Good News on Funding Our Schools — And a Call to Action!
The lack of reliable and adequate funding to best serve our keiki and to attract and retain great teachers is hurting our children and their opportunities for the future. Finally, after a three-year effort, HSTA’s initiative SD 2922 to support permanent funding for education won in the legislature, with support by many of us including three years of letter writing, attending hearings, and testifying.
This successful vote puts a measure on the November election ballot to amend the Constitution to allow a surcharge on investment property tax to go to education. This measure is known by the nickname “ConAm” (Constitutional Amendment.) More information on the measure is here: Hawaii Surcharge on Investment Properties to Fund Public Education Amendment (2018)
And here is the text of the November ballot measure:
“Shall the legislature be authorized to establish, as provided by law,
a surcharge on investment real property to be used to support public education?”
More than 1000 classrooms in Hawaii had no permanent teacher all year.
Why are there so many public school students without qualified teachers?
Because… Hawaii is ranked as the 49th worst state in which to be a teacher.
When adjusted for cost of living, Hawaii teachers are the lowest paid in the nation.
And Native Hawaiian students are more likely to have unqualified and out-of-field teachers.
Hawaii spends the lowest percentage of county and state funds on education in the country.
When adjusted for cost of living, Hawaii ranks 45th in the nation in per-pupil spending.
Why does Hawaii lack funds for reliable permanent funding for education?
Hawaii is the only state not to use property taxes to fund public education.
Hawaii has the lowest property tax rate in the country.
Low property taxes lead to high prices for homes and land.
Homes owned by foreign buyers are 64% more expensive than local residents’ homes.*
Off-island investors profit from value increases without contributing significant property taxes.
Our schools need property tax support, now the vote is in our hands.
Together, each of us Parents for Public School of Hawai`i can make a real difference for Hawaii’s keiki and our schools. Every vote will count and our vote will make a crucial difference.