Kanuikapono Public Charter School
Parent(s)/Guardian(s) and Families
RE: UPDATE - RECONSTITUTION OF KANUIKAPONO PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL GOVERNING BOARD
Aloha kākou, parents and families of Kanuikapono Public Charter School students:
Thank you for your continued support for the public charter school education that you have shown by enrolling your student at Kanuikapono Public Charter School.
In Hawaii’s charter school system, the Hawaii State Public Charter School 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, the families, informed of the latest news in this developing situation.
Action taken by Commission at its General Meeting on Thursday, July 19, 2018: the Commission voted unanimously to reconstitute the governing board of Kanuikapono Public Charter School.
Why did the Commission take this action? 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.
What led to the need for this action? 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 (How was the board put together? Who voted for whom? Were those that voted legally able to vote?) and composition (Who can be on the board as required by state law HRS 302D-12?) 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.
Under Hawaii State law, 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 raised concerns about board compliance issues more than two months ago in the hopes that the board and school leadership would remedy the situation on its own without intervention. When it became clear to the Commission that would not happen, the Commission took action to reconstitute the board.
As time is of the essence, the Commission is committed to insuring that Kanuikapono Public Charter School moves forward, especially for students and families who are looking forward to starting the new school year.
For official information about the school during this transitional time, and to help keep you informed of new developments, please visit our website: http://www.chartercommission.hawaii.gov/ or call our office at (808) 586-3775 if you have any immediate questions.
With the kokua of the Kanuikapono school community, other public institutions, and other stakeholders, we look forward to a speedy and positive resolution in the best interest of your children.