School executives to see pay hike

LIHUE, Kauai — Some school officials are getting a raise thanks to a Hawaii Board of Education decision to an increase of wages.

The decision came out of a Department of Education Superintendent request and will increase pay ranges for the deputy superintendent, assistant superintendents and complex area superintendents.


The new pay range for deputy superintendent will be $155,000 to $180,000 per year, assistant superintendents pay range will be $145,000 to $175,000 per year and complex area superintendents will earn between $135,000 to $170,000 per year.

In a memo dated Sept. 20, Superintendent Christina Kishimoto stated performance management and compensation are two key areas of the department’s talent management strategy.

“To attract and retain skilled executive leaders to carry out the mission and vision of the department, fair and competitive salaries are essential,” she said.

According to DOE communications director Lindsay Chambers, the current median salary of executive level superintendents is $143,760 and their last pay raise was in 2017.

“The deputy superintendent oversees the department’s 15 complex areas and numerous special projects. There are seven assistant superintendents that oversee each HIDOE office,” she said.

Complex area superintendents provide support for all of the schools, k-12, in their complex area and lead the staff at the complex level to provide support for the schools ranging from human resources to response guidance, Chambers said.

In the memo, Kishimoto said that equitable compensation for all department employees is part of the department’s strategic plan and will help support a high-performing culture where all employees are effectively contributing to student success.

“Pay increases need to keep pace with inflation as well as be differentiated based on performance,” she said.

Currently, there are 19 positions, not covered by a collective bargaining unit that would be impacted by the proposed pay increase and will help with future recruitment efforts to fill any potential leadership vacancies within the group.

“Board Policy 500-6 states that the Board shall establish a salary structure that is competitive and commensurate with the duties, responsibilities and authorities of the respective subordinate superintendent positions,” the memo states.


In addition to raises in 2017, superintendents received raises in 2015 and 2016 based on performance and the cost of living.

Contact Bethany Freudenthal (crime, courts and county reporter) at 652-7891 or

  1. Big ideas October 2, 2018 5:51 am

    Yeah – they are doing such a bang up job…..the Hawaii education system is failing everyone – students, parents, community, businesses. Let’s all pay more for this crappy performance.

  2. guest October 2, 2018 8:16 am

    State and County government officials: “we don’t have enough money”. Next action = government workers given pay hike. Officials “we still have no money and must raise taxes”. Next action = increased taxes. The cycle repeats ad nauseum!

    Hawaii voters are we embarrassed yet? At what point is it time for a change of direction?

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