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Tuesday, January 11, 2022
Money and Power: HSTA Priorities for 2022 Legislature
By News Release @ 1:36 PM :: 2765 Views :: Education K-12, Labor

HSTA’s Government Relations Committee spotlights priorities for the 2022 Legislature

Members can attend their chapter’s legislative reception to emphasize key educational issues

News release from HSTA, January 7, 2022

Our current climate is brimming with unique challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, the teacher shortage crisis, and salary compression, among other things. The upcoming legislative session is especially critical for education stakeholders to work on improving the quality of education for Hawaii’s keiki.

The Hawaii State Legislature will convene on Jan. 19. The decisions made during this session will determine how public education will be funded for the next school year. The legislature’s decisions about funding could impact teacher positions, class sizes, music, art, field trips, and more.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association encourages the community and our decision-makers to ensure our public schools receive proper funding and resources to foster positive learning experiences for our students. HSTA also advocates for issues members identified through the Government Relations survey that was sent to all members in the fall.

Download or view HSTA’s Government Relations priorities below that were determined from members’ responses and their input. HSTA members are encouraged to attend their chapter’s legislative reception to share these priorities with their area lawmakers.


Take part in your chapter’s virtual legislative reception

If you are concerned about issues like fixing compression pay, safety in our schools or increasing public school funding, we urge you to join us in letting our state legislators know how these issues affect us.

HSTA chapters are hosting virtual receptions to allow teachers and legislators to connect. As frontline educators, we need to share our stories to help guide legislative decisions regarding public education. Please note, you must be an HSTA member to participate.

Please see the table below to view HSTA’s different legislative receptions, broken down by chapter and date. Swipe on mobile to view the full chart.

These receptions are for HSTA members only. RSVP with your chapter and you will receive a Zoom meeting link to remind you of your Legislative Reception. If you have any questions, please contact your School Level Leaders (SLLs) for more information.

Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022
4:30 p.m. Educators meet
5 p.m. Legislators join

RSVP link

Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022
Joint reception: Hamakua, Hilo, Kohala, Kona
5:30 p.m. Educators meet
6 p.m. Legislators join

RSVP link

Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022
Joint reception: Central, Honolulu, Leeward, Windward
3:30 to 5 p.m.

RSVP link

Top Government Relations priorities

Fixing salary compression
Reestablishing annual step increases
Advocating for additional classes on the salary schedule
Providing teachers with access to affordable rentals and homeownership
Creating an additional dedicated, sustainable funding source for our public schools

Invest wisely and effectively to meet public school needs

Create an additional dedicated, sustainable funding source for our public schools.
Revise Act 51 to change per-pupil funding ratios in rural district schools to fulfill essential necessities including adequate staffing, curriculum, and supplies.
Fully fund Special Education teaching and support staff positions to meet student needs.
Advocate for the needs of our Bargaining Unit 05 (BU05) public charter school members and fully funding facilities.

Promote quality student learning environments

Support authentic assessments and parental rights to refuse high-stakes standardized testing.
Reduce class sizes to improve student learning environments, safety, and opportunities.
Expand funding for public preschool.
Provide access to high-quality physical education and nutritional programs.
Provide access to mental health education and services (including suicide prevention and awareness), high-quality sexual health education, and substance abuse education.
Advocate for public schools to supply menstrual products to all students who need them, free of charge.

Create an optimal learning environment for our students

Fund school facility and technology upgrades including bandwidth.
Fund and maintain classroom climate control, air quality, and water quality.
Fund timely and accessible COVID-19 testing for public school communities, and advocate for epidemiologically informed protocols that are measurable for teachers and students.

Attract and retain highly qualified teachers to Hawaii’s public education system

Provide competitive salaries and benefits reflecting Hawaii’s high cost of living, including reestablishing annual step increases, honoring current negotiated salaries, fixing step compression, and creating additional classes on the salary schedule.
Provide funding for increased preparation time, teaching positions, additional personnel, job-embedded professional development, and material resources.
Provide professional assistance including mentoring, professional development, and a supportive, rather than a punitive, teacher evaluation system collaboratively created under the flexibility of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, known as ESSA.
Pass legislation to support a paid family leave act and provide a separate bank of funding for maternity and paternity leave.
Establish programs to empower teachers to rent and buy their own homes.

Support democracy and unionization

Establish a public school teacher member (BU05) on the Board of Education.
Support legislation that will protect and strengthen unions.

  *   *   *   *   *

Is The Hawaii Legislature Ready To Give Teachers Yet Another Raise Outside of Collective Bargaining?

CB Jan 12, 2022: … With a rosier economic outlook, the state teachers union and other advocates are stepping up calls to boost teacher pay as Hawaii’s Legislature prepares to convene its annual session next week.

Gov. David Ige proposed restoring $100.2 million to the Department of Education’s base budget and adding $32.5 million to continue salary differentials to help recruit hard-to-staff teaching positions in his proposed supplemental budget.

Rep. Jeanne Kapela, vice chair of the House Education Committee, also plans to introduce two bills — one addressing so-called salary compression in which teachers are not paid according to years of experience and another proposing to remove the cap on salary classes so teachers are more incentivized to seek professional development.

“We are heading into session with a billion-dollar surplus, which makes a lot of us hopeful that we can pass legislation that supports teachers and our working families,” Kapela said….

read … Is The Hawaii Legislature Ready To Give Teachers A Raise?  

DoE Guts Testing:

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