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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, July 21, 2006

199 teacher vacancies half of 2005's shortfall

 •  School test scores inadequate, again

By Beverly Creamer
Advertiser Education Writer


To reach a recruiting office, call:

On O'ahu: 586-3420

From the Big Island: 974-4000, ext. 63420

From Maui: 984-2400, ext. 63420

From Kaua'i: 274-3141, ext. 63420

From Moloka'i and Lana'i: (800) 468-4644, ext. 63420

From continental U.S. (including Alaska): (800) 305-5104

For information on teaching opportunities or to apply for a position, visit www.doe.k12.hi.us and click on "Jobs."

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With one week to go before the start of the new school year, the Department of Education has filled all but 199 teacher vacancies.

It's one of the lowest number of vacancies the public schools have seen in recent years, especially since the nationwide teacher shortage has made recruitment challenging. A year ago there were still about 400 teachers needed in the last two weeks before classes began.

Department officials earlier pointed to successful recruitment efforts this year on the Mainland, as well as the new Teach For America program that has gone into effect in Hawai'i for the first time, bringing 55 new teachers to difficult-to-fill positions on the Wai'anae Coast and in Leeward O'ahu.

"We're very proud of where we are," said Gerald Okamoto, assistant superintendent in the Office of Human Resources.

"In discussions I've had with my people we feel very confident we'll be able to fill all of them," Okamoto said. Some very remote areas may present problems, and he said "we may have to set up some kind of process to address it. But my people worked very hard to get us into a very favorable position."

State superintendent Patricia Hamamoto asked that teachers still interested in applying for these vacant positions apply through the central hiring office, rather than calling individual schools.

Most vacancies are special-education and math positions located primarily in Leeward O'ahu, the Maui district (Moloka'i, Lana'i and Hana), and on the Big Island.

The teaching workforce includes 13,227 positions, and the vacancies amount to 1.5 percent.

Reach Beverly Creamer at bcreamer@honoluluadvertiser.com.