Measuring Up to the Model



Hawaii

TOTAL SCORE:
140 out of 228

Rank: 21 out of 43

Year Charter School Law Was Enacted:  1994
Estimated Number of Public Charter Schools in 2013-14:  33
Estimated Number of Public Charter School Students in 2013-14:  10,398

Hawaii did not pass any legislation in 2013 that affected its score and ranking.

Hawaii’s score increased from 139 points in 2013 to 140 points this year. The score changed because of further clarification about the specific policies for Component #6 (Transparent Charter Application, Review, and Decisionmaking Processes) and Component #13 (Automatic Exemptions from Many State and District Laws and Regulations).

Its ranking went from #14 to #21. This drop had more to do with the aggressive changes made in other states than with any steps backward in Hawaii.

Hawaii’s law still needs significant improvement in several areas, including beefing up the requirements for charter application, review, and decisionmaking processes; exempting charter schools from collective bargaining agreements; and ensuring equitable operational funding and equitable access to capital funding and facilities.

Do Hawaii's laws align to the model law?

Model Law Component

Matches

Hawaii's Charter Law

Score

1. No Caps

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Hawaii law does not place any caps on charter school growth.

12

1A. No limits are placed on the number of public charter schools or students (and no geographic limits).

1B. If caps exist, adequate room for growth.

N/A

2. A Variety of Public Charter Schools Allowed

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Hawaii law allows new start-ups, public school conversions, and virtual schools.

8

2A. New start-ups.

2B. Public school conversions.

2C. Virtual schools.

3. Multiple Authorizers Available

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Hawaii law creates a state public charter school commission that has statewide authorizing authority. In addition, the law allows accredited public and private postsecondary institutions, county and state agencies, and nonprofits to apply to the state board of education to become an authorizer. Such additional authorizers, however, cannot be approved sooner than July 1, 2014. There are 33 charter schools open in the state.

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3A. The state allows two or more authorizing options (e.g., school districts and a state charter schools commission) for each applicant with direct application to each authorizer.

4. Authorizer & Overall Program Accountability System Required

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Hawaii law includes each element of the model law's authorizer and overall program accountability system.

The law requires the state board of education to provide oversight for all authorizers in the state, with such authorizers (except the state public charter school commission) needing to submit an application to become an authorizer (and if approved receiving an initial six-year authorizing contract). All authorizers must submit annual reports to the state board of education, which in turn must review and determine if the provisions of the authorizing contract are being met. In evaluating the performance of authorizers, the state board of education must apply nationally recognized principles and standards for quality authorizing. Statute provides for a process of non-renewal or revocation of the authorizing contract as needed.

The state board of education must submit an annual report on the overall charter school program to the governor, the legislature, and the public.

12

4A. At least a registration process for local school boards to affirm their interest in chartering to the state.

N/A

4B. Application process for other eligible authorizing entities.

4C. Authorizer submission of annual report, which summarizes the agency’s authorizing activities as well as the performance of its school portfolio.

4D. A regular review process by authorizer oversight body.

4E. Authorizer oversight body with authority to sanction authorizers, including removal of authorizer right to approve schools.

4F. Periodic formal evaluation of overall state charter school program and outcomes.

5. Adequate Authorizer Funding

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Statute states that up to 2% of the state's annual charter school appropriation may be withheld to support the work of the state public charter school commission. However, statute is silent on any financial support for other potential authorizers.

Statute provides clear requirements to publicly report authorizer expenditures, to have separate contracts for any purchased services, and to prohibit authorizers from requiring any specific services purchases from them.

6

5A. Adequate funding from authorizing fees (or other sources).

5B. Guaranteed funding from authorizing fees (or from sources not subject to annual legislative appropriations).

5C. Requirement to publicly report detailed authorizer expenditures.

5D. Separate contract for any services purchased from an authorizer by a school.

5E. Prohibition on authorizers requiring schools to purchase services from them.

6. Transparent Charter Application, Review, and Decisionmaking Processes

weight = 4 | Possible total = 16

Hawaii law provides application elements for all schools and additional application elements specific to conversion schools. It does not provide additional application elements specific to virtual schools, educational service providers, and replications. It also does not require authorizers to issue requests for proposals and does not require a thorough evaluation of each application including an in-person interview and a public meeting.

As part of a state agency, the state public charter school commission is subject to the state sunshine law, which requires all official business be conducted in a public meeting. Statute also requires the commission to clearly identify its reasons in writing for not approving any charter application.

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6A. Application elements for all schools.

6B. Additional application elements specific to conversion schools.

6C. Additional application elements specific to virtual schools.

6D. Additional application elements specific when using educational service providers.

6E. Additional application elements specific to replications.

6F. Authorizer-issued request for proposals (including application requirements and approval criteria).

6G. Thorough evaluation of each application including an in-person interview and a public meeting.

6H. All charter approval or denial decisions made in a public meeting, with authorizers stating reasons for denials in writing.

7. Performance-Based Charter Contracts Required

weight = 4 | Possible total = 16

Hawaii’s law clearly states that the charter is a separate document signed by the governing board and the authorizer that defines the responsibilities of both parties. The law also requires the contract contain a detailed performance framework including every item specifically mentioned in the model law.

The law is silent on the length of the initial charter contract (although it notes that charters can be renewed for additional terms up to five years each time).

There are no specific requirements for charter schools engaged in “virtual education” (as it is called in the law).

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7A. Being created as a separate document from the application and executed by the governing board of the charter school and the authorizer.

7B. Defining the roles, powers, and responsibilities for the school and its authorizer.

7C. Defining academic and operational performance expectations by which the school will be judged, based on a performance framework that includes measures and metrics for, at a minimum, student academic proficiency and growth, achievement gaps, attendance, recurrent enrollment, postsecondary readiness (high schools), financial performance, and board stewardship (including compliance).

7D. Providing an initial term of five operating years (or a longer term with periodic high-stakes reviews.

7E. Including requirements addressing the unique environments of virtual schools, if applicable.

8. Comprehensive Charter School Monitoring and Data Collection Processes

weight = 4 | Possible total = 16

Hawaii law requires each of these model law items within its law:

* The collection and analysis of student outcome data at least annually by authorizers (consistent with the performance framework outlined in the contract).
* Financial accountability for charter schools (e.g., Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, independent annual audit reported to authorizer).
* Authorizer authority to conduct or require oversight activities.
* Authorizer notification to their schools of perceived problems, with opportunities to remedy such problems.
* Authorizer authority to take appropriate corrective actions or exercise sanctions short of revocation.

16

8A. The collection and analysis of student outcome data at least annually by authorizers (consistent with performance framework outlined in the contract).

8B. Financial accountability for charter schools (e.g., Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, independent annual audit reported to authorizer).

8C. Authorizer authority to conduct or require oversight activities.

8D. Annual school performance reports which are made public.

8E. Authorizer notification to their schools of perceived problems, with opportunities to remedy such problems.

8F. Authorizer authority to take appropriate corrective actions or exercise sanctions short of revocation.

9. Clear Processes for Renewal, Nonrenewal, and Revocation Decisions

weight = 4 | Possible total = 16

Hawaii law requires that by September 1, authorizers must issue a performance report and charter contract renewal application guidance to any school whose contract will expire the following year, which must the school’s performance record to date and any weaknesses or concerns that may jeopardize its position in seeking renewal. The law provides charter boards with 30 days to submit any corrections or clarifications for the report. It also requires them to submit their renewal applications by no later than March 1.

The law states clear criteria for renewal and nonrenewal as grounded in the performance framework detailed in the contract. It states that contracts may be renewed for successive five-year terms, although it allows authorizers to vary the terms based on the particular circumstances of the school.

The law allows authorizers to revoke the charter for failure to meet the state student performance standards, fiscal irresponsibility, or serious student or employee health or safety deficiencies. The law requires authorizers to develop revocation and non-renewal processes that provide timely notification and time for reasonable responses. It requires that decisions be made in a public hearing with authorizers stating reasons for non-renewals and revocations in writing. The law requires authorizers to report such actions to the state board of education along with assurances of law compliance.

The law requires authorizers to develop a charter school closure protocol to ensure timely parent notification, orderly student and record transitions, and property and asset disposition.

16

9A. Authorizer must issue school performance renewal reports to schools whose charter will expire the following year.

9B. Schools seeking renewal must apply for it.

9C. Authorizers must issue renewal application guidance that provides an opportunity for schools to augment their performance record and discuss improvements and future plans.

9D. Clear criteria for renewal and nonrenewal/revocation.

9E. Authorizers must ground renewal decisions based on evidence regarding the school’s performance over the term of the charter contract (in accordance with the performance framework set forth in the charter contract).

9F. Authorizer authority to vary length of charter renewal contract terms based on performance or other issues.

9G. Authorizers must provide charter schools with timely notification of potential revocation or non-renewal (including reasons) and reasonable time to respond.

9H. Authorizers must provide charter schools with due process for nonrenewal and revocation decisions (e.g., public hearing, submission of evidence).

9I. All charter renewal, non-renewal, and revocation decisions made in a public meeting, with authorizers stating reasons for non-renewals and revocations in writing.

9J. Authorizers must have school closure protocols to ensure timely parent notification, orderly student and record transitions, and property and asset disposition.

10. Educational Service Providers (ESPs) Allowed

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Hawaii law lacks most of the model law’s provisions for educational service providers.

The law allows all types of educational service providers to operate schools.

The law requires the charter application to detail a governance structure that incorporates a conflict of interest policy, but does not require that existing and potential conflicts of interest between the two entities be disclosed and explained in the charter application.

The law does not require educational service provider information within the charter application, does not require authorizer approval of any performance contracts between schools and educational service providers, or does not ensure that school governing boards operate as entities legally and fiscally independent of any educational service provider.

2

10A. All types of educational service providers (both for-profit and non-profit) explicitly allowed to operate all or parts of schools.

10B. The charter application requires 1) performance data for all current and past schools operated by the ESP, including documentation of academic achievement and (if applicable) school management success; and 2) explanation and evidence of the ESP’s capacity for successful growth while maintaining quality in existing schools.

10C. A performance contract is required between the independent public charter school board and the ESP, setting forth material terms including but not limited to: performance evaluation measures; methods of contract oversight and enforcement by the charter school board; compensation structure and all fees to be paid to the ESP; and conditions for contract renewal and termination.

10D. The material terms of the ESP performance contract must be approved by the authorizer prior to charter approval.

10E. School governing boards operating as entities completely independent of any educational service provider (e.g., must retain independent oversight authority of their charter schools, and cannot give away their authority via contract).

10F. Existing and potential conflicts of interest between the two entities are required to be disclosed and explained in the charter application.

11. Fiscally and Legally Autonomous Schools with Independent Public Charter School Boards

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Hawaii law provides that each charter school's local school board is to be an independent governing body of its charter school and is responsible for the financial, organizational, and academic viability of the charter school and the implementation of the charter, and is the independent authority that determines the organization and management of the school, the curriculum, virtual education, and compliance with applicable federal and state laws.

12

11A. Fiscally autonomous schools (e.g., schools have clear statutory authority to receive and disburse funds, incur debt, and pledge, assign or encumber assets as collateral).

11B. Legally autonomous schools (e.g., schools have clear statutory authority to enter into contracts and leases, sue and be sued in their own names, and acquire real property).

11C. School governing boards created specifically to govern their charter schools.

12. Clear Student Recruitment, Enrollment, and Lottery Procedures

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Hawaii law requires start-up charter schools to provide open enrollment to any student in the state.

The law requires start-up charter schools to select students through a public lottery if capacity is insufficient to enroll all students who have submitted a timely application.

The law allows start-up charter schools to give enrollment preferences for prior year students within chartered schools and siblings of enrolled students enrolled at a charter school.

The law requires conversion charter schools to enroll any student who resides within the school’ former geographic service area for the grades that were in place when the public school converted to a charter school. It also requires conversion charter schools to be subject to the enrollment requirements for start-up charter schools for grades that were not in place when the school converted to a public charter school.

4

12A. Open enrollment to any student in the state.

12B. Lottery requirements.

12C. Required enrollment preferences for previously enrolled students within conversions, prior year students within chartered schools, siblings of enrolled students enrolled at a charter school.

12D. Optional enrollment preference for children of a school’s founders, governing board members, and full-time employees, not exceeding 10% of the school’s total student population.

13. Automatic Exemptions from Many State and District Laws and Regulations

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Hawaii law provides that charter schools are exempt from all state rules and statutes applicable to traditional public schools or districts, except those applying to discriminatory practices, health and safety requirements. In addition, Hawaii law provides that the negotiated master agreements apply to charter school employees unless the exclusive union representatives and the local school board of a charter school enter into supplemental agreements that contain cost and non-cost items to facilitate decentralized decision-making.

Hawaii law does not exempt charter school teachers from state teacher certification requirements.

3

13A. Exemptions from all laws, except those covering health, safety, civil rights, student accountability, employee criminal history checks, open meetings, freedom of information, and generally accepted accounting principles.

13B. Exemption from state teacher certification requirements.

14. Automatic Collective Bargaining Exemption

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Hawaii law provides that the negotiated master agreements apply to charter school employees unless the exclusive union representatives and the local school board of a charter school enter into supplemental agreements that contain cost and non-cost items to facilitate decentralized decision-making. In addition, any person with civil service status in a conversion school retains that status and all privileges and benefits as other civil servants.

3

14A. Charter schools authorized by non-local board authorizers are exempt from participation in any outside collective bargaining agreements.

14B. Charter schools authorized by local boards are exempt from participation in any district collective bargaining agreements.

N/A

15. Multischool Charter Contracts and/or Multicharter Contract Boards Allowed

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Hawaii law allows multiple schools overseen by a single governing board as well as multiple schools under a single charter contract, with all such schools still needing to report their own performance framework data.

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15A. Oversee multiple schools linked under a single contract with independent fiscal and academic accountability for each school.

15B. Hold multiple charter contracts with independent fiscal and academic accountability for each school.

16. Extracurricular and Interscholastic Activities Eligibility and Access

weight = 1 | Possible total = 4

Hawaii law grants charter school students the same opportunity as traditional public schools to participate in sports activities whether it be provided at the charter school or a comparable program at another public school. The law, however, is silent on such rights for employees and on non-sports extra-curricular activities.

3

16A. Laws or regulations explicitly state that charter school students and employees are eligible to participate in all interscholastic leagues, competitions, awards, scholarships, and recognition programs available to non-charter public school students and employees.

16B. Laws or regulations explicitly allow charter school students in schools not providing extra-curricular and interscholastic activities to have access to those activities at non-charter public schools for a fee by a mutual agreement.

17. Clear Identification of Special Education Responsibilities

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Hawaii law provides that the state department of education is responsible for the provision of a free appropriate public education and that any charter school is responsible for providing the educational and related services required by a student’s individualized education program (IEP). If the school cannot provide all of the required services, then the department must provide them as determined by the IEP. The department is to collaborate with the state public charter school commission to develop guidelines related to the provision of special education services and resources to each charter school and may offer staff, funding, or both to the school based on a per-pupil weighted formula used to allocate resources for special education students in all public schools.

The law does not provide clarity regarding funding for low-incident, high-cost services for charter schools in the same amount or in a manner similar to other LEAs.

4

17A. Clarity regarding which entity is the local education agency (LEA) responsible for providing special education services.

17B. Clarity regarding funding for low-incident, high-cost services for charter schools (in the same amount and/or in a manner similar to other LEAs).

18. Equitable Operational Funding and Equal Access to All State and Federal Categorical Funding

weight = 4 | Possible total = 16

The state law includes some of the model law’s provisions for equitable operational and categorical funding, and there is no evidence of the amount of funds charters receive versus districts.

Hawaii provides operational funds to its charter schools via a line item appropriation in the state budget, using a charter schools account as a separate account in the state treasury. The law notes that the non-facility general fund per-pupil funding is to be the same as that allocated for traditional public schools. It also directs the state director of finance to transfer additional general fund money to charter schools as needed. The law also provides that charter schools are eligible for all applicable federal funding.

Although not stated in law, transportation dollars are in the “general funds” category in the state’s budget, and charters receive equal non-facility general fund money.

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18A. Equitable operational funding statutorily driven.

18B. Equal access to all applicable categorical federal and state funding, and clear guidance on the pass-through of such funds.

18C. Funding for transportation similar to school districts.

19. Equitable Access to Capital Funding and Facilities

weight = 4 | Possible total = 16

Hawaii law allows the commission to request facilities funding as part of its annual budget request to the director of finance beginning with fiscal year 2014-15. The legislature is currently not providing funding for facilities costs.

Hawaii law requires the state department of education to make vacant public school facilities available to charter schools.

4

19A. A per-pupil facilities allowance which annually reflects actual average district capital costs.

19B. A state grant program for charter school facilities.

19C. A state loan program for charter school facilities.

19D. Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities or allow charter schools to have their own bonding authority.

19E. A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for public charter school facilities.

19F. Equal access to existing state facilities programs available to non-charter public schools.

19G. Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property.

19H. Prohibition of facility-related requirements stricter than those applied to traditional public schools.

20. Access to Relevant Employee Retirement Systems

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Hawaii law requires charter school employees to be members of the State Pension and Retirement System.

4

20A. Charter schools have access to relevant state retirement systems available to other public schools.

20B. Charter schools have the option to participate (i.e., not required).