Governing Boards FAQs
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.
What is a Charter School Governing Board?
Hawaiʻi Charter School Governing Boards are described in detail in Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes Chapter 302D-12. As detailed in their charter contract with the authorizer, each independent board of a public charter school:
- Is responsible for the financial, organizational, and academic viability of the charter school and implementation of the charter;
- Possesses the independent authority to determine the organization and management of the school, the curriculum and method of the instructional delivery model as outlined in the terms of the charter contract between the authorizer and the school governing board;
- Shall ensure its school complies with the terms of the charter contract between the authorizer and the school;
- 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 Can Serve On a Governing Board?
Governing Board members should:
- 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
- Have backgrounds in work related to financial, education, legal and leadership. Experience in academic management and organizational management, as well as human resource and fundraising are desirable as well.
When identifying potential Governing Board members and in order to complyl related state Ethics guidelines, the charter school Governing Boards must follow HRS 302D-12(a) which states:
- 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 its 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. Notices and agendas also need to be publicly accessible at the board'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 office during regular business hours.