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Push to remove cap on state superintendent salary progresses in the House

A bill to remove the salary cap for Hawaiʻi’s public schools’ superintendent and allow the amount to be set by the Board of Education passed out of the House Education Committee this week.

Senate Bill 3207 had originally proposed a new wage cap of $350,000 a year. It was then cut down to $300,000 before being amended to give the responsibility to the state school board.

The board plans to use an independent consulting firm to create compensation recommendations for various Department of Education leadership positions.

Critics of the bill said the superintendent should not be making a higher wage than Gov. Josh Green and that more money should be going toward teachers’ salaries. Green’s salary as governor is roughly $180,000.

Current Superintendent Keith Hayashi earns $240,000 a year. In December, the board deferred a proposal to raise his salary, but approved to expand the criteria used to evaluate him.

The bill is now awaiting a hearing on the House floor.

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