FINAL

STATE OF HAWAII
BOARD OF EDUCATION
HUMAN RESOURCES COMMITTEE

MINUTES

Queen Liliuokalani Building
1390 Miller Street, Room 404
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

PRESENT:
Brian De Lima, Esq., Chairperson
Hubert Minn, Vice Chairperson
Patricia Bergin
Margaret Cox
Bruce Voss, Esq.
Jim Williams
Kenneth Uemura, ex officio

EXCUSED:
None

ALSO PRESENT:
Kathryn Matayoshi, Superintendent
Suzanne Mulcahy, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Support
Alison Kunishige, Board Executive Director
Kenyon Tam, Board Analyst
Summer Jenkins


I. Call to Order

The Human Resources Committee (“Committee”) meeting was called to order by Committee Chairperson Brian De Lima at 9:31 a.m.

II. Public Testimony on Committee Agenda Items

Committee Chairperson De Lima called for public testimony. The following people provided oral testimony.

Name
Organization
Agenda Item
Position
PM AzingaHawaii State Teachers Association N/A Shortage of teachersComment
Vanessa Ott Member of the Public IV. B. Committee Action on salary adjustments for DOE Deputy Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents, and Complex Area SuperintendentsComment

Written testimony was received and provided to the Committee. The following is a listing of the people who submitted written testimony before the testimony deadline.

Name
Organization
Agenda Item
Position
David NegaardDepartment of Education
(Maui school)
IV. B. Committee Action on salary adjustments for DOE Deputy Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents, and Complex Area SuperintendentsOppose
Mireille EllsworthDepartment of Education
(Waiakea High School)
IV. B. Committee Action on salary adjustments for DOE Deputy Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents, and Complex Area SuperintendentsOppose
Lisa Morrison Department of Education
(Maui Waena Intermediate)
IV. B. Committee Action on salary adjustments for DOE Deputy Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents, and Complex Area SuperintendentsOppose
Cheryl BurghardtCommunity MemberIV. B. Committee Action on salary adjustments for DOE Deputy Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents, and Complex Area SuperintendentsComment

PM Azinga, community member, testified by telling the story of Betsey Stockton’s voyage in becoming a teacher. Azinga shared an article with information on teacher shortages and noted the value of reestablishing historical times.

Vanessa Ott, community member, testified about the proposed salary adjustments for certain positions within the Department of Education (“Department”) leaders. Ott stated that there is no information available explaining why there are no raises for teachers or recruitments. Ott requested to see the opportunities that are offered to teachers.


III. Approval of Minutes

The Human Resources Committee’s minutes of July 19, 2016 were approved as circulated without objection (Williams/Voss).


IV. Action Items
Suzanne Mulcahy, Assistant Superintendent, Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Support (“OCISS”), presented the Department’s request for approval of the reorganization of OCISS. Mulcahy stated that the Department previously provided an update to the Committee on May 17, 2016 and is returning for final approval.

Mulcahy stated that OCISS had decreased from 215 in the 2012-2013 school year to 149 employees, and the reorganization will help with alignment and a more balanced distribution of resources. Mulcahy highlighted key components of the May 2016 proposal and adjustments from the previous May 2014 proposal. Mulcahy stated that the new proposal has been amended based on feedback from staff via email, informational and formal comments, meetings, and a comment site. Mulcahy will continue to work with OCISS staff following approval by the Board of Education (“Board”). OCISS will preserve the Special Education Section. The Homeless Concerns Office and an English Language Learner/Title III group will be maintained for stronger support to all students. A new Health Section will be established to coordinate policy, school health, and Medicaid reimbursement functions. OCISS will also realign clerical support to better coach and accommodate staff for improved outcomes.

Ex Officio Committee Member Kenneth Uemura pointed out an argument listed against the recommendation in the Department’s memorandum and stated that it appears to be an argument for rather than against the reorganization. Mulcahy verified that the argument is not against the recommendation for reorganization.

Committee Member Jim Williams asked for clarification on the difference between “special needs” and “special education” in the overall summary section of the report. Mulcahy stated that “special needs” refers to other students who do not technically fall under the category of special education.

Committee Chairperson De Lima pointed out that the Special Needs Section specifies supports, such as autism support, but the Special Education Section does not list specific specialties. Committee Chairperson De Lima asked for an explanation. Mulcahy explained that most of the Special Needs Section staff are out in schools providing support. The Special Education Section requires a smaller scope of supervision for improvement.

Committee Vice Chairperson Hubert Minn asked if there are any concerns to be aware of. Mulcahy stated that she is not aware of any concerns but would update the Board if any arose. Committee Vice Chair Minn asked if the Department is exploring the possibility of out-of-state help for special education. Mulcahy explained that she is not involved with teacher recruitment but rather providing supports to schools. Mulcahy stated that OCISS is working to help close the achievement gap by focusing on struggling areas and filling vacant positions.

Committee Member Bruce Voss asked how the reorganization will assist in supporting teachers. Mulcahy stated that OCISS offers an array of services for teachers, including training and professional development. The reorganization will give focus to areas of expertise to teachers in the classroom, give more supports through partnership, and allow for more effective help to students. Committee Member Voss requested that the Department follow-up with teachers and principals on the effectiveness of the reorganization. Committee Vice Chairperson Minn agreed and requested that the follow-up results be presented to the Committee as soon as possible.

Committee Chairperson De Lima stated that OCISS has seen a major reduction of employees in the past several years, and in 2014 the Department presented the need to push positions from state offices to complex offices. Committee Chairperson De Lima stated that the proposal addresses the need to push services out to schools while recognizing the need to support special needs students through the state office. Committee Chairperson De Lima stated that the reorganization allows OCISS to focus on student support and shifts compliance responsibilities to the Office of the Superintendent. The services being delivered at the school level are coming from the complexes, as each school faces different issues, so this reorganization does not focus on OCISS delivering services directly to the classroom. The issues being raised are not a matter of this reorganization but the lack of support and resources to meet needs at the school level. Committee Chairperson De Lima stated he supports the reorganization and the continuing effort to push positions to the complexes to support the schools.

Committee Member Margaret Cox pointed out that with former experience working at the school level, Mulcahy knows where to focus supports. Committee Member Cox stated that there are many examples of support reaching the classroom and that she supports the reorganization.

Committee Member Williams stated that the reorganization is a culmination of more than two years of work. OCISS used to be a hodgepodge of compliance and support functions. The clear delineation of responsibilities will help the morale at OCISS, and special education is getting the attention it deserves. It is a step in the right direction but should not be looked at as an end-all solution.

ACTION: Motion to recommend the Board approve the reorganization of the Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Support, as described in the Department’s memorandum dated August 16, 2016 (Williams/Voss). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.

Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi stated that the proposed salary adjustments are for the 23 Department employees that are not covered by collective bargaining agreements. Matayoshi added that the executive team was difficult to recruit due and there are concerns with turnover in these positions, but the executive team has done impressive work. She offered to share more specific details in executive session.

Committee Chairperson De Lima requested the Committee discuss the matter and take action in regular session but discuss the confidential details in executive session.

Committee Member Cox stated that many Complex Area Superintendents took pay cuts or returned to the school level because of compensation issues. Member Cox stated she understands the reasoning behind the salary adjustments but is not sure if this is the appropriate time to make changes.

Committee Chairperson De Lima stated that the Superintendent is asking for the increases based on a union increase for other employees received in July.

Committee Member Williams explained that employees covered by collective bargaining were recently given increases, but the group of employees before the Committee is governed by Board decisions and not collective bargaining. Committee Member Williams asked for more information about the different positions.

Superintendent Matayoshi explained that educational officers, covered under the collective bargaining agreement with the Hawaii Government Employee Association, received a 4.5% raise on July 1 of the past three years. Teachers received 3.2% increases with an added 1.8% increase. Matayoshi stated that managerial staff linked to bargaining units received increases, but the 23 employees appointed by the Board are excluded and will only receive raises if approved by the Board. Matayoshi stated that the Board allows principals to retain pay when promoted, but when educational officers receive increases, it creates disparity in pay. Matayoshi stated that she is not seeking to pay executive staff more than educational officers but added that it is important to retain some degree of parity for the executive staff.

Committee Member Williams referred to a list of principal and executive staff salaries that were provided as material for executive session discussion and pointed out that the list shows 13 principals make more than the Deputy Superintendent, 20 make more than the Senior Assistant Superintendent, and 70 make more than some Complex Area Superintendents. Committee Member Williams stated that the salaries of the members of the executive team in the middle of what other education officers are paid and encouraged the Department to make the list public to share this context. This is not a situation where managers are paid more than any other employee and the list puts this in perspective.

Ex Officio Committee Member Uemura asked for the percentage increase for educational managers. Matayoshi stated that educational managers received a 4.5% increase. Ex Officio Member Uemura stated that the salary adjustments for the educational leaders should not be across-the-board raises but should be individualized based on staff evaluations. Ex Officio Committee Member Uemura asked where the funding is coming from for the salary adjustments. Matayoshi replied that at the beginning of the year, a 4.5% increase for all employees was forecasted and adequate funding was included in the budget. Ex Officio Committee Member Uemura asked what percentage of the Department’s budget constitutes these salaries. Matayoshi responded that increases for these 23 salaries will be significantly less than 1% of the overall budget. Matayoshi added that she is open to a varied rate increase and stated it would be good to create a process for the upcoming year. Matayoshi stated that there have been attempts to differentiate between complex area and state level positions; however, there is no system in place.

Committee Chairperson De Lima clarified that 1% of the Department’s budget is dedicated to the entire state office and that it is the lowest ratio in the nation.

Committee Member Voss agreed that it is unnecessary to tie the increases to collective bargaining agreements and asked if the raises take into account the 2.4% inflation rate. Matayoshi stated that the focus has been on maintaining executive salaries with respect to the people they supervise. Nationwide figures suggest a 2.35% increase with a 10.2% bonus; however, they do not have the bonus opportunity. Committee Member Voss mentioned testimony about classrooms needing every extra dollar for resources and stated that it may not be an appropriate time for raises. Matayoshi stated that the Department considers testimony seriously, but the supports to schools have increased while resources to state offices have decreased. Matayoshi stated that she wants to recognize the hard work of the executives and keep their salaries in line with those they supervise.

Committee Member Patricia Bergin asked for clarification on why the Complex Area Superintendents do not have a uniform salary. Matayoshi explained that a Board policy allows individuals to retain salaries when moving between positions. High school principals typically come into the position with a higher salary than elementary school principals. The salaries also vary with years of experience. Many principals make more than Complex Area Superintendents and would otherwise have to take a pay cut to take the position. Matayoshi explained that prior to the Board policy, there had been no increase for the Complex Area Superintendent positions in 16 to 17 years.

Committee Chairperson De Lima stated that the situation is a good example of the importance of transparency and how overall optics conflict with the needs of the situation. Committee Chairperson De Lima stated that to provide quality leadership, individuals with leadership skills will have to be promoted. When principals are promoted to complex area positions and then principals receive salary increases, but the complex area positions do not, equity is lost. Committee Chairperson De Lima stated that sometimes the Board needs to do the right thing even if there is a lack of public support. However, it is important to understand that the Department is not receiving full public support because not all of the necessary information has been provided. The executive team is doing great work, but without a scorecard presented, it is hard to view progress. Committee Chairperson De Lima stated that Matayoshi needs to spell out why the raises are well deserved in order for the public to see the connection and importance of maintaining the salaries of these positions.

Committee Vice Chairperson Minn agreed that the increases need to be based on performance evaluations. Matayoshi stated that all evaluations have been completed.

Committee Chairperson De Lima stated that the Committee will go into executive session to discuss specific details and reconvene in public session with information on how to address the issue.

ACTION: Motion to move into executive session to consider the evaluation of an employee for Agenda Item V.A., Committee Action on salary adjustments for the Department’s Deputy Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents, and Complex Area Superintendents (Williams/Voss). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.

The meeting recessed at 10:33 a.m. and reconvened at 11:13 a.m.

Committee Member Williams stated that deferring action does not mean there will be no raises. It is important to make sure there is a reasonable process with the appropriate information to support decisions. The Committee considered requiring more information on position evaluations, a differentiation in raises versus across-the-board raises, and understanding the context and links to collective bargaining. The Committee will ask the Superintendent to reanalyze the process of adjusting salaries and return with a revised recommendation considering feedback from the Committee and public.

ACTION: Motion to defer action on salary adjustments for the Department’s Deputy Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents, and Complex Area Superintendents to be reconsidered and presented at the October 20, 2016 Human Resources Committee Meeting (Voss/Williams). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.


V. Executive Session

ACTION: Motion to move into executive session to consider the evaluation of an employee for Agenda Item V.B., Committee Action on Superintendent’s 2015-2016 evaluation (Williams/Voss). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.

The meeting recessed at 11:16 a.m. and reconvened at 11:45 a.m.


VI. Adjournment

Committee Chairperson De Lima adjourned the meeting at 11:46 a.m.