Hawaii’s teacher retention rate hovers just above 50%

HONOLULU — Only 51% of Hawaii public school teachers remained in the job after five years of work, according to a new report from the state Department of Education.

The low percentage is little changed from recent years. The department had aimed to raise its retention rate to 60% by 2020, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

Retaining qualified and effective teachers for the long term is important, the report released Thursday said, because students benefit from higher-quality education as teachers gain experience and expertise. The department also has to spend less time and money on recruiting new hires when retention is higher.

Osa Tui Jr., president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, said he worries retention rates will decline further because of the unprecedented challenges teachers are facing in the pandemic.

“More and more, our students are not going to have access to high-quality educators who are going to stay in the field,” he said.

Tui pointed to low pay as a large part of the problem.

The average Hawaii teacher earned an average of $65,409 in 2020-21, according to the National Education Association. That’s slightly above the national average of $65,090, but Hawaii teachers face a higher cost of living.

  1. Uncleaina January 22, 2022 11:16 am Reply

    Wonder why people don’t want to care for a hundred apathetic kids all day for a salary less than you make at TSA? Or any state or county job? Or most private sector jobs? Meanwhile the population is getting more stupid and easier to manipulate.

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