HONOLULU - UPDATE: 

HSTA President Corey Rosenlee announced 98 percent of voters voted yes to ratify the contract. 

That's the final vote from nearly 14,000 public school teachers in Hawaii.

"It's good that they see that the teachers need a raise," Karen Lilly, special education teacher at McKinley High School said.  

Many made a point Thursday afternoon to submit their ballot, including a career counselor visiting from Maui.

"I was really worried I wouldn't get home in time to vote, so I was looking online - where are they voting on Oahu? Which school can I go to?" Jamie Gomer, career counselor said.

It was hard to find any teacher against a contract that would give them a 14 percent boost in pay over four years.

"They gave us a contract that I could feel good voting yes on," Gomer said.  

"At first a lot of people were saying we're missing a few things, but this current contract that we have is way better than what we were originally offered," Shaun Kamida, social studies teacher said. 

The contract will give entry level teachers a starting salary that tops $50,000 a year.

"It starts at such a low rate already, so I think we need to keep the movement going up so we can be just like any other profession," Lilly said.

HSTA says it was $46,000 before. 

"It's really hard, we either have to work two-to-three jobs to make the middle class or have a really decent job which would be in the teaching profession," Lilly said. 

Many educators credit the governor for helping them reach the deal.

"I really think without the governor, we would not have the contract we have here today," Kamida said.

But for many teachers, they say this is just the start. 

"I just feel it's the right movement, the right way of going," Lilly said. 

Some of the other things teachers wanted to see: smaller classroom sizes and a bigger investment toward special education.
 
But the teachers KITV spoke with said there were too many other things to gain to vote no.

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A big vote with the Hawaii State Teachers Association Thursday where teachers are deciding whether to ratify an agreement with the state that would boost their pay over next four years.

The vote started at 3 p.m. and will close at 6 p.m.
     
McKinley High School is just one of 30 schools across the state where educators are casting their votes.
     
The new contract will give teachers about a 14 percent boost in pay over the next four years.
     
The state will also pay a bigger share for healthcare to help with rising premiums.
     
Most teachers KITV spoke with say the deal is good start.

"I just feel it's the right movement, the right way of going, there still needs to be a lot of thought process, increasing the pay because it starts at such a low rate already, so I think we need to keep the movement going up so we can be just like any other profession," Karen Lilly, Special Education Teacher at McKinley High School said. 

Once polls close, each site will report to HSTA Headquarters.
     
Stay with KITV for the results coming up on KITV Island News at 10.