Hawaii aims to boost teacher retention rate

HONOLULU (AP) - The state Department of Education wants to do a better job of holding on to new teachers.

More than half of Hawaii's public school teachers currently leave within five years of being hired.

This hurts the state at a time when experienced teachers are needed to help turn around struggling schools and meet federal requirements.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday the department plans to improve its retention rate in part by offering bonuses to teachers who stay in hard-to-staff areas on Oahu's leeward coast and the neighbor islands.

The department also aims to boost mentor and professional development programs for all teachers.

The new efforts are linked to a $75 million Race to the Top federal grant Hawaii won last month.

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