Officials meet at the Capitol to discuss concerns about operating procedures for the 31 Hawaiʻi charter schools after a report from the state auditorʻs office found improper usage of funds and lack of accountability. Charter schools counter that many of the concerns have already been addressed and follow a nationwide trend of reexamining these alternative forms to education.
- Download a copy of the Performance Audit of the Hawaiʻi Public School Charter System.
- Hālau Kū Māna response to recent media coverage and state audit
Ua ʻākoakoa nā luna nui i kēia lā ma hope o ke kālailai maikaʻi ʻia ʻana o nā kula hoʻāmana he 31 a puni ka Pae ʻĀina o Hawaiʻi no ke kupu ʻana mai o nā nīnūnē o ka hāhai ʻole ʻia o kekahi mau kaʻina i kūpono no ko lākou holomua ʻana.
“Koi ʻia kēia mau kula hoʻāmana e hana a ma ʻō aku o nā kula maʻamau,” wahi a ka Luna Hōʻoia ʻo Marion Higa.
Eia naʻe, no kekahi, ua kō nō ia mau koina nei. “Ma loko naʻe o nā pilikia i helu papa ʻia, ua hoʻolālā mua kēia mau kula hoʻāmana nei i ke ala e hoʻoponopono ai ua mau pilikia nei, a ua hoʻomaka nō lākou i ka hoʻokō,” wahi a Lynn Finnegan no Hawaiʻi Charter School Network.
Akā ma loko o ka nīnūnē i hoʻopuka ʻia ma loko o ia mau hualoaʻa kālailai nei, ua ʻoi aku ka nui o kekahi pilikia e ʻike ʻia nei e nā kula hoʻāmana, keu hoʻi kēia kula nei ʻo Hālau Kū Māna.
“Nui ko’u hopohopo ma muli o ka loa’a ‘ole, ka ‘ike ‘ole, a ‘olelo ‘ole ‘ana ka ha’i ‘ole ‘ana i ka mo’olelo nui,” wahi a Mahina Paishon Duarte, ke poʻokumu ma Hālau Kū Māna.
A me ka nui o nā haumāna e komo ana i kēia mau kula ho’āmana nei, wahi a Mahina, he koʻikoʻi nō ke kākoʻo ʻia o kēia mau kula me ka pūʻulu kālā i hiki iā lākou ke holomua.
“‘A’ole loa’a mākou i ka kāko’o no nā kahua kula, nā hale kula, ‘a’ole like ka loa’a ‘ana o ka pūʻulu kālā me nā kula ʻē aʻe ma ka DOE.”
“ʻAʻole ʻo ke kālā kekahi nīnūnē hou ma waena o nā kula hoʻāmana,” wahi a ke Kenekoa Jill Tokuda, “akā ʻaʻole ia he nīnūnē i nānā ʻia e ka hui hōʻoia.”
Ua hoʻokuleana ʻia kēia hui hōʻoia me ka hoʻoponopono ʻana i ka pilikia o ka loaʻa ʻole o ke alakaʻi kūpono ʻana ma kēia mau kula hoʻāmana nei a no ke Kenekoa Tokuda, ua kūpono paha nō ia.
“I koʻu manaʻo, inā ua hilinaʻi ka poʻe ma loko o ia hui hōʻoia, e hiki nō ana iā mākou ke nānā i kēia pilikia me ke kālā.”
Akā no Lynn ua kūpaʻa ʻo ia ma ke kākoʻo ʻana i kekahi o nā kula hoʻāmana e holomua kūpono ana me ka ʻole o kēia ʻano kōkua. “ʻOiai ua pono e hōʻoia ʻia ia mau kula hoʻāmana nei no kekahi mau kaʻina i nele paha iā lākou, ua hiki nō iā lākou ke holomua ma ke aʻo ʻana ma loko nō o ka paʻakīkī me ka nele o ka pūʻulu kālā iā lākou,”
A ʻaʻohe mea e ālai ana i ka paʻu mau ʻana o kēia mau kula hoʻāmana no ka holomua.
“Pololei, pono makou na kula hoamana e ho’omaika’i iā mākou. ʻO ia ka ʻoiaʻiʻo no nā kula a pau ma ke Aupuni,” wahi a Mahina.
Officials met today at the Capitol to discuss concerns about operating procedures for the 31 Hawaiʻi charter schools after an audit was released.
“When schools get their charters, they’re doing it with a promise to perform with the students as well as or better than regular public schools,” says Hawaiʻi Auditor, Marion Higa.
However, some think that public charter schools’ promises were fulfilled. “When I looked at the recomendations of all the things that they’ve pointed out as red flags, I’ve realized that the charter schools have already put together corrective aciton plans, our community has already embraced that there are some things that we definitely need to make changes on and we’re making those changes,” says Lynn Finnegan from Hawaiʻi Charter School Network.
But for charter schools like Hālau Kū Mana, there are greater concerns.
“I’m just really concerned that the bigger picture is being ignored,” says Mahina Paishon Duarte, principal at Hālau Kū Māna.
And with the increasing number of students attending charter schools, Mahina says funding is indeed critical.
“We donʻt receive funding for facilities or equal funding like other DOE schools.”
“The funding issues has been a historic problem for the charters schools and many advocates,” says Senator Jill Tokuda. “For the task force, we really did not touch the issue of equity and funding.”
The task force was assigned to address the concerns about oversight of charter schools, and according to Senator Tokuda, perhaps it is necessary to move forward.
“I think good and strong accountability, trust in the system and all the players involved is going to put us in a much better place to have a real hard discussion on funding and facilities.”
However, Lynn believe that some charter schools are doing fine without. “I think we just have to remember that charter schools have been blanketed under this audit as not doing best practices or having accounting issues but, I would also say that there’s a great amount of charter schools that have been doing a FANTASTIC job of running their schools without putting into place the many supports that the regular, traditional schools or other schools might have.”
And there is nothing holding these charter schools back from succeeding.
“We do need to continue to improve ourselves. Every school in Hawaiʻi does,” says Mahina.