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Thousands of Hawai‘i Teachers and Parents Rally at Capitol

February 13, 2017, 5:02 PM HST
* Updated February 13, 5:04 PM
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Rally at Hawaii State Capitol. Courtesy photo.

About 6,000 public school teachers and advocates of Hawai‘i’s public education system rallied at the Hawai‘i State Capitol today for a fair contract for teachers and to lobby for a constitutional amendment to properly fund public schools proposed by the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association (HSTA).

“It’s our responsibility as a community to come together and fight for our keiki to make education a priority,” said HSTA President Corey Rosenlee. “Instead of just talking about the inadequacy of our school system, we have come up with attainable solutions. Our plan will give all children the quality education they deserve.”

“We need to start paying our teachers better. We need to make sure that every child, regardless of where they live, has a quality teacher in their classroom,” said Rosenlee during a rally at the Capitol Monday morning.

“We want our legislators to know that we mean business!” State Sen. Michelle Kidani, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, said to the crowd.

“Thank you for fighting the good fight,” added Kidani, who introduced HSTA’s constitutional amendment proposals in the State Senate. “It is about our children. Let us not forget that!”

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“We were encouraged to see so many teachers, parents, students and members of the community gather to raise awareness about our proposals that are designed to significantly improve Hawai‘i’s school system and create a better future for our keiki,” added Rosenlee.

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By levying a surcharge on residential investment properties and visitor accommodations, the state would be able to raise about $500 million a year for education without placing an unfair financial burden on local residents. The proposals are SB683 and SB686 in the Senate and HB180 and HB182 in the House.

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