Teachers leaving public school mostly identified their work environment and student behavior as reasons.

Hawaii saw a 12.3% uptick in turnover of public school teachers during the 2021-2022 academic year compared with the school year that began in fall 2017, according to an employment report by the state Department of Education. 

The report also shows that Hawaii’s teachers are resigning at a higher rate than they are retiring, based on numbers from the last five academic years.

In the 2021-2022 school year, 920 teachers resigned while 310 teachers retired. 

The reasons why they leave varies, but the report noted that teachers here pointed to the work environment and student behavior as main factors. 

More aides and service staff are also leaving the state’s public schools.

In the school year 2021-2022, 938 aides and service staff left compared with 780 in the school year 2017-2018. 

Research by RAND also showed higher numbers of school principals are exiting the teacher workforce nationwide.

Hawaii has long grappled with the chronic teacher shortage, while the coronavirus pandemic that began in March 2020 exacerbated the problem

The DOE has 258 public schools serving more than 168,000 students and employs 22,000 teachers, librarians, counselors, educational officers and more.

The department hiring of new teachers has been stagnant. Hawaii hit its highest point in hiring with 1,380 in the school year 2017-2018, which decreased to 1,228 for the school year 2021-2022.

Hawaii was just one of eight states that provided a report of employment figures for comparison, Chalkbeat reported Monday.

Civil Beat’s education reporting is supported by a grant from Chamberlin Family Philanthropy.

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