The Hawaii State Teachers Association is extremely grateful to state lawmakers for unanimously approving a school budget bill that includes one-time $2,200 payments to teachers to help combat the teacher shortage crisis and stabilize the state’s teaching force.
Now, we have to convince Gov. David Ige to sign the measure into law.
The governor is publicly asking for comment on bills he has before him. Please take a few minutes to fill out this short electronic form and tell the governor to support HB613. In the message section, write a few sentences explaining why you need the $2,200 and why these payments are important to help retain teachers.
Feel free to use the following talking points in your message:
- Incentivizing educators to stay on the job next school year by providing them one-time payments is an appropriate use of federal pandemic relief funds that other school districts across the country have also done.
- Each year, Hawaii faces 1,000 public school educator vacancies as part of a chronic teacher shortage. These payments will help retain more qualified educators since their pay ranks among the lowest in the country when Hawaii’s high cost of living is factored in.
Mahalo to the legislative leadership for taking action to ensure there are enough teachers to open the schools safely in the fall. We’d like to particularly thank Senate President Ron Kouchi, House Speaker Scott Saiki, Senate Education Chair Michelle Kidani, House Education Chair Justin Woodson, Senate Ways and Means Chair Donovan Dela Cruz, and House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke for having the foresight to pass this legislation. Mahalo, also, to all legislators for their unanimous support of HB613.