HSTA, HIDOE discussing adjustment to assignment and transfer timeline

Posted: January 31, 2021

The Hawaii State Teachers Association is pleased to report that we are in discussions with the Hawaii State Department of Education about the need to push back the deadline for the first Teacher Assignment and Transfer Program (TATP) posting by approximately one month. We plan to continue discussions next week to finalize the new dates for TATP and will announce them as soon as they are confirmed.

A delay in the TATP schedule and deadlines would allow additional time for the department to consider restored reductions to the weighted student formula (WSF) and special education per pupil allocation (SPPA) and reduce the need for schools to cut teacher and other staff positions for the next school year.

On Friday, the HSTA and HIDOE met and discussed all possible ramifications of changing the TATP timeline and potential increases in WSF and SPPA for the next school year. HSTA reached out to the HIDOE immediately after the Jan. 21 Board of Education meeting at which the governor’s restoration of funds was announced and asked to discuss the need for a possible adjustment to the TATP timeline.

The HIDOE sent principals a memo Saturday morning that said, in part, “We are currently in discussions with the Hawaii State Teachers Association to push back the Teacher Assignment and Transfer Program timeline by approximately one month. This should give the Department sufficient time to determine the possible funding adjustments to reduce the need for personnel reductions.”

We also know principals were directed to make contingency plans in case of funds restoration. Article XIX of our contract requires principals to facilitate an open, democratic, and collaborative process regarding their school budget. We strongly encourage you to reach out to your principal and ask about your school’s contingency plans to bring back positions that were initially slated for elimination in school year 2021–22.

The recent announcement by Gov. David Ige to reduce the public school budget cuts from 10 to 2.5 percent and additional funding from the federal stimulus of approximately $183 million provide an opportunity for Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto to direct schools to revisit their academic and financial plans.

Since the governor’s Jan. 21 announcement to restore $123 million in previously cut funding, the superintendent has indicated that HIDOE leaders are discussing how much funding to restore schools through the WSF and SPPA projected budgets for SY 2021–22.

One major concern regarding school budget adjustments will be the direct and immediate impact of the starting date of the first TATP period. With the original schedule requiring administrators to post their tentative line assignments by Feb. 9 and TATP’s first posting on Feb. 23, schools would have had little to no time to consider adjustments in their academic and financial plan and teacher and other school positions for the next school year.

You can find more information about your rights during TATP on our password-protected Know Your Rights page under Assignment, Transfer, & Staff Reduction. Please note, you must be logged in with your registered account to view this link.

Next Sunday, be sure to look for a special email from your Negotiations Team for a comprehensive bargaining update regarding our next contract.