According to this story Hawaii’s licensing board was illegally extending licenses, meaning that nearly 4,000 teachers probably don’t meet the federal definition of a highly qualified teacher. Oops.
(Officials with the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board, and apparently the attorney general, dispute the charges.)
The story suggests the state could lose federal funding for this error, if indeed there is one. I doubt that will happen for a couple of reasons. First, the state’s going to need the money to get these teachers properly certified, and second, the U.S. Department of Education, under the Bush administration anyway, usually redistributed withheld federal funds directly to districts. In Hawaii, there’s only one school district, so that plan wouldn’t amount to much.
There’s no question, though, that federal monitors are going to ask for an expedient solution to all of this.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.