On Thursday, May 23, 2019, the State Public Charter School Commission moved to appoint the following people to the governing board of Kona Pacific Public Charter School:
- Bryant Ching
- Todd Gettleman
- Zachary Hosler
- David Paoli
- Judy Personius
- Gina Reyes
- Jacquelin Sabin
The Commission reviewed applications from 11 individuals interested in serving on the school’s governing board. Being a member of a governing board of a public charter school is a volunteer, unpaid, position of public trust and fiduciary responsibility to the State of Hawaiʻi. Board members are responsible for ensuring the quality of the school's educational, financial, and organizational plans. Board members must be competent stewards of public funds, and must ensure the school fulfills its public obligations and all terms of its Charter Contract. The appointment of this new governing board follows the Commission’s acceptance of the resignation of the school’s entire governing board on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. The Commission voted to accept their resignation as an alternative to revocation of the school’s charter contract.
What led to the need for this action? Despite working with the governing board on past enrollment discrepancies and other contractual violations, the Commission was notified at the end of 2018, that the school nearly failed to make payroll last July. This raised additional concerns about the school’s financial management which were examined during the public meetings on February 28, 2019 and on March 14, 2019. During these public meetings, other concerns regarding conflicts of interest/ethical issues and actions raising compliance issues for public meetings for governing boards under Hawaii’s Public Charter School Law were discussed. The governing board’s explanations regarding what transpired with respect to its negative bank balance in July of 2018 were not acceptable and as such, the Commission initiated the revocation process. In response to the Commission’s action, the governing board responded to the Notice of Prospect of Revocation, but offered the governing board’s full resignation and requested the Commission reconstitute the governing board as an alternative to revocation and closure of the school.
Under Hawaiʻi State law, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes (“HRS”) §302D-17(d)(2)(B) the Commission may replace the entire governing board if the alternative is the initiation of revocation of the charter school's charter contract, if the governing board opts to resign and requests full reconstitution.
The Commission would like to thank the Kona Pacific School community and all the applicants who stepped forward to serve this community charter school.