Categorized | Education

Hawaii expected to receive more than $39M for teacher salaries and benefits


Hawaii is expected to receive $39,311,983 to fund teacher salaries and benefits and save about 700 education-related jobs, Senators Daniel K. Inouye and Daniel K. Akaka announced today.

The funds are provided in a $26 billion state aid bill approved by the U.S. Senate. The bill passed today 61-39 with Senator Inouye and Senator Akaka voting in favor of the measure.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called a one day session of the U.S. House of Representatives next week to vote on the measure. If approved by the House it will go to the President for his signature.

The legislation creates a $10 billion education jobs fund administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Governors apply for funding and the money is distributed based on a formula according to proportion of population.  The money must be used to pay for salaries and benefits and cannot be used for ‘rainy-day funds,’ equipment, facilities, or to fill budget gaps.

“The economic hardship faced by state and county governments across the country shuttered Hawaii schools for 17 Fridays costing 170,000 children precious classroom time,” said Senator Inouye. “Educating our children is the greatest investment we can make in our future. These funds will ensure that Hawaii’s teachers are compensated and cared for in the same way we expect them to teach and nurture our children.”

“As a former teacher, principal, and administrator, I know how important classroom time is to our keiki,” said Senator Akaka. “These desperately needed funds will help Hawaii and states across the country pay teachers and staff and keep schools open.”

From the office of Rep. Mazie Hirono:

I will be returning to Washington, DC this weekend to vote for $39.3 million in federal funding for education in Hawaii. I will join my colleagues on Tuesday as the House considers H.R. 1586, the House version of a $26 billion emergency legislation passed today by the U.S. Senate. If approved, it will go to the White House for the President’s signature.

Though I regret that I have to cancel some of my planned district events, I know that this bill cannot wait until our originally scheduled return to DC in six weeks. This legislation will protect hundreds of Hawaii teachers’ jobs as well as numerous other education jobs throughout the state.

As a member of the House Education and Labor Committee I know the importance of supporting these professionals. This funding will enable the State Department of Education to strengthen resources throughout our system to support student learning.

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