Definition. Hawaii educational policies are directives established by the Board of Education to guide the operation of the school system and the public library system. Policies specify what the desired ends are and may be supplemented by reasons as to "why" and "to what extent." Policies broadly indicate the desired results and are narrow enough in scope to provide clear guidance. The administration, guided by policies, establishes regulations to set clear directions for the department and public library system.

Standards for Policy-Setting. All Board policies shall:

1. be explicitly identified as such;
2. be developed for school and/or public library systems operations which need direction and guidance;
3. be capable of implementation and evaluation;
4. be limited to a single topic;
5. be relevant to current and future departmental and public library operations; and
6. be written clearly and concisely so that they may be interpreted without difficulty.

Policy Initiation. Board policies may be initiated by Board members and by the Superintendent and State Librarian, through recommendations to the Board. The Superintendent/State Librarian shall be responsible for informing the Board of policies and changes to existing policies which they believe may be necessary.

Sequence of Policy Development

1. Issue Statement

Any issue brought to the attention of the Board shall be referred by the Board Chairperson to an appropriate standing committee for action. A standing committee shall handle any issue brought to it.

2. Issue Evaluation

Upon agreement by a standing committee that further action on an issue is warranted, it shall study it to develop a common core of knowledge such as (a) the current status of the issue in the State, (b) what research says about the issue, and (c) what other States are doing or have done regarding the issue.

3. Data Gathering

While the standing committee is expanding its knowledge about the issue, the Superintendent, State Librarian and/or Board staff shall gather data the committee needs to formulate its views and policy parameters such as, how many and which students or library patrons the policy will affect and what resources are needed and available for implementation.

4. Public Engagement

The general and education or public library communities shall be engaged meaningfully and comprehensively about the need and purpose of the policy. The information obtained shall be used in developing the policy. The political climate pertinent to the policy shall be evaluated by communicating with the governor and key legislators.

5. Drafting Policy

The committee shall guide the development of the policy, beginning with a statement that reflects the Board’s intent. The Superintendent and/or State Librarian shall be told of the elements of policy language that should be included in the policy. Board staff may coordinate the work. The committee must be notified of any additional elements which should be included in the policy before a draft is brought to the Board.

6. Additional Engagement

After committee approval, the draft shall be sent for consult and confer to the appropriate unions. The draft may also be taken to key constituents and policy partners for further review.

7. Policy Approval

The committee shall approve the policy draft and recommend its approval to the Board. The final language in the policy must be adopted by the Board.

8. Implementation and Oversight

The Superintendent or State Librarian is responsible for the implementation of the Board’s policy. They shall gather data about the status of the policy implementation as well as its impact on students and library customers.

9. Board staff shall keep track of the inventory of policies. Each standing committee shall be responsible for the timely review and evaluation of policies which it developed and recommended to the Board for adoption. The Superintendent or State Librarian shall render appropriate assistance.

Policy Compliance. The Superintendent/State Librarian shall be responsible for assuring that all department/library actions are consistent with Board policy.

Aproved: 9/16/95; Amended: 9/21/00