Charter School Governing Boards
Each Hawaii 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.
What is a governing board?
"Governing board" is defined in Chapter 302D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, as "the independent board of a public charter school that is party to the charter contract with the authorizer that:
Is responsible for the financial, organizational, and academic viability of the charter school and implementation of the charter;
Possess the independent authority to determine the organization and management of the school, the curriculum, and virtual education;
Has the power to negotiate supplemental collective bargaining agreements with exclusive representatives of their employees and is considered the employer of charter school employees for purposes of Chapters 76, 78, and 89; and
Ensures compliance with applicable state and federal laws."
Who serves on the governing board?
With the exception of conversion charter schools that are run by a non-profit organization, almost anyone is allowed to serve on a charter school governing board, although consideration is required for persons who:
Provide the governing board with a diversity of perspective and a level of objectivity that accurately represent the interests of the charter school students and the surrounding community;
Demonstrate an understanding of best practices of non-profit governance; and
Possess strong financial and academic management and oversight abilities, as well as human resource and fundraising experience.
In addition, there are a couple of restrictions to the constitution of governing boards:
No more than one-third of the members of a governing board can be employees or relatives of employees of the charter school under the jurisdiction of that governing board.
No employee or relative of an employee of a charter school may serve as the chair of the governing board of that charter school unless the State Public Charter School Commission grants an exemption based upon a determination that it is in the best interest of the charter school.
Does the Sunshine Law apply to governing boards?
No. Governing boards are exempt from Chapters 91 and 92, HRS. However, governing boards must make available their meeting notices, agendas, and minutes.
Governing boards must make meeting notices and agendas available at least six calendar days before a public meeting on the board's or charter school's website and this website. Notices and agendas also need to be publicly accessible at the board's or the SPCSC's office during regular business hours.
Governing boards are required to make their minutes available within sixty calendar days after the public meeting or five calendar days after the next public meeting, whichever is sooner. The minutes must be posted at a publicly accessible area in the school's office so the minutes are available for review during regular business hours and on the school's website.
How do I contact a charter school's governing board?
Governing boards are required to maintain a list of the current names and contact information of the governing board's members and officers on the board's or charter school's website and this website and in the board's and SPCSC's office during regular business hours.