University of Hawaii professor emeritus Loretta Krause recently observed
“Hawaii must find new ways to recruit teachers if we are to successfully replace
those who are leaving.” Her recommendation is to “expand the search by
including the international market as a source for highly qualified, experienced
teachers [as] other school districts are already doing.”

Before playing an expensive global hopscotch game in search of public school
teachers to fill our classrooms, maybe we ought to focus the effort closer to

We have right here in the state a humongously large, lavishly funded ($2 billion dollar per year) governmental department that has sucked thousands
of certified teachers out of their classrooms over the years and now has them
driving desks, attending meetings, watching power point presentations,
traveling hither and yon shuffling paper on an endless variety of topics. And what is
the name of this department? Why none other than our very own state
Department of Education.

Who knows? If the DOE bureaucratic rat maze were leaned out, there might
turn out to be a teacher surplus — or at least the means to substantially reduce
the average class size — without spending an extra penny of hard earned tax

Of course this would mean putting the education of children ahead of the
bureaucratic “career” interests of important people.

On second thought, forget it. Professor Krause is probably right. Let’s dump
several million more tax dollars each year on DOE so the position of
assistant superintendent for international teacher recruitment can be created, filled
and an expanded staff of “specialists” hired to oversee the effort.

For those tempted conclude the so called teacher “shortage” is a case of
starving amidst plenty, it pays to remember that DOE is the ultimate self-licking
ice cream cone: There will never be “enough” money to do the job right, so the
only question of importance is how to justify the need for more money.

”’Thomas E. Stuart is a public school teacher in Kapaau, Hawaii, and can be reached via email at:”’

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