From HSTA–
We need your help! Please share this e-mail and submit testimony in support! We need you!!

Together, we can work to end Hawaii’s teacher shortage crisis—and here is our next step.
The House Committee on Labor & Public Employment along with the Committee on Lower & Higher Education will hear our teacher compensation bill (SB2488, SD1) on Friday, March 13th at 2:00 p.m. at the Hawaii State Capitol, Room 309. Written and oral testimony will be accepted.

Currently the language in this bill will:

• Make the necessary salary adjustments for approximately 6,300 experienced senior teachers by recognizing their professional service to the Department of Education through discretionary salary adjustments,
• Provide funding for additional teacher pay for the areas of special education, hard-to-staff geographic locations, and Hawaiian language immersion programs, or
• Some combination of (1) and (2).
• The bill also requires a signed Memorandum of Agreement between the State Superintendent and HSTA.

In the Senate the bill was increased from $25 million to $26,769,500, an additional 1.9 million for teachers at public charter schools, plus $9,082,380 for fringe (For a total of over 37 million!!!). To fund all the needed increases for both differentials and to fix salary compression issues, $45 million more is needed, plus fringe costs.

Please submit testimony in support of this bill to the House Committee on Labor & Public Employment as well as the Committee on Lower & Higher Education and should be addressed to Chair Johanson and Chair Woodson. If you have already submitted testimony previously on this bill, just revise it to address the new committees. Submit your testimony through your account (you can create one by clicking on “Register” in the upper right corner). Another option is to email your testimony to and include in the subject line: Testimony in support of SB2488, SD1, Committee on Labor & Public Employment and the Committee on Lower & Higher Education, Friday, March 13th, at 2:00 p.m.

Please try to submit your testimony by Thursday, March 12th, at 2:00 p.m. so it can be included in lawmakers’ initial packets; however testimony will be accepted until the hearing begins Friday at 2:00 p.m.

In general, we’d like you to explain that spending $37+ million on compression and the shortage differentials next year is appreciated, but $45 million more plus fringe is the amount that’s needed to assure the salary adjustments to fix compression happens along with continuing the hard-to-staff, SPED and Hawaiian language immersion shortage differentials.

We’ve included a template that you can copy and paste, but please revise the parts in red to share your own story and reasons to support this bill. Thank you in advance.

FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2020, 2:00 p.m.

Chair Johanson, Chair Woodson, and members of the Committees:

My name is [INSERT NAME]. I live in [INSERT DISTRICT] on [INSERT ISLAND]. I am submitting testimony in support of SB 2488, SD1.

Please provide enough funds to fix the teacher salary compression issue, and provide funding for the pay differentials for teachers in special education, Hawaiian language immersion, and hard-to-staff positions to show that we as a state value our hardworking teachers. The Department of Education will need $45 million more plus fringe costs, to fully fund these essential needs for our teachers. Fixing the compression issue will place our teachers where they should be for their many years of service and funding the differentials will help us recruit and retain our teachers in the hardest to fill areas. Our teachers are worth it as they are important for the future of our keiki.

[In one or two short paragraphs, tell your personal story or specific anecdotes about how fixing the salary compression issue and/or differentials will help you and your children, and your community, and help  teachers, counselors, and librarians to remain in our public schools. Explain how important it is to have a stable workforce of teachers to help your keiki and your community, and how funding this bill fully will help prevent teachers from leaving the profession in our state. See prompts for each category and background information below.]

We need your help. Mahalo.

Background and talking points


Please talk importance of adjusting veteran teachers’ pay who were not given regular step increases during hard economic times. For instance, if a teacher is planning to retire soon but would consider staying a few more years if their pay increases? Or maybe they are thinking about leaving Hawaii or the teaching profession because the cost of living has outpaced their salary? How many times have you seen educators quit in the middle of the school year, leaving students with long-term substitutes who aren’t qualified? Those are the kinds of specific stories legislators will respond to. Please focus your testimony on how those kind raises will help ease the teacher shortage crisis and improve the lives of their students because experienced educators will be more inclined to stay in the classroom.

Click here for more information on compression.

Shortage differentials

Differentials for educators in three of the worst shortage areas (SPED, hard-to-staff, and Hawaiian language immersion) began last month, but the Legislature needs to approve money for them to continue next school year, and the governor has requested funding for that in his budget. If at teacher is in any of these areas or know about the shortages that exist and how they affect students, please share specific stories with lawmakers.

Click here for more information on shortage differentials.

Mahalo for all you do!