Paradise Lost? Hawaii’s Teacher Shortage

Educators struggle with high cost of living as Aloha State looks to boost pay, training, and workforce diversity
(EWA Radio: Episode 228)

In the mainland United States, typical conversations about Hawaii are more likely to center on dream vacations than teacher shortages. But there’s plenty to be learned from the state’s educational challenges, and how Hawaii is approaching teacher training, recruitment, and retention. Suevon Lee — who covers Hawaii’s public schools for Honolulu Civil Beat, an investigative news outlet — examined these issues with support from an EWA Reporting Fellowship. Her coverage went deep into the underlying factors in the state’s teacher shortage, and  highlighted the needs of its racially diverse, often high-need student population. What initiatives are state officials trying to compensate for comparatively low teacher salaries and high cost of living? Where are efforts to boost teachers’ cultural competency paying off for students? And what’s it like to cover the only state in the nation with one school district for all its public campuses.

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