2017 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 0%
Charter Schools Score: 68%
Hawaii has a weak charter school sector that his heavily regulated by the state.
All charter schools in Hawaii are authorized by the State Department of Education which heavily regulates charter schools and makes them follow many regulations that traditional public schools have to follow harming their ability to be innovative. For example, charters in Hawaii are required to use the same collective bargaining agreement that traditional public schools use which drastically limits their autonomy to make staffing decisions.
The Aloha state earned a D in the Center for Education Reform’s newest charter school law rankings primarily due to charter school teachers being subject to the same requirements that public schools face as well as incredibly inequitable funding. The saving grace of Hawaii’s bill is that they have no charter cap.
- Fast Facts
- Law Passed: 1994
- Number of Charters: 34
- Estimated Charter School Enrollment: 10,900 (down 1percent from 2016-17)
- Hawaii does not cap the number of charter schools that can be authorized
- Virtual Charter Schools are permitted
- Charter Schools are allowed to contract with CMOs and EMOs for management support
- Hawaii earned a five out of fifteen points for their authorizers. This is because the only entity in Hawaii that is allowed to authorize charter schools is the Hawaii State Charter School Commission. Other entities such as non-profits and public universities are able to authorize charter schools through applying to the commission (and thus making the commission an über authorizer). As of now, no non-profits or universities have applied to get this power. A unitary authorizer is suboptimal because it limits the variety of schools that operate. Having a diverse group of Charter Schools is the hallmark of a successful charter school environment and having one and only one authorizer ensure that this will not happen. Hawaii’s charter school law allows for appeals of authorizer decisions to the state board of education which does provide a level of recourse against arbitrary authorization decisions.
- Hawaii earned an eleven out of fifteen for growth. This is because Hawaii does not cap the growth of charter schools. espite the lack of caps, the regulatory environment i has led to slow growth in the number of charter schools over the past few years, ultimately harming the overall score.
- Hawaii earned a nine out of twenty for operations. This is because charter schools in Hawaii have a blanket waiver from most regulations from their authorizer (and no local regulations given the state is the authorizer). However, the state commission does regulate charter schools a fair amount especially with regards to finances which limits the ability for charter schools to operate as autonomously as they would potentially like to. Additionally, charter schools are subject to the master collective bargaining agreement for all teachers in Hawaii and all teachers must follow the same certification standards for traditional public schools. This excessive regulation on teacher quality means that charter schools cannot have their own (often higher) standards for teachers which may work better in their school community. Furthermore, charter school teachers have no freedom. Charter reaches in Hawaii subject to the master collective bargaining agreement that covers all public school teachers and they need to follow the same teacher certification standards that public school teachers have. Both of these policies hamstring charters in Hawaii by preventing them from making the personnel decisions that they see fit and thus preventing the best individuals possible from working with students.
Hawaii earned a four out of twenty for funding equity. Funding for charter schools in Hawaii comes from line item expenditures in the state budget which do not guarantee charters equitable or consistent funding. Charters are eligible for all applicable federal funding.
Online Learning Score: 65%
Access and acceptance of online learning is extremely scarce, despite a fairly favorable policy environment. Hawaii continues to plan, implement, and support network infrastructure needs and explore solutions that facilitate personalized, student-centric, and collaborative learning.
Teacher Quality Score: 68%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers D-
Expanding the Pool of Teachers F
Identifying Effective Teachers B-
Retaining Effective Teachers B
Exiting Ineffective Teachers D