Hanabusa Co-Sponsors Two Measures Supporting Investment in Public Education, Higher Teacher Pay
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On National Teacher Day, Congressman Colleen Hanabusa co-sponsored two measures supporting higher teacher pay and significant new investments in America’s public schools.
She joined 99 of her colleagues to cosponsor a resolution solidifying House support for teacher pay that is comparable to the salaries of other college graduates in the state. It pushes states and the federal government to give teachers more money for classroom supplies, materials, instruction, and student services.
Congresswoman Hanabusa also signed on as an original co-sponsor of the Educators Expense Deduction Modernization Act. The measure will double the amount educators are able to deduct on qualified out-of-pocket classroom expenses - like basic school supplies, books, and other instructional materials - from $250 to $500.
Recent studies have shown that 91 percent of teachers used their own money to pay for school supplies with most teachers spending on average $530 per year on their students and classrooms, and one in 10 spending $1,000 or more.
“It makes no sense that the professionals responsible for educating the next generation of leaders and workers in the world’s largest economy are struggling to provide for their families. In Hawaii, one of the most expensive places to live in the world, the median salary for a public school teacher is $57,733, below the national median salary of $58,950. We know many teachers invest more time and resources than they receive compensation for,” said Congresswoman Hanabusa. “Providing our teachers, administrators and staff the resources they need to care for our keiki during a critical stage of their development should be a top priority of state and federal government. Congress must increase funding for public education and help ensure our schools are in good condition and our students are afforded every opportunity to succeed.”