Maui News

UPDATE: Maui Teachers Could Receive Thousands in Differentials

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PC: Hawaii Department of Education.


The Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE) today approved the Department’s proposal to provide extra compensation for classroom teachers in three high-need areas: special education, hard-to-staff geographical locations, and Hawaiian language immersion programs. The Board voted 7-2 in favor of implementing the pay differentials, which are scheduled to take effect Jan. 7.

“I’m humbled by the turnout today of students, teachers and community stakeholders who took the time to voice their support and concerns over the proposal. On behalf of the Board, we heard you and we took action based on what we believe to be in the best interest of our haumana, especially those in high-need areas,” said BOE Chairwoman Catherine Payne. “This momentous decision was about trying something new and looking for bold strategies that will address teacher staffing issues that not only plague Hawaii, but districts across the nation as well. We have an opportunity to be innovative and set the bar high.”

Following the Board’s approval, the Department will send a request to Gov. David Ige to include the necessary funding in his executive budget request to the Legislature. The governor earlier this week supported the proposal at a press conference alongside the Hawaii State Teachers Association.


Implementation of this initiative is timed around recruitment deadlines for the 2020-21 school year along with ongoing retention efforts. 

“I am thrilled with our collective decision to move forward boldly to address a long-standing challenge. We have tremendous teachers in the Department who deserve to receive competitive pay, acknowledgement and support. We are the promise to our haumana,” added Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. 

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The Board of Education votes on a proposal today in which it could approve thousands of dollars in shortage differentials for special education, Hawaiian immersion teachers and educators at hard-to-staff locations.


At least two Maui teachers will be testifying at the BOE meeting in Honolulu.

If the BOE approves the proposal, the Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association says teachers in four of Maui County’s complexes will get thousands of dollars each in raises starting in the spring because of increased hard-to-staff positions at the Lahaina, Hāna, Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi complexes.

Under the proposal, the DOE is asking the BOE to increase the schools offering hard-to-staff bonuses as well as raising the amounts on a tiered scale, depending on key criteria, up to $8,000 a year. An estimated 2,109 HSTA members would be eligible for these bonuses including the following Maui locations:

  • Lahainaluna Complex (Tier 2), $5,000. Teachers in Tier 2 complexes that meet two of the criteria levels (posted below) would receive a $5,000 shortage differential.

Hāna, Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi Complexes (Tier 4), $8,000. Teachers in Tier 4 complexes that meet four of the criteria levels (posted below) would receive an $8,000 shortage differential, should the BOE approve the proposal at its special meeting. The HSTA notes that the $8,000 amount is the highest hard-to-staff differential in the country.


The HIDOE proposal includes a recommended effective date for implementation of the pay differential on Jan. 7, 2020.

The four criteria levels are:

  1. Complexes required under the current contract.
  2. Complexes whose rate of SATEP teachers has been under the state SATEP average for the last three years.
  3. Geographically isolated complexes more than 25 miles from an urban center.
  4. Complexes whose combined vacancy and emergency hires were higher than 10 percent in SY 2016-2017 and SY 2017-2018.

Further details for other categories are available at the following HSTA link.


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