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Friday, October 20, 2017
UPDATE: OHA Trustees Reject CNHA Grab for Charter School Funds
By Dr Kelii Akina PhD @ 3:59 AM :: 1858 Views :: Education K-12, Ethics, OHA

OHA Board Rebuffs Efforts to Appoint a Middleman for Charter Schools Grant

Trustee Keli‘i Akina praises Board for exercising leadership over finances

UPDATE October 19, 2017: Today the full OHA Board of Trustees gave final approval to the action the Resource Management Committee took last week.  No change. That action was to order that no middleman will be used in the distribution of the funds awarded for 17 Hawaiian focused charter schools over the next two years.  The OHA Trustee Board has ordered its CEO to administer these funds directly to the schools and not to take any portion out of the $3 million over the next two years for overhead, thus providing greater funds for the schools.

PBN Oct 20, 2017: "Kanu o ka ‘Āina Learning ‘Ohana was receiving about $150,000 a year in administrative fees to administer our charter school funds previously."

News Release from Office of Trustee Kelii Akina, October 11, 2017

HONOLULU, HI- The Office of Hawaiian Affairs Resource Management Committee today voted against appointing a middleman to disburse a $3 million grant to Hawaiian focused charter schools over two years.

In a 6-0 vote (Trustees Dan Ahuna, Lei Ahu Isa and Robert Lindsey were excused), the Resource Management Committee opted to instead give the grant funds directly to the charter schools, instead of to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement for administration purposes. Of concern to several Trustees was the fact that OHA Administration had not obtained approval from the Board before awarding the grant to CNHA.

In response to a motion made at today’s meeting to award grant administration to CNHA, the Trustees entertained an amendment to instead have OHA administer the grant in-house so that the funds could go directly to the charter schools.

According to Trustee Akina, “This issue was not about who receives the grant but the fact that the OHA Administration exceeded its authority in communicating a grant award. I commend my fellow Trustees for restoring the proper balance of authority within OHA.”

“It is tragic that the failure to seek Board approval embroiled OHA in a conflict within the Hawaiian community,” Trustee Akina continued. “Personally, I believe OHA owes an apology to CNHA, which has appeared to have acted in good faith. I am saddened that, through no fault of its own, CNHA was caught up in a failure of OHA.

“OHA must now focus on two immediate objectives. First, ensure that grant funds for Hawaiian-focused education are effectively distributed to the charter schools. Second, OHA Trustees must take steps to assert Board leadership over the finances of the organization. Ultimately, steps must be taken to restore the credibility of OHA’s grants administration.”

The RM Committee action will now proceed to the Board of Trustees for ratification on October 19.

#### 

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this news release are the personal views of Trustee Akina and may not reflect the views of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs or its Board of Trustees.

Keliʻi Akina, Ph.D., is a community leader who is known for the phrase he has coined, "E Hana Kākou" - Let's work together! Over the past several years as a public policy adviser at the legislative, congressional and international levels, Dr. Akina’s mission has been to preserve the Aloha Spirit by which native Hawaiians and people of all races are welcomed and encouraged to work together for a better future for all Hawai‘i’s keiki. He is president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a nonprofit, independent public policy think tank.

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HAWAI`I CHARTER SCHOOLS WIN CNHA LOSES AT OHA

From FreeHawaii.Blogspot.com October 12, 2017

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs Resource Management Committee today voted against appointing a middleman to disburse a $3 million grant to Hawaiian focused charter schools over two years.

In a 6-0 vote (Trustees Dan Ahuna, Lei Ahu Isa and Robert Lindsey were excused), the Resource Management Committee opted to instead give the grant funds directly to the charter schools, instead of to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement for administration purposes. Of concern to several Trustees was the fact that OHA Administration had not obtained approval from the Board before awarding the grant to CNHA.

In response to a motion made at today’s meeting to award grant administration to CNHA, the Trustees entertained an amendment to instead have OHA administer the grant in-house so that the funds could go directly to the charter schools.

According to Trustee Akina, “This issue was not about who receives the grant but the fact that the OHA Administration exceeded its authority in communicating a grant award. I commend my fellow Trustees for restoring the proper balance of authority within OHA.”The RM Committee action will now proceed to the Board of Trustees for ratification on October 19.

  *   *   *   *   *

OHA Board approves $3 million to go directly to charter schools

News Release from OHA

HONOLULU (October 19, 2017) – The OHA Board of Trustees today approved distributing $3 million directly to Hawaiian-focused charter schools over the next two years, changing the way OHA provides its longstanding support to the schools to maximize the amount of funds that go to the students.

“More than a decade ago, the leaders of the charter school community first came to OHA to ask for our kōkua because of the substantial financial challenges they faced,” said OHA Chair Colette Y. Machado. “Today’s board action represents the continuation of our longstanding commitment to these schools, and most importantly to their keiki.”

“These schools are educating our next generation of Native Hawaiian leaders who will guide our lāhui into the future,” said OHA Chief Executive Officer/Ka Pouhana Kamanaʻopono Crabbe. “Providing more funds directly to these schools and students will help ensure that our alakaʻi (leaders) of tomorrow are grounded in both traditional and western perspectives.”

Since 2006, OHA has provided $18.6 million to support 17 Hawaiian-focused charter schools located throughout the state. These schools provide innovative culture-based education to more than 4,200 students, nearly three quarters of whom are Native Hawaiian.

For the last eight years, OHA contracted with a third-party entity to administer OHA’s funds to each of the schools. The third party entity has historically retained a fee to cover the administrative cost related to distributing the funds, and ensuring compliance and reporting from the schools.

The OHA board’s decision today eliminates the use of the third-party entity and directs the OHA administration to directly disburse funds to each of the 17 schools, meaning that the administrative fee will be distributed to the schools. The board approved providing $1.5 million for each of this school year and next school year.

The 17 Hawaiian-focused charter schools are:

  • Hakipuʻu Learning Center, Kāneʻohe, Oʻahu
  • Hālau Kū Māna, Makiki, Oʻahu
  • Ka Waihona o ka Naʻauao, Waiʻanae, Oʻahu
  • Kamaile Academy, Waiʻanae, Oʻahu
  • Ke Kula ʻo Samuel M Kamakau, Kāneʻohe, Oʻahu
  • Mālama Hōnua, Waimānalo, Oʻahu
  • Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo, Hilo, Hawaiʻi
  • Kanu o ka ʻĀina, Waimea, Hawaiʻi
  • Ke Ana Laʻahana, Hilo, Hawaiʻi
  • Ke Kula ʻo Nāwahīokalaniopuʻu, Keaʻau, Hawaiʻi
  • Kua o Ka Lā, Pāhoa, Hawaiʻi
  • Waimea Middle School, Waimea, Hawaiʻi
  • Kawaikini, Līhuʻe, Kauaʻi
  • Kanuikapono, Anahola, Kauaʻi
  • Ke Kula Niʻihau o Kekaha, Kekaha, Kauaʻi
  • Kula Aupuni Niʻihau A Kahelelani Aloha, Kekaha, Kauaʻi
  • Kualapuʻu Elementary, Kualapuʻu, Molokaʻi

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