Higher Teacher Compensation Can Lead to Equitable Education in Hawai’i
New report argues that increased teacher compensation can lead to more equitable education in Hawai’i.
In February, the Hawai’ian Scholars for Education and Social Justice (HSESJ) released a study investigating educational inequalities affecting Hawai’i’s K-12 public education system. The report, titled “Increased Teacher Compensation Can Lead to More Equitable Education in Hawaiʻi,” uncovered several issues affecting teacher shortages and other factors leading to unequal opportunities for students.
According to researchers, Hawai’i’s public education system is being affected by a shortage of teachers. This shortage disproportionately affects students living on the Wai’anae Coast on the island of O’ahu, as well as populations of students of Hawai’ian, Filipino, and Pacific Islander ancestry living on other islands.
The study found that, while there was a pool of interested teacher candidates, many of these potential educators did not complete their training and changed their career paths because of monetary concerns. Most notably, these candidates identified low teacher wages and Hawai’i’s high cost of living as the main financial deterrents of becoming teachers.
Additionally, the study revealed that, even when candidates do become teachers, the continued lack of funding for Hawai’i’s public schools has forced many of them to take supplemental jobs. This, in turn, negatively impacts their ability to focus on the educational development of their students. Every year, roughly 1,000 teachers leave Hawai’ian public schools, creating vacancies that are left unfilled, or filled with non-licensed or emergency-hire teachers. This, too, damages the educational experience of many Hawai’ian public school students.
The study states that the best way to address Hawai’i’s public education crisis is by allocating more funding for schools and showing teacher candidates that pursuing a career in education is financially sustainable. According to Lois Yamaguchi, HSESJ researcher and professor of educational psychology at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa:
“The conclusions are clear, the only way we can achieve greater equity in public education is to provide greater support for local teacher recruitment, more financial assistance for teacher candidates in university-based training and stronger incentives that retain Hawaiʻi’s public school teachers.”
This is what you need to know about Hawai’i’s report that increased teacher compensation can lead to a more equitable education. Looking for a consulting firm with experience working with salary, legal, and other human resources issues? Then don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at McKnight Associates, Inc. We are ready to offer you hands-on human resources consulting for colleges, universities, medical centers, and organizations of all sizes.