“For those who argue that the stabilization payment goes against collective bargaining, there already is a clear precedent of increasing payments to teachers outside of the collective bargaining process in Hawaii.”
The superintendent’s memo is misleading. While she indicates that the shortage differential program was a pilot, this is not the case. These differentials were enacted and approved by the Board of Education based on Kishimoto's request on Dec. 5, 2019.
Shortage differentials that the Hawaii State Department of Education began in January for special education classroom teachers, Hawaiian language immersion educators and teachers at hard-to-staff schools will continue in school year 2020–21, after the department confirmed the eligibility criteria in a memo published this week.
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 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.