Public school teachers ask for support with amendment vote

HONOLULU (KHON2) – Public school teachers across the state held a protest in the form of sign-waving and walk-ins Tuesday morning before school.

They’re asking the public to support schools and keiki by voting “yes” for the constitutional amendment set to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The question asks whether the legislature should create a surcharge on investment property to support public education.

“We can’t wait any longer. Our children can’t wait any longer for qualified teachers, for good facilities, for cool air,” said teacher Inga Park Okuna.

All four counties are appealing to the Hawaii Supreme Court to take it off the ballot.

“The ballot doesn’t specify any specific value of investment property, which means it could apply to residential property, commercial, (agriculture), and we’re talking about local owners of homes,” said Sherry McNamara, Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii president.

The amendment passes if there is a majority of “yes” votes. Leaving the question blank counts as a “no” vote.

Meanwhile, Hawaii teachers are joining what’s called the “Red for Ed” movement around the country.

In Oklahoma, West Virginia and Arizona, teachers went on strike, using walk-ins and protests to make the community aware of the lack of funding in public schools.

The “Red for Ed” movement in Hawaii is expanding, and teachers across the state expect to hold even more walk-in protests later in October.

Last week, WalletHub released the results of a survey that found Hawaii is the worst place out of the other 49 states and Washington, D.C., to be a public school teacher, because of low salaries as well as what teachers say is a lack of both funding and support in the classroom.

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