Contrary to board vote, superintendent says department can’t afford extra pay for hard-to-recruit teachers

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Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 5:57 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Board of Education took a stand on Thursday in favor of continuing extra pay for special education and other hard-to-recruit teachers.

However, the superintendent says there is no money for the program.

Waianae Intermediate Art teacher Kileigh Sanchez’ said that her salary was raised by $8,000 for working on the Leeward Coast, but she is worried that this money will be taken away.

“We are already struggling with vacancies and shortages of highly qualified teachers willing to work for peanuts,” said Sanchez. “Please don’t allow the superintendent to make this worse by unilaterally making this decision, which will have a catastrophic affect.”

Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said, “As superintendent I cannot in good faith expend funds that I do not have. In fact, I legally cannot to this.”

Currently, about 4,000 teachers are receiving higher pay, which costs the state about $33 million.

The board voted to make the program a priority as Hawaii is expected to receive new federal relief funds.

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