RE: RECONSTITUTION OF KONA PACIFIC PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL GOVERNING BOARD
Aloha kākou, Kona Pacific Public Charter School staff and faculty:
Thank you for your support for public charter school education and your dedication to the students of Kona Pacific Public Charter School.
In Hawaiʻi’s charter school system, the Hawaiʻi State Public Charter School Commission (Commission) is the public agency that is tasked with protecting the interests of the public, parents, and above all students. The Commission takes its responsibility to you as charter school families very seriously.
We want to make sure we keep you informed of the latest news in this developing situation.
Action taken by Commission at its General Meeting on Tuesday, April 30, 2019: The Commission voted to accept the resignation of the entire governing board and reconstitute the entire Governing Board of Kona Pacific Public Charter School, as an alternative to revocation of the school’s charter contract.
Why did the Commission take this action? In response to concerns raised regarding the Governing Board’s management of the financial performance of the school, the Commission was required to act in the best interest of the school, its students, faculty, and staff.
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 Public Charter School Law were discussed. The governing board’s explanations regarding what transpired with respect to the low bank balance these concerns during the March 14, 2019 meeting 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.
For Kona Pacific Public Charter School, the Commission voted to establish a new governing board of seven members, and has initiated an applications process for the selection of new governing board members. In the interim, Commission’s staff will work with Kona Pacific’s administration to maintain and administer the school’s public funds and ensure that school operations are not impacted while the new governing board is being reconstituted.
The Commission is accepting applications for the new governing board until 12:00 PM on May 14. 2019. Applications will be reviewed and seven candidates will be recommended to the new governing board at its general business meeting on May 23, 2019.
For an application to serve on the new Governing Board, or for official information about the school during this transitional time, please visit our website: http://www.chartercommission.h... or call our office at (808) 586-3775 if you have any immediate questions.
As time is of the essence, the Commission is committed to ensuring that Kona Pacific Public Charter School moves forward, especially for students and families who are looking forward to this new school year. With the kōkua of the Kona Pacific school community, other public institutions, and other stakeholders, we look forward to a speedy and positive resolution in the best interest of your children.
Very truly yours,
John Kim, Chairperson & Sione Thompson, Executive Director