KITV4 Island News: “Teachers often end up using their own money to support students,” Protests heard island-wide

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Dozens lined the streets outside McKinley High School Tuesday morning. Their mission — to raise awareness about the lack of public funding, our teacher shortage, their low pay and the need for better schools.

“Our public schools are way underfunded and we need to support them in the classroom with textbooks, supplies, computers. How can you not have a computer in every classroom when 21st century learning requires this, especially in the workforce for today,” said McKinley High Social Studies Teacher Shaun Kamida.

Teachers waved signs in support of the constitutional amendment that will be on the November 6th ballot. If passed, state lawmakers could add a surcharge tax to second homes or investment properties. That money could be used to support our public schools, but opponents argue the amendment is vague and may not guarantee funding will go to schools.

“There’s paint peeling, cracks and things everywhere, but we don’t have enough money to get it fixed. And as far as school supplies go, students need those things and teachers often end up using their own money to support the students,” said Inga Park Okuna, a counselor at Kalihi Uka Elementary.

Protests were also held on the neighbor islands.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association plans on holding more leading up to election day.