, said, "I live paycheck to paycheck, even though I have a master’s degree in education. I’m working so hard for our students. Our responsibilities and our duties, every year, they add something, and we don’t get paid extra for it."