OHA AWARDS $1.5 MILLION TO CHARTER SCHOOLS
News Release from OHA August 18, 2014
HONOLULU – Trustees for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs have awarded a $1.5 million grant to charter schools with a special emphasis on Native Hawaiian language, culture and traditions.
The OHA grant is expected over the next year to help the 17 Hawaiian-focused charter schools, which make up the Nā Lei Na'auao, cover expenses from teaching and feeding students as well as transporting them to school.
The OHA grant to the alliance comes at a time when Hawaiian-focused charter schools are scrambling to keep pace with growing enrollment, which climbed this year to 4,224 students from 3,202 students a year ago.
The grant also reflects a top priority at OHA to increase the achievement levels of Native Hawaiian students. Since 2010, OHA’s Board of Trustees has approved $7.5 million in grant money for Hawaiian-focused charter schools.
“Our support for Hawaiian-focused charter schools is one of the best investments we can make in our children’s future,” said OHA Chairperson Colette Machado. “We are extremely encouraged by the efforts of Hawaiian-focused charter schools.”
Meahilahila Kelling, director of Ke Kula ʻo Samuel M. Kamakau, a kindergarten through 12th-grade charter school in Kaneohe, expects the OHA grant to provide the alliance with a much-needed boost in the 2014-2015 school year.
“We are extremely grateful for the continued support of the OHA trustees and staff,” Kelling said. “OHA's continued investment in the Hawaiian focused public charter schools will help us to further our missions and positively impact Native Hawaiian youth.”
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) is a unique, independent state agency established through the Hawai‘i State Constitution and statutes to advocate for the betterment of conditions of all Native Hawaiians, with a Board of Trustees elected by the voters of Hawai‘i. OHA is guided by a vision and mission to ensure the perpetuation of the culture, to protect the entitlements of Native Hawaiians, and to build a strong and healthy Hawaiian people and nation. For more information, visit www.oha.org
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