HONOLULU (KHON2) — Keeping early educators has proven to be a challenge in Hawaii with low compensation causing teachers to leave and preventing others from joining the profession.
Now, state lawmakers are looking to help attract and retain preschool teachers through stipends. A pilot program would also be created boosting pay for a small group of teachers to 17 dollars an hour.
“Most of the people who are in this arena are earning about 12 dollars so we’re hoping to have up to 17 dollars as as compensation,” said Sen. Bennette Misalucha, (D) Pearl City, Aiea, Halawa.
Sen. Misalucha said the intent of the bill is a win for all.
“We want to ensure that people who have good hearts and would want to go into this profession that they won’t consider another lucrative career, because this will never pay enough,” explained Misalucha. “So our children will have stability, because the programs won’t experience high turnover in staff and of course, our early educators can get the recognition that they deserve.”