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Monday, November 7, 2011
Accountability at Issue: Hearings Set to Discuss Changes to Charter School Laws
By News Release @ 9:13 PM :: 8356 Views :: Hawaii County , Akaka Bill, Energy, Environment

Hawai’i Island’s 13 Public Charter Schools Urge Families, Local School Boards, Community To Attend Briefing On Proposed Changes to Hawai’i Charter School Laws

UPDATE: Briefings Postponed

Sat., Nov. 12, 2011 – 10 am to noon – Waimea School Cafeteria

News Release from Hawaii Island Charter Schools 

Hawai’i Island’s 13 public charter schools are inviting the island’s public education “customers” – including members of public charter school local school boards and families with children in public charter schools as well as educators, public policy makers and interested community members -- to a 2-hour briefing on proposed changes to Hawai’i’s public charter law from 10 a.m. to noon, Sat., Nov. 12, 2011 in Waimea School Cafeteria.

The meeting will review results of the Charter School Governance, Accountability and Authority Task Force, which was created by the 2011 State Legislature to study and make recommendations to the 2012 Legislature on public charter school “governance, accountability and authority.”

Members of the CSGTF include Legislators, public charter school leaders, Board of Education members, and other educational stakeholders who have met over the past four months at the State Capitol.

“This Hawai’i Island briefing is an opportunity to voice our opinions before CSGTF recommendations are submitted to the 2012 Legislature,” said Taffi Wise with the not-for-profit Kanu o ka ‘Āina Learning ‘Ohana (KALO).

“The charter school task force is proposing a complex package of proposals. Understanding them is challenging but extremely important to the almost 10,000 Hawai’i public school students who currently attend one of the 31 public charter schools in the state – 13 of them on Hawai’i Island,” said Wise.

“There has been tremendous growth in Hawai’i public charter school enrollment. It reflects a shift in thinking by families, educators and public policy makers that one educational approach doesn’t meet the needs of all keiki. Public charter schools fill the need to provide a choice of different types of curriculum and teaching strategies such as technology-based learning, Hawaiian cultural practices and traditions, or hands-on, place-based environmental sciences,” said Curtis Muraoka with West Hawai’i Explorations Academy.

“The 2011 Legislature mandated formation of the CSGTF in response to the many challenges– and sometimes, misconceptions – that exist related to Hawai’i’s public charter schools. These include educational and financial accountability, clear transparent governance, and most important to the families and schools, financial equity,” said John R. Colson, CEEO/Principal of Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School. Colson also is a new member of the Charter School Review Panel (CSRP), which is, in effect, the “Board of Education” for public charter schools.

This is the first of four briefings on the CSGTF recommendations.

  • There will be a briefing on O’ahu from 3-5 p.m., Mon., Nov. 14 at the State Capitol Room 309,
  • and from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Thurs., Nov. 17 on Kaua’i at Queen Lili’uokalani Children’s Center in Lihue.
  • There will also be an online webinar for Maui and Moloka’i schools, families and community from 4-6 p.m., Mon., Nov. 21, 2011.

The Hawai’i Charter School Network is helping coordinate task force briefings and some members of the CSGTF are expected to attend.

For more information, go to www.hawaiicharterschools.com. For all CSGTF meeting agendas, minutes and enabling legislation, go to: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/specialcommittee.aspx?comm=csgtf

# # # # #

The 13 Hawai’i Island public charter schools include Connections (Hilo), Hawai’i Academy of Arts & Science (Puna), Innovations (Kona), Ka ‘Umeke Ka’eo (Keaukaha), Kanu o ka ‘Aina (Waimea), Ke Ana La’ahana (Hilo), Ke Kula ‘o Nawahiokalani’opu’u Iki Laboratory (Kea’au), Kona Pacific (Kona), Kua o ka La Public Charter School (Pahoa), Volcano School of Arts & Sciences (Volcano), Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School (Waimea), Waters of Life (Kurtistown), and West Hawai’i Explorations Academy (Kona).

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