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The Hawaii Department of Education, the Board of Education, and the Governor’s Office worked together to hammer out an agreement in late September to help relieve the state budget deficit. In the end, the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) agreed to an 8 percent pay cut.

Under the new two-year contract, 10-month employees are subjected to 17 furlough days and year-round employees to 21 furlough days. While all of us value Hawaii teachers and the sacrifice they bear, here’s a question that many have not considered- does the HSTA really represent teachers?

It may come as a surprise, but not all members of HSTA are actually classroom teachers. When asked to present the number of student-facing teachers versus those with positions that are not teaching, the DOE did not provide the numbers. The DOE and HSTA must explain the difference between the two and reveal how many teachers actually instruct our children.

Everyone loves teachers, but only the “teaching” kind.