Charter Schools

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 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 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 review this application form and complete and submit it with the appropriate attached documents when the application window opens. 

Board Decision on LNCA Charter School Application Appeal

On October 27, 2020, the Board issued a decision on the State Public Charter School Commission's ("Commission") denial of Lima Noeau 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. The full decision is available here.

2020 Notice Inviting Applications for Chartering Authority

The Board published a notice inviting applications for chartering authority on its homepage on May 15, 2020. Eligible entities interested in becoming authorizers needed to submit an Intent to Apply Packet by 4:30 p.m. HST on June 5, 2020 to as a single PDF file, including any necessary attachments, in accordance this timeline for the 2020 application cycle approved by the Board Chairperson. The Board did not receive any Intent to Apply Packets; therefore, the Board will not be running an application cycle in 2020. The Board plans to publish the next notice inviting applications for chartering authority in May 2021.

For more information, see the Board's Application for Chartering Authority to Become a New Charter School Authorizer. (A form for Exhibit 2, the Application Information Sheet, is available here.)

Any applicant who is granted chartering authority by the Board will need to execute this authorizing contract with the Board before operating as an authorizer. (June 8, 2020)