Teachers provide a foundation for our youth through constant dedication in and before class, and long after students head home. There’s material to prepare, grading to complete, creative teaching methods to explore, research to stay on top of, and a rapidly evolving school environment to continuously adapt to. It’s a great responsibility that often comes with less-than-great compensation.
In Hawai‘i, the entry-level salary for a licenced public school teacher who’s completed a state-approved education program is $47,443 to $49,100, “considered lowest in the country when adjusted for cost of living,” reported Suevon Lee of Honolulu Civil Beat last year.
According to CNBC, Hawai‘i is the most expensive place to live in the US, ahead of California and New York.
Of course for many living in the islands day-to-day, this goes without saying. Last week, Hawaii News Now calculated that in Honolulu, the minimum income for a family of four with a modest lifestyle is $115,584. The number would be higher, it added, if that family was in the market for a house.
However, this situation may soon be changing for Hawai‘i’s educators. The Hawai‘i State Department of Education is considering changing teacher’s compensation based on input gathered during upcoming public listening sessions. The meetings are scheduled for the week of Sep. 23 on the islands of O‘ahu, Maui, and Hawai‘i. It’s crucial to get feedback from the community so HIDOE can make accurate and fair adjustments to teachers’ pay, the department said.
Maui’s listening session will be held on Wednesday, Sep. 25 at Baldwin High School’s Auditorium during two time slots. The first is from 4 to 5:30pm and the second will run 6 to 7:30pm.
There will also be an online survey that opens on Sep. 23 and runs until Oct. 6 for those who are unable to participate in the live meetings. The survey is available at Bit.ly/2mgVFx7.
“Behind every student’s successes are dedicated educators who innovate, collaborate and challenge our students to exceed expectations,” said HIDOE superintendent Christina Kishimoto.
Image courtesy HSTA