BoE Will Re-Do Sup’t Vote—May Have Acted Illegally on Other Executive Hires
SA: …The vote followed an evaluation by the board that was largely favorable though not without some criticisms of the superintendent, on the job since August 2017.
The executive action, said BOE Chairwoman Catherine Payne, drew an alert from state attorneys that the vote did not comply with a state administrative rule on open meetings. After an inquiry from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser editorial staff, Payne on Wednesday said the board will put the matter on its agenda for its Jan. 17 meeting to redo the vote.
Payne also said board members’ past practice has been to handle contractual votes in executive session, adding that they were unaware that the rule, adopted under a statute that since had been revoked, was still in effect.
That enabling statute was part of the body of law when the BOE was an elected board, which converted to an appointed board after passage of a constitutional amendment. However, the administrative rules still must be taken off the books through a transparent process allowing for public comment….
The open-meeting rule as it applies to the BOE should not be struck down at all, of course. Votes on something as consequential as the state’s top education official should be taken openly, and the public needs to have a chance to testify, underscoring that point.
The chairwoman also said the BOE needs to review other past executive-session actions to ascertain whether or not they also should be invalidated….
Recent revelations about the way the DOE tracks its facilities and maintenance costs — given as a $293 million backlog in 2017, but is actually $868 million today — certainly could have played a role.
The board believes Kishimoto “is growing into the kind of leadership we’d like to see,” Payne said and so wanted to encourage her.
This still leaves onlookers scratching their heads wondering why the BOE gave Kishimoto’s predecessor, Kathryn Matayoshi, higher marks — and then her walking papers….
read … Ige should ensure BOE transparency
BoE Secretly Votes to Extend Kishimoto Contract
SA Jan 8, 2019 … The state Board of Education last month voted behind closed doors to extend Superintendent Christina Kishimoto’s contract by one year, but a question has arisen about whether the action was proper.
In a statement issued Monday, the board said it is working with the state Attorney General’s Office “to review our procedures and address a technical issue raised after the meeting to ensure that the necessary administrative rules and protocols were followed.”
It’s unclear what the technical issue is or whether another vote will be needed. But the Dec. 21 contract vote in executive session was consistent with past practices, the statement said.
According to the memo, posted on the state Department of Education’s website, the board determined that Kishimoto’s performance of professional standards and priorities has been “effective” overall. The board rated her “effective” in all areas, except ethical leadership, where it rated her as “highly effective.”…
The memo added that the board would consider an extension of the employment contract. It did not say, however, that the extension had been granted.
Details of the new contract were not immediately available Monday night, according to the department’s communication office.
According to Kishimoto’s original employment contract, she is eligible for incentive bonuses on top of her annual $240,000 base salary. But any performance-based incentive payments cannot exceed a $250,000 salary cap.
The contract calls for annual reviews of performance to determine any incentive payments, which are tied in part to progress made toward goals and objectives in the board and department’s joint strategic plan.
The strategic plan, which spans the duration of Kishimoto’s original contract, from 2017 to 2020, sets out goals for graduating more students, enrolling more graduates in college, retaining more teachers and improving test scores, among other things….
read … Question arises about vote on schools superintendent
CB: The board is waiting for guidance from the state Attorney General’s Office on whether the closed-door vote can stand, Chairwoman Catherine Payne said Monday.
* * * * *
GOVERNOR IGE, BOE CHAIR SET RECORD STRAIGHT ON BOE VOTE TO EXTEND SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT CONTRACT
News Release from Office of the Governor, Jan 10, 2019
HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige met with Board of Education chair Catherine Payne to discuss the vote that was taken in executive session on a one-year contract extension for Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto.
“In the past, the practice of the board has always been to take action on personnel matters in executive session and then to report out. So, we were doing what we thought was the correct procedures,” said Payne.
The statute that prohibited contract votes to be conducted in executive session was rescinded when the BOE became an appointed board. However, the BOE was unaware an administrative rule adopted under the statute still existed.
“We have been consulting with the attorney general and I think there will be some more discussion on that. But whatever the outcome, we have decided that this is something that we are not hesitating to do in public,” Payne said.
“I’ve always stressed that open, transparent government is really important to ensure the general public has faith in the system,” said Gov. Ige. “They are committed. I’ve spoken with the board chair, and she’s open to transparent activities. They were aware that this was past practice, and on a going forward basis, they will be changing it to ensure that the vote can occur in public.”
The BOE will have a public discussion and vote on Kishimoto’s contract extension on Jan. 17, 2019.
Governor David Ige
They are committed. I’ve spoken with the board chair and she’s open to transparent activities. They were aware that this was the past practice, and on a going forward basis they will be changing it to ensure that the vote can occur in public. (:17)
Catherine Payne/BOE Chair
In the past, the practice of the board has always been to take action on personnel matters in executive session and then to report out. So, we were doing what we thought was the correct procedures. (:11)
So now we have an appointed board and they rescinded the law, but the administrative rule is still in existence and it hasn’t been removed. (:09)
We have been consulting with the attorney general I think there will be some more discussion on that. But whatever the outcome, we have decided that this is something that we are not hesitating to do in public. (:13)
Link to b-roll here
Link to soundbites here