A proposed plan to help streamline teacher hiring

By Cynthia Yip

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    HONOLULU (KITV) -- Some schools are looking in unusual places to help them deal with the shortage of teachers. The State Department of Education is trying to boost its teachers and staff ranks by streamlining the application process.

The new hiring platform will streamline the process of recruitment and hiring of all Department of Education employees including teachers.

"What the department has right now, 'hey come apply we are going to throw you into the pool,' and someone will call you at some point in time to offer you a job, " says Osa Tui, Jr., HSTA President. "So you sit there waiting in the pool. You might get a job. You might get a call. You might get something else. But it’s really a wait and see game till you get a call."

Yama Radtke, DOE Substitute Teacher says, “It takes forever to get registered. Sometimes just jumping through all the hoops who you have to talk to where you have to go and I know it’s the government and the department of education but they still need to find a way to file themselves. I have 5th graders who can organize themselves better than the department of education.”

And the red tape makes it difficult even for former teachers. Yumi TR Kawano taught on the Big Island for more 10 years before retiring in 2014 to care for the rainforests as a biologist. But she wanted to return to the classroom as a substitute teacher.

“I think what the challenge is the communication breakdowns between the district offices and the schools," explains Kawano. "I went through this in 2020 I was trying to teach at Pahoe High School -- of course it was very chaotic at that time so, somehow I wasn’t able to get on the sub list yet they needed subs badly so…nothing new even with COVID being somewhat over.”

Hawaii employs about 13,000 teachers, librarians, and counselors, and 12,000 educational officers, civil servants, and support services personnel.

At this point, the DOE is soliciting proposals for this application platform that would streamline the recruitment and hiring of all employees.

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