The Board of Education ("Board") oversees all authorizers in the state as provided by Chapter 302D, Hawaii Revised Statutes ("HRS"), and Chapter 8-515, Hawaii Administrative Rules. Section 302D-1, HRS, defines an authorizer as "an entity established under [Chapter 302D, HRS] with chartering authority to review charter applications, decide whether to approve or deny charter applications, enter into charter contracts with applicants, oversee public charter schools, and decide whether to authorize, renew, deny renewal of, or revoke charter contracts."
The Board appoints the nine volunteer members of the
State Public Charter School Commission ("Commission"), a statutorily established, statewide authorizer with a mission to authorize high-quality charter schools throughout the state. The Board runs an annual application process to identify and appoint qualified candidates interested in serving on the Commission. Interested persons should complete and submit an application when the application window opens.
Landmark Board Decisions on Charter School Appeals
- Appeal No. 20-01: On October 27, 2020, the Board issued a decision on the Commission's denial of Lima No‘eau Career Academy's ("LNCA") charter application. The Board found that: (1) the Commission erred in its finding that LNCA's Intent to Apply Packet was not a charter application; (2) the Commission erred in finding that preventing LNCA's application from proceeding through the rest of the application cycle was not a denial of a charter application; and (3) the Commission erred in denying LNCA's charter application. The Board remanded the Commission's decision denying LNCA's charter application with instructions for further proceedings, including reconsideration of all Intent to Apply Packets that it denied for its 2020 application cycle.
- Appeal No. 23-01: On April 28, 2023, the Board issued a decision on the Commission's denial to renew the charter contract of Kamalani Academy. The Board found that the Commission erred in (1) basing its decision to not renew Kamalani Academy's charter contract on weaknesses, deficiencies, and concerns not raised in the performance report to Kamalani Academy and (2) not clearly stating the material and substantial violations that Kamalani Academy allegedly committed with reasonable specificity in the Commission's written decision. The Board reversed the Commission's decision to not renew Kamalani Academy's charter contract and required the parties to "make their best efforts to execute a renewed charter contract in accordance with law subject to whatever terms and conditions the Commission determines in its sole discretion."
Authorizer Performance Evaluations
The Board holds authorizers accountable to the performance expectations set forth in the Hawai'i Authorizer Performance Evaluation System ("HAPES"). The Board periodically evaluates authorizers using HAPES. Through the Board's oversight of authorizers, charter schools ultimately fall under the authority of the Board.
The Board issued this performance evaluation report on the Commission's performance on January 21, 2022.