For decades, teachers in Hawaii have been the worst paid educators in the nation when the local cost of living is taken into account. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development considers a single person in Honolulu earning less than $67,000 to be low-income, and the starting salary for a teacher in Hawaii is around $47,000.
The next round of union contract negotiations will begin in 2020 and the Hawaii State Department of Education is trying to preemptively address pay issues. The department is hosting meetings with teachers to get feedback on compensation and has hired a private education consultant to identify common sources of frustration with the status quo.
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