STATE OF HAWAII
BOARD OF EDUCATION
GENERAL BUSINESS MEETING
Queen Liliuokalani Building
1390 Miller Street, Room 404
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Catherine Payne, Chairperson
Bruce Voss, Esq.
David Texeira (student representative)
Brian De Lima, Esq., Vice Chairperson
Captain Lyn Hammer (military representative)
Christina Kishimoto, Superintendent
Alison Kunishige, Executive Director
Kenyon Tam, Board Analyst
Regina Pascua, Board Private Secretary
Irina Dana, Secretary
I. Call to Order
The Board of Education (“Board”) General Business Meeting was called to order by Board Chairperson Catherine Payne at 1:46 p.m.
II. *Public Testimony on Board of Education (“Board”) Agenda Items
Board Chairperson Payne called for public testimony. The following people provided oral testimony.
|Evan Anderson||Voyager Public Charter School ||VI.A. Board Action on Finance and Infrastructure recommendation regarding selection of three public school land sites to lease pursuant to Act 155 (Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 302A-1151.1, Pilot program for lease of public school land)||Comment |
|Robert Peters||Public ||VI.B. Board Action on Superintendent’s evaluation for 2018-2019 School Year: mid-year formative assessment and contract term ||Comment|
|Cheri Nakamura ||HE‘E Coalition, Equity group ||VI.B. Board Action on Superintendent’s evaluation for 2018-2019 School Year: mid-year formative assessment and contract term||Comment|
Evan Anderson, Voyager Public Charter School, testified on his concerns regarding the selection of three public school land sites to lease pursuant to Act 155, including the lack of additional funding or facilities for charter schools. He described how charter schools are operating without facilities and noted that charter schools are to be given the right of first refusal for any underutilized Department of Education (“Department”) spaces. He asked the Board to show caution as it considered the Department’s proposal and to keep in mind charter schools that could make immediate use of educational facilities.
Board Chairperson Payne stated that the Board and State Public Charter School Commission are concerned about the issue of facilities for charter schools and noted that this issue would not leave the Board’s view as it moved forward.
Robert Peters, member of the public, testified on his concerns regarding the Superintendent’s mid-year formative assessment and contract term. Peters expressed concern regarding the lack of compliance with administrative rules regarding open meetings, lack of transparency, lack of qualifications, the limiting of public testimony and input, and the time and location of Board meetings. Peters urged the Board to evaluate itself and adopt some of the ideals that he described.
Cheri Nakamura, Equity Coalition, testified on the Superintendent’s mid-year formative assessment and contract term. Nakamura expressed appreciation for the Superintendent’s work on equity and focus on students in special education classrooms. She emphasized the importance of data and noted that the Superintendent’s mid-year formative assessment did not reference the Department’s performance data or Strive HI indicators. Nakamura asked the Board and Department to focus on these indicators and stated that she hoped that this data would inform future evaluations of Superintendents.
Written testimony was also received and provided to the Board Members. The following is a listing of the people that submitted written testimony before the testimony deadline.
|Martha Guinan, Patricia Halagao, Pila Wilson, David Miyashiro, Cheri Nakamura, Paula Adams, Gavin Thorington ||Equity in education advocates that represent the voices of Native Hawaiian, parent, disability, higher education, multilingual, social justice, and education reform communities, HawaiiKidsCAN, HE`E Coalition, Hawaii Afterschool Alliance, Hawaii Appleseed||VI.B. Board Action on Superintendent’s evaluation for 2018-2019 School Year: mid-year formative assessment and contract term||Comment |
III. Approval of Meeting Minutes of December 6, 2018 (General Business Meeting), December 6, 2018 (Special Meeting) ken/Maggie
ACTION: Motion to approve the General Business Meeting minutes and General Business Meeting Executive Session minutes of December 6, 2018, and the Special Meeting minutes and Special Meeting Executive Session minutes of December 6, 2018 (Uemura/Cox). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.
IV. Reports of Board Committees, Board Members, and Superintendent
A. Finance and Infrastructure Committee Report on: (1) Update on the Department of Education’s operating and Capital Improvement Program budget for fiscal biennium years 2019-2021: Executive Branch decisions; (2) Update on Department of Education’s briefing to the Hawaii State Legislature on the Department’s budget request for fiscal biennium years 2019-2021; (3) Update on Department of Education’s Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”) per-pupil expenditure reporting; (4) Update on status of implementation of school impact fee districts: fee collection and status update; (5) Committee Action on recommendation regarding selection of three public school land sites to lease pursuant to Act 155 (Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 302A-1151.1, Pilot program for lease of public school land)
Finance and Infrastructure Committee Chairperson Kenneth Uemura reported that the committee received presentations on the Department’s operating and Capital Improvement Program budget for fiscal biennium years 2019 through 2021, the Department’s briefing to the Legislature on the Department’s budget request for fiscal biennium years 2019 through 2021, the Department’s Every Student Succeed Act per-pupil expenditure reporting, and the status of implementation of school impact fee districts. Committee Chairperson Uemura noted that the committee determined that the Department would provide updates on impact fees on a quarterly basis subject to information that the committee requested. Committee Chairperson Uemura reported that the committee took action on three public school land sites to lease pursuant to Act 155 and would be providing the committee’s recommendation to the Board later in the meeting.
B. Update on Ad Hoc Committee (a permitted interaction group pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 92-2.5(b)(2)) concerning 2019 Legislative Session: informational briefings and Board policy positions
Board Chairperson Payne reported that members of the Ad Hoc Committee attended legislative hearings earlier in the week and noted that the Legislature’s recent informational briefings were long but informative. She noted that it is important for the Department to provide the Legislature with comprehensive updates and highlighted that the Department did just that. Board Chairperson Payne stated that the Department is complex and has many different facets, and the Department needs to continue to work with the Legislature to help it understand how its massive organization works and how it supports students.
Board Member Kili Namau‘u expressed appreciation for the Department’s efforts, testimony, and presentations. She stated that the Department would most likely encounter further challenges and highlighted that the Board would continue to support the Department.
Board Member Bruce Voss stated that the Department and Christina Kishimoto, Superintendent, did a good job highlighting the Department’s progress and summarized that the Legislature’s comments and questions focused on stewardship and justification of requests for funding. He stated that the Board received assurance that the Department would continue to be good stewards with given funds and would continue to justify requests for additional funds.
Board Chairperson Payne summarized discussions regarding pre-kindergarten classrooms and noted that the Department is working on implementing pre-kindergarten classrooms in schools where children do not have access to preschools. She stated that the Department would be working closely with the Executive Office on Early Learning moving forward. Board Chairperson Payne noted that other discussions related to issues Nakamura raised in her testimony, such as gaps in math achievement areas and equity issues. She stated that the Superintendent discussed how the Department is addressing these issues and areas. Board Chairperson Payne detailed that other issues included how much funding the Department is spending in schools versus how much it is spending at the state level. She noted that the Legislature directly asked whether the Department thinks that the public believes that the Department is only spending 6% at the state level and the remainder on schools. Board Chairperson Payne stated that the Department shared evidence in its reports of how much it is spending at different levels, but the Board and Department are not doing a good job communicating this evidence to the public and need to improve on this.
C. Superintendent’s Report: (1) January 2019 Education Update; (2) update on school visits; (3) update on 2017-2020 Department of Education and Board of Education Joint Strategic Plan implementation: Focus on 2018 school year retrospective and looking forward to 2019; (4) update on 2019 Legislative Session
Kishimoto reported that the Department’s January 2019 Education Update is available on its website. She highlighted that Niu Valley Middle School music teacher, Zachary Morita, won a $100,000 grant from Farmers Insurance for his proposal to establish a collaborative competition where students can compete in a classical music setting and receive mentoring from members of the local arts community. Kishimoto stated that the Department is excited about Morita’s work to expand applied learning in music.
Kishimoto reported that she conducted several school site visits with Principal Elton Kinoshita of Lanai High and Elementary School. She noted that retention and recruitment are major challenges for the school, and it is working on creative ways to recruit new teachers. Kishimoto stated that the Department would continue to partner with Hana-Lahainaluna-Lanai-Molokai Complex Area Superintendent Lindsay Ball and Kinoshita to support recruitment and retention efforts. She noted that Lanai High and Elementary School is working to reinstate its career and technical education (“CTE”) program and highlighted that the Department’s recent data shows that 49% of its School Year 2017-2018 graduates completed CTE programs. Kishimoto stated that the Department wants to ensure that all high schools, including those in more isolated areas, have opportunities and access to CTE programs. Kishimoto reported that she visited Lahainaluna High School and highlighted that it is one of the Department’s oldest high schools and has a rich history. Kishimoto stated that Lahainaluna High School has a residential component and noted that residential options in public school systems provide students with unique options. She highlighted that the school provides students with a construction program and further highlighted that students are currently replanting native plants. Kishimoto reported that Dole Middle School recently received a school of distinction award for its work emphasizing college for every student. She highlighted that national visitors attended the ceremony and students participated in a celebration.
Kishimoto reported that the Department provided its biennium budget to the Legislature and discussed reprogramming and repurposing funds in alignment with the Board and Department’s Joint Strategic Plan (“Strategic Plan”). The Department also discussed funding for equity in athletics and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance and further discussed its focus on its capital improvement program budget and its work around strategic planning. Kishimoto stated that the Department’s ask to the Legislature for funding is smaller than in previous years and noted that the Legislature asked the Department questions regarding alignment between its budget, Strategic Plan, and outcomes. Kishimoto stated that students from various districts attended the Legislature’s opening day and noted that the Senate and House provided perspective on the Department’s priority areas. Kishimoto stated that the Legislature raised various topics on opening day, including affordable housing, homelessness, public education, and minimum wage. She stated that the Department would be present and participating in the Governor’s state of the state address to hear the Governor’s perspective on various topics. Kishimoto noted that the legislative process has multiple levels and includes many entities working together.
Kishimoto detailed the Department’s 2018 school year retrospective and highlighted how the Department plans to move forward in 2019. She presented a slideshow that summarized and highlighted work that happened across the state and in various schools, including model language programs, awards, and other distinguishing events.
V. *Public Testimony on Board Agenda Items
Board Chairperson Payne called for public testimony. There was no public testimony at this time.
VI. Action Items
A. Board Action on Finance and Infrastructure recommendation regarding selection of three public school land sites to lease pursuant to Act 155 (Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 302A-1151.1, Pilot program for lease of public school land)
Committee Chairperson Uemura stated that the committee engaged in robust discussion regarding the details surrounding the recommendation of the selection of three public school land sites to lease pursuant to Act 155. He stated that the committee is recommending the selection of three public school land sites for further due diligence and investigation by the Department, including potentially issuing a request for proposal (“RFP”) or request for information (“RFI”). He emphasized that this is not a final selection and noted that the Department needs to hold public hearings prior to a final selection.
ACTION: Motion to approve three sites for further due diligence and investigation by the Department, including issuing an RFP or RFI, as described in the Department’s memorandum dated January 17, 2019; such approval does not constitute final site selection and prior to final site selection, the Board will hold a meeting in any affected community. (Finance and Infrastructure Committee/no second required). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.
B. Board Action on Superintendent’s evaluation for 2018-2019 School Year: mid-year formative assessment and contract term
Board Chairperson Payne stated that the Board identified an administrative rule that highlighted that the Board needs to take action on contracts in public and noted that information in recent news editorials are incorrect. She stated that the Board raised the issue itself; not the Department of the Attorney General. Board Chairperson Payne stated that the Board is still in discussion regarding procedures because the administrative rule is based on a statute that was repealed. Board Chairperson Payne stated that the Board is voluntarily taking a public vote because of a possible procedural issue and explained that the Board was acting in accordance with past practice to conduct personnel matters in executive session.
Board Chairperson Payne stated that statute allows the Board to provide a one-year contract extension for Kishimoto. She detailed that when the Board hired Kishimoto, it gave her a three-year contract. The extension for the existing contract allows for an additional year. One of the major reasons for the Board extending Kishimoto’s contract is to give assurance to communities, the Legislature, and schools that the Board recognizes that there is a lot of work to be done that takes time. She stated that the Board wants continuity of leadership in the school system and to ensure that Kishimoto continues important work. The Board also wants its system to understand and support Kishimoto in her continuation of important work. She stated that this was the thinking behind the Board bringing this forward.
Board Member Margaret Cox stated that she was not present for the last meeting. She stated that Kishimoto is leading the Department in the appropriate direction. Board Member Cox highlighted that Kishimoto is qualified, her focus has been on students, and expressed her unequivocal support for Kishimoto.
Board Member Patricia Bergin stated that when she joined the Board, she told the Governor that she wanted to see things done differently and was concerned that the Department was doing things in the same manner year after year. Board Member Bergin emphasized the importance of innovation and new ideas and stated that the Board found these qualities in Kishimoto. Board Member Bergin agreed with Board Member Cox that the Board and Department need an individual who can lead and take the school system to the next level. Board Member Bergin stated that she is impressed with Kishimoto’s vision and foresight and stated that she is in support of extending Kishimoto’s contract for an additional year. She noted that superintendents come and go rapidly and need to begin to look for new positions if they know that their time is limited. By extending Kishimoto’s contract, the Board can ensure that Kishimoto is able to see her projects come to fruition.
Board Member Bruce Voss stated that he is in support of Kishimoto’s programmatic approach and commitment to equity and access. He stated that he would like to see more tangible progress and complete and accurate financial reporting. Board Member Voss stated that the reality is that major issues, including teacher retention, teacher pay, achievement gaps, and facilities, are long-term problems that will take years of commitment, perseverance, and work to resolve. He stated that it does not serve students well to switch superintendents every three years just because problems are hard and cannot be solved overnight. He stated that he supports extending Kishimoto’s contract based on her current progress, team, passion for student welfare, and commitment to solve long-term problems.
Board Member Nolan Kawano stated that he agrees with Board Members Voss, Cox, and Bergin’s comments regarding Kishimoto’s qualities and progress but stated that he does not support extending a contract based on a mid-year assessment. He stated that from a process standpoint, the Board should extend a contract based on an end-of-the-year evaluation.
Board Member Uemura agreed with Board Member Kawano. He stated that he agrees with other Board Members regarding Kishimoto’s progress but does not agree that the Board should extend contracts during a mid-year assessment.
Board Chairperson Payne stated that the Board rated Kishimoto’s mid-year assessment as “effective” or “highly effective” in different areas and published a summary narrative on its website. She stated that the Board’s overall rating was “effective.” She noted that the Board previously approved a one-year contract extension and needs to revote.
ACTION: Motion to extend Superintendent Christina Kishimoto’s contract term by one year to July 31, 2021 (Cox/Voss). The motion carried with Board Members Bergin, Cox, Namau‘u, Takeno, and Voss voting aye and Board Members Kawano and Uemura voting nay.
VII. Executive Session
A. Briefing on proposed legislation with possible legal implications
The Board did not enter into executive session.
Board Chairperson Payne adjourned the meeting at 2:35 p.m.