A court ruling that held the Hawaii Department of Education underpaid substitute teachers millions of dollars from 2000 to 2005 has been upheld by the state Intermediate Court of Appeals.
Circuit Judge Karen Ahn ruled in 2005 that a 1996 law required the department to pay substitute teachers the same daily rate as “class II teachers.”
The plaintiffs’ lead lawyer, Paul Alston, said the state paid a lesser rate that amounted to a loss of about $3,000 per year for some 5,000 regularly employed substitutes. He estimated the price tag for the state could add up to about $30 million.
The plaintiffs lost on the issue of whether they should be paid interest on the back pay. Mr. Alston said that could have amounted to an additional $10 million.
A version of this article appeared in the November 11, 2009 edition of Education Week as Hawaii Education Department Found to Have Underpaid Substitutes