Charter School Commission Seeking Board Members for a Kaua'i Charter School
The Hawaiʻi State Public Charter School Commission is now accepting applications for persons interested in serving as governing board members of Kanuikapono Public Charter School. Serving on a public charter school governing board is a position of public trust and fiduciary responsibility. Board members are responsible for ensuring the quality of the school’s educational, financial, and organizational plans, they must be competent stewards of public funds, and must ensure the school fulfills its public obligations and all terms of its Charter Contract.
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At its General Meeting on Thursday, July 19, 2018, the Hawaiʻi State Public Charter School Commission voted unanimously to reconstitute the governing board of Kanuikapono Public Charter School. The Commission found that the board was improperly constituted and out of compliance with state law. As a result, the Commission had serious concerns over the purported governing board’s ability to fulfill its responsibilities.
On May 15, 2018, the Commission sent the school’s purported board a notice of concern because they were out of compliance with state law with respect to their governing board and other complaints about the school. The board was asked to submit an action plan to remedy the situation. The board responded by saying they disagreed with compliance breaches but failed to state why and also failed to submit a satisfactory action plan to the Commission.
At the Commission’s July 12, 2018 meeting, the purported board was asked once again to address concerns over the constitution and composition of its new purported board. After further discussions, the Commission gave the purported board another week to address the issues. At the July 19, 2018 meeting, the Commission found the board’s response did not address the matter adequately. The Commission then voted to reconstitute the board.
Pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes (“HRS”) §302D-17(d) the Commission has the authority to take appropriate corrective actions or exercise sanctions short of revocation in response to apparent deficiencies in public charter school performance or legal compliance. Such actions or sanctions may include, if warranted, the reconstitution of the governing board of the charter school. The Commission is able to take such an action when exigent circumstances occur, including circumstances that raise serious doubts about the governing board's ability to fulfill its statutory, contractual, or fiduciary responsibilities.
The law allows the Commission to replace up to, but no more than, the number of governing board members necessary so that the newly appointed members constitute a voting majority in accordance with the governing board's bylaws. For Kanuikapono Public Charter School, its governing board bylaws allow for up to three governing board members. The Commission took action to reconstitute the board after providing the school's personnel and parents with timely notification of the prospect of reconstitution.
The deadline to submit an application for governing board membership is noon, Hawaii Standard Time, on Wednesday, August 8, 2018.