Shortage differentials for classroom teachers in special education, hard-to-staff locations, and Hawaiian language immersion programs will continue through school year 2021-2022, state Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto announced in a memo late Friday afternoon.
HIDOE is using the differentials to recruit, retain teachers Posted: May 21, 2021 Board of Education leaders voiced strong support Thursday for continuing teacher shortage differentials next school year and the Hawaii State Department of Education is still touting them in recruitment and retention materials even as the department works to find exactly how it will pay for them. Bruce Voss, who chairs the BOE’s Finance and Infrastructure Committee, said Thursday that the budget passed by lawmakers awaiting the governor’s signature or veto did not fund “the $32.5 million teacher differential that this board approved [...]
The Hawaii Board of Education Thursday afternoon voted overwhelmingly to continue paying shortage differentials to public school teachers across the state, directing Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto to rescind her memo by the close of business Friday that would have ended the $3,000 to $10,000 payments to teachers in areas faced with chronic vacancies.
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.
HSTA President Corey Rosenlee says the differentials “worked better than our dreams ever imagined,” and not just by filling the actual positions. Rosenlee says higher education programs that funnel educators into these positions also saw a significant increase.
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.
Starting this Friday, members who began receiving shortage differentials in the spring will see a drop in their summer paychecks. This decrease is a result of the differential only being payable for half of the year, and you have already been paid a large portion of the differential.
Earlier in the day, teachers from Oahu and Maui delivered educator declarations signed by thousands of HSTA members across the state calling for higher pay for veterans and differentials for key shortage areas in special education, hard-to-staff schools and Hawaiian language immersion.
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."