As we continue to deal with the effects COVID-19 is having on our lives, jobs, and the economy as a whole, it’s clear that families, businesses and governments are all going to be faced with tough choices in the weeks and months to come.
At Landed, we are focused on helping educators build financial security through homeownership. We believe that if educators can own homes in the communities where they work, they can feel more financially secure and able to commit to doing the important work they do for their entire career. But homeownership is a dream that is still out of reach for many educators even with a program like Landed, and there is more we need to do to help support the people who lift our communities up.
That’s why Landed is so disappointed to learn that Hawai’i is considering cutting state employee salaries, including the Department of Education employees, by up to 20% in response to massive budget shortfalls related to COVID-19. Hawai’i is a state that already ranked last in the nation in teacher salaries according to a report by Wallethub in 2019. We’ve had the pleasure of supporting dozens of Hawai’i educators in the last year to get on the path to homeownership, but many more are still on the outside of the housing market because they don’t have a high enough income.
Landed stands with the thousands of Department of Education and state employees in Hawai’i who are at risk of seeing major cuts to their pay and benefits. We will continue to serve the public educators in Hawai’i who uphold our communities by helping them get on the path to homeownership. And, we also want to raise the question that so many people are asking right now:
When will we stop cutting salaries for the people who educate our communities? Why aren’t these positions valued and prioritized to match the impact educators have in our communities?
What can be done, right now?
Sarah Diane Milianta-Laffin, a 14-year veteran Hawai’i school teacher with whom Landed works, says, “The big thing we need right now is to mobilize folks to contact Congress and fight against potential pay cuts for teachers. If you could get folks to use this link and show solidarity with us, I’d appreciate it!”
Another way the educators we work with have told us you can help, right now, is to sign this petition on Change.org and share it widely.