Frequently Asked Questions

What is a charter school?

In Hawaiʻi, charter schools are public schools, funded on a "per-pupil" allocation separate from the Department of Education. They are state-legislated, legally independent, innovative, outcome-based public schools operating under contract with the State Public Charter School Commission (SPCSC).

How do I enroll my child in a charter school?

Contact the school that you are interested in having your child attend and request information and an application. Charter schools have an enrollment period when parents can submit an application. If the school receives more applications than seats available, they will hold a lottery. Conversion charter schools, which are former DOE district schools, must accept all students who live in its DOE geographic district. This applies to the grades the school served while it was a district school.

Do charter schools have admission requirements?


Do charter schools charge tuition?

No. Charter schools are public schools, and state law explicitly prohibits them from charging tuition.

How can I get my school records if my school has closed?

If you or your child attended Hālau Lōkahi Charter School which closed in 2015, the Commission will work with the former student to fulfill the request. Please click on Transcript Request for more information.

Who oversees charter schools in Hawaiʻi ?

Each Hawaiʻi public charter school is governed by its respective governing board, the independent board that is party to a charter performance contract with the State Public Charter School Commission. The governing board is responsible for the financial, organizational, and academic viability of the charter school and implementation of the charter. The SPCSC, as a charter authorizer, has oversight authority over each governing board. The SPCSC is accountable to the Board of Education.

What is a charter school authorizer?

The Hawaiʻi State Public Charter School Commission(SPCSC) is the only charter school authorizer in the State of Hawaiʻi. Each charter school is directly overseen by its own governing board. Each governing board has a performance contract with the SPCSC. The performance contract describes the responsibilities and requirements, including state and federal laws, of governing boards. The SPCSC holds governing boards accountable to its performance contract. The SPCSC, as a charter authorizer, has oversight authority over each governing board. The SPCSC is accountable to the Board of Education.

How do I start a charter school?

If you are interested in starting a charter school, you must apply to the State Public Charter School Commission, Hawaii's only statewide charter authorizer. For more information, please click here.

What do I do if I have a complaint against a charter school or someone at the school?

First, the principal of the school in question should be contacted and preferably met with. If you would like to take the issue further because you feel that it is still unresolved, contact the school's governing board. Each school should have its governing board's contact information available on their website. If you would like more information on the complaints process, click here.

How can I teach at a charter school?

Each charter school does its own hiring. It is best to contact the school(s) that you are interested in working at directly. Also, many schools post their job openings in the employment opportunities section our website.