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Military Housing Offered To Teachers In Effort To Address Retention, High Cost of Living

Ryan Finnerty/HPR
Public school teachers meet with consultants in September on a DOE study that found high cost of living as one of the top challenges in recruiting and retaining teachers.

The Hawaii Department of Education has partnered with Island Palm Communities, a private company that leases military homes, in a new initiative that opens military rental housing to public school teachers.

The department approached the U.S. military during a Joint Venture Education Forum to ask about potential opportunities for teacher housing, according to Cynthia Covell, DOE assistant superintendent of the Office of Talent Management.

In a recent study, the DOE found Hawaii’s high cost of living ranks among the top challenges in retaining and recruiting teachers.

Covell explained that the housing initiative is one of the ways the department plans to tackle those challenges.

“We call it our multi-pronged approach to teacher recruiting and retention. It’s one prong. Housing is tight for everybody that works here in the state,” she said. “Whatever we could do to help them in that area is good for recruiting and retention.”

Any DOE teacher can apply to live in the military housing, which is located at Schofield Barracks.

Rent would cost $2,500 a month for a two-bedroom home and $2,600 for a three-bedroom. The application fee is $35 and the deposit $500.

“These are full homes with garages. They also it covers utilities, and all the amenities on the base. So they get a base access pass, which grants them free entry into the fitness centers,” Covell said. “They can actually shop at the base facilities except for the commissaries.”

She added that single teachers could also share the houses to reduce their rent.

Covell hopes the military base community will help teachers acclimate to Hawaii if they’re from outside of the state.

An open house will be held on Feb. 22 at Mendonca Park in Schofield Barracks from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

More information is available at

Ashley Mizuo
Born and raised on O’ahu, she’s a graduate of ‘Iolani School and has a BA in Journalism and Political Science from Loyola University Chicago and an MA in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.
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