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 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. 

Call for Applications and Nominations to Serve on the State Public Charter School Commission

The Board is seeking qualified candidates to serve as members on the Commission. Interested persons should complete and submit this application form with the appropriate attached documents. Organizations or individuals may also use the application form to nominate individuals and submit applications on their behalf, provided that the individual certifies that he or she authorized the submission. The application, a letter of interest or nomination letter, and a resume must be submitted in one email to by the extended deadline of March 27, 2023.

At the Board’s April 20, 2023 general business meeting, a nomination committee will publicly present the names of the final nominees for appointment consideration. At its May 18, 2023 general business meeting, the Board will consider the nominations and make its appointment decisions. Candidates should plan to begin serving on the Commission as of July 1, 2023, if appointed. Contact the Board's office at (808) 586-3334 with any questions. (Updated March 6, 2023)

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 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.

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.

2023 Notice Inviting Applications for Chartering Authority

The Board published a notice inviting applications for chartering authority on its homepage on May 15, 2023. Eligible entities interested in becoming authorizers need to submit an Intent to Apply Packet by 4:30 p.m. HST on June 5, 2023 to as a single PDF file, including any necessary attachments, in accordance this timeline for the 2023 application cycle approved by the Board chairperson. 

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. (May 15, 2023)