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.
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.