Student Achievement Committee Chairperson Patricia Halagao reported that a very productive meeting took place. The Committee received a presentation on competency based education from Committee Vice Chairperson Jim Williams. The Committee received updates on two policies progressing positively and achievement data for students in high needs categories. The Committee took action on the extension of the implementation of Board Policy 305.3 and took action on the Board policies listed. The Committee finished its meeting with a conversation surrounding the Board’s responsibilities regarding charter schools and additional authorizers.
B. Superintendent’s Report: December 2015 Education Update
Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi gave highlights from December 2015 Education Update. Matayoshi reported that Ilima Intermediate held a career day with 27 guest speakers as part of the career readiness initiative. Matayoshi also reported that language for a bill to reauthorize the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (“ESEA”) came out and is fast-tracked to go to the U.S. Senate. There may be a new ESEA by the end of the year. Matayoshi noted that the Department of Education (“Department”) could provide the Board with a presentation on the new ESEA when it becomes law.
Student Achievement Committee Chairperson Halagao reported on the committee’s recommendation to extend the time for the Department to submit an implementation plan for Board Policy, 305.3 Safe Schools.
ACTION: Motion to adopt the Student Achievement Committee’s recommendation to extend the Department’s time to submit an implementation plan for Board Policy 305.3, Safe Schools (Student Achievement Committee/no second required). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.
An additional motion was requested to give future extension approval jurisdiction to the subject Committee Chairperson in consultation with the Board Chairperson.
ACTION: Motion to give extension approval to the subject Committee Chairperson in consultation with the Board Chairperson (Student Achievement Committee/no second required). The motion carried with all members present voting aye.
B. Board Action on Student Achievement Committee recommendation concerning the following Board of Education (“Board”) policies:
|105.9||Fine Arts Program|
|500.8||Accreditation of Schools|
|500.26||New Student Orientation|
ACTION: Motion to approve the Student Achievement Committee’s recommendation to adopt Board Policy 105.9, Fine Arts Program, as shown in the submittal dated December 1, 2015 (Student Achievement Committee/no second required). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.
Student Achievement Committee Chairperson Halagao noted the committee’s additional recommended amendment to Board Policy 500.8 is to substitute “Board” with “Superintendent” in the second sentence.
Board Member Don Horner stated that he is not in favor of the policy because he believes it should apply to charter schools as well.
ACTION: Motion to approve the Student Achievement Committee’s recommendation to adopt Board Policy 500.8, Accreditation of Schools, as shown in the submittal dated December 1, 2015 with an amendment to substitute “Board” with “Superintendent” in the second sentence (Student Achievement Committee/no second required). The motion carried with Asselbaye, Chun, De Lima, Halagao, Cox, Minn, Mizumoto, and Williams voting aye and Horner voting nay.
Student Achievement Committee Chairperson Halagao noted the committee’s additional recommended amendment to Board Policy 500.26 is to add the word “secondary” before the word “schools” in the first paragraph.
ACTION: Motion to approve the Student Achievement Committee’s recommendation to adopt Board Policy 500.26 New Student Orientation, as shown in the submittal dated December 1, 2015 with an amendment to add the word “secondary” before the word “schools” in the first paragraph (Student Achievement Committee/no second required). The motion carried with Asselbaye, Chun, De Lima, Halagao, Horner, Minn, Mizumoto, and Williams voting aye and Cox voting nay.
C. Board Action on Legislative Report: feasibility of sliding fee scale for the After-School Plus (A+) Program
Alison Kunishige, Board Executive Director, presented the budget proviso containing the Board’s reporting requirement concerning a sliding fee scale for the A+ Program. Based on the Department’s recommendation at the Board’s November 17, 2015 general business meeting, the sliding scale will be burdensome and therefore it is recommended that no sliding fees be applied. There is confidence that the fee increase alone should be able to sustain the program.
Board Member Jim Williams voiced his concern about whether the explanation would be sufficient for the Legislature because it lacked detail. Board Chairperson Mizumoto asked if any other information could be provided.
Kunishige informed the Board that the Board office could follow up with legislators to see if they had any questions.
Board Vice Chairperson Brian De Lima stated that he had similar thoughts previously, but the minimum wage increase was the focus of the report administrative burdens that were spoken to were addressed. Board Vice Chairperson De Lima appreciated Kunishige’s willingness to monitor for further questions.
D. ACTION: Motion to adopt Legislative Report: feasibility of sliding fee scale for the After-School Plus (A+) Program (De Lima/Mizumoto). The motion carried with all members present voting aye. Board Action on 2015 Legislative Report: consideration of distribution of funds for electricity expenses to schools
Kunishige presented the budget proviso with specific reporting requirements, including a method to appropriate funds to schools. Currently, there are no funds going directly to the schools for electricity expenses, but the Department has created a work group that will come up with timelines for the project.
Board Vice Chairperson De Lima was not in favor of spending time and money on a work group. He stated that time is a limited resource and there is limited support from principals and cautioned the Department when pursuing this project.
Board Member Williams suggested deleting the last paragraph of the report about the Department initiating a work group. Board Member Williams stated that the Board did not ask them to make a work group.
Board Chairperson Mizumoto stated that the scope of the legislation was beyond the Committee on Weights and agreed it was not a high priority for principals. Board Chairperson Mizumoto agreed the report did not need to have a statement about the work group.
ACTION: Motion to delete last paragraph of 2015 Legislative Report: consideration of distribution of funds for electricity expenses to schools (Williams/Mizumoto). The motion carried with all present members voting aye.
ACTION: Motion to adopt the 2015 Legislative Report: consideration of distribution of funds for electricity expenses to schools, as amended (De Lima/Halagao). The motion carried with all present members voting aye.
E. Board Action on 2015 Legislative Report: annual Board report on the State’s public charter schools in accordance with Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 30D-21
Kunishige presented the Board’s annual charter school report and provided brief highlights. Kunishige stated that the Board is conducting a listening tour and will begin the process of developing administrative rules for multiple authorizers. Kunishige stated that the State Public Charter School Commission (“Commission”) was available to present its report, which feeds into the Board’s annual charter school report, as well as to answer any specific questions.
Commission Chairperson Catherine Payne, Commission Executive Director Thomas Hutton, and Commission Financial Performance Manager Leila Shar presented the Commission’s annual report. Hutton gave brief highlights of the report. Charter schools are performing roughly comparable to the public school sector with four of the ten top performing schools being charter schools according to the Strive HI performance system (“Strive HI”). In regards to organizational performance, the Commission is developing an incremental approach and prioritizing high need areas. Admission and enrollment policies have been a focus as well. The Commission has had more conversations with the Department about interfacing with charter schools and the Commission, and the relationship is better than ever.
Payne thanked the Board for their continued service in public education and reported positive growth in the Department-Charter relationship over the past four years. Payne showed appreciation for the Commission staff and stated that she was impressed with their hard work and dedication. Payne stated that schools need more support and it is frustrating to see deficiencies. She mentioned that charter schools need better resources.
Board Member Horner mentioned a conversation in the Student Achievement Committee Meeting about a controversy over the term “bilateral” in the charter contract and asked Payne to address it. Payne replied that the Commission understands bilateral to mean that there are two parties to the contract and has not interpreted it to mean that every school gets an individually negotiated contract. Board Member Horner asked further questions about the charter contract. Payne noted that the Commission has been engaged with the schools, but added that individually negotiated contracts would require much more oversight.
Board Member Horner asked about the degree to which Strive HI impacts the charter contract. Hutton explained that the academic performance framework measures data differently. If a school has a school-specific measure, then up to 25% of it can count towards the school’s academic performance. Board Member Horner asked if charter schools get credit for accreditation. Hutton clarified that students may still enter college with a diploma from a non-accredited school if they provide additional information. In the charter contract renewal criteria, there are opportunities to highlight things like accreditation. Payne added that she previously consulted a Western Association of Schools and Colleges (“WASC”) commissioner on the matter. The commissioner informed her that accreditation is a process and not an outcome. WASC looks at operations of the school and how a school is vested in improvement for student achievement. Hutton added that the Commission is talking regularly with WASC so that they are not working at cross-purposes.
Board Member Halagao mentioned that she liked the idea of the 25% for school-specific measures and asked why only two schools are implementing it. Payne replied that some schools felt that having another measure to evaluate may not work in their favor. Payne stated that she believed that next round would have more participants. Board Member Halagao expressed her concern that the English language learners showed 0% proficiency for science. Hutton stated that the English language learners population was very small and was not completely sure of the reason for the result.
Board Vice Chairperson De Lima appreciated the attendance of the Commission staff and congratulated them on a good report. Board Vice Chairperson De Lima mentioned that Hawaii Island has many charter schools and hoped the staff would be empathetic to their struggles.
Board Member Williams asked if the audited financial report was presented directly to the Commission. Hutton responded that the draft report was presented to the Commission Chairperson prior to the final version. Board Member Williams noted that typically audits need to be presented by the auditor and the board needs to interact with the auditor directly. Hutton stated that the Commission has not been able to scrutinize it and will do so at a later date.
Board Member Horner asked if the schools had a voice in evaluation of the staff. Hutton replied that the report did not contain materials related to the evaluation of staff, as the contents of the report are instituted and asked for by the Board.
Board Member Hubert Minn recognized the Commission’s difficult job and asked if the schools were asked how the Commission staff is doing and how they can improve. Hutton responded that there was no formalized process but they do not lack input from schools. Board Member Minn stated that it would be good to get their input.
Board Vice Chairperson De Lima inquired about federal funds going to the Commission and having federal and state funds comingled. Shar responded that they are comingled but accounted separately, and the auditor reviewed it an approved.
ACTION: Motion to adopt 2015 Legislative Report: annual Board report on the State’s public charter schools in accordance with Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 302D-21 (Mizumoto/De Lima). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.
Board Chairperson Mizumoto presented the proposed amendments to the Board’s by-laws. Board Chairperson Mizumoto stated having a conversation about the by-laws would be good for new Board members to understand the rationale as to why these provisions exist.
Board Member Williams asked to discuss one proposed amendment at a time.
Board Member Williams agreed that the Board should continue to meet two times a month and leave the Board Chairperson with the power to cancel meetings if there is no business. Board Member Williams stated that the current practice of taking action on items works well. If the Board were to meet only once a month, items would go directly from Committee to Board with no time for process, or the Board would have to wait a month to take action. Board Member Williams stated that it is good to meet twice a month to consider things that need to be addressed immediately.
Board Member Minn concurred with Board Member Williams. Board Member Minn stated that is important for the Board to meet twice a month to be transparent and give the public what they need. Board Member Minn would also like to hold more evening meetings, if funds allowed it, to encourage more public participation.
Board Member Margaret Cox was upset that the Board is not more available to the public and would like to hear from them more. Board Member Cox stated that when the Board travels to neighbor islands, the public wants to speak with them. Board Member Cox was not in favor of meeting less than two days a month.
Board Member Horner stated that in the interest of transparency, the Board should not meet less.
Board Member Halagao stated that having all of the Committee meetings held on one day would not work because of time complications. Board Member Halagao was in favor of keeping two Board meeting days.
Board Chairperson Mizumoto stated that the frequency of the meetings will be kept in the bylaws with no amendment.
Board Member Williams suggested allowing the meeting to be at 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. to allow for flexibility.
Board Chairperson Mizumoto wanted to make sure that the topic was well thought through because the Board will need to hold evening meetings once a quarter.
Board Member Minn stated that the meetings used to start at 7:30 p.m. to accommodate the public. Starting the meeting at 5:00 p.m. gives the public a better opportunity to make it to meetings. He stated that if the meetings were at a set time, it would be easier for the public to remember.
ACTION: Motion to amend the bylaws to change the evening meetings from 5:00 to 4:00 p.m. (Williams/Horner). The motion failed with Mizumoto, Williams, and Chun voting aye and De Lima, Horner, Minn, Cox, and Halagao voting nay.
Board Chairperson Mizumoto stated that an additional $60,000 is in the supplemental budget request for the Board.
Board Vice Chairperson De Lima suggested having the Maui and Kauai meetings because the Board Members can travel there and return home in the same day, and postponing the Hawaii Island trip until July.
Board Member Williams stated that he live with a deferral to January. He stated that the Board has limited funds and can only do what the funding will allow them to. Board Member Williams supports the supplemental budget request to the Legislature because neighbor island meetings are a necessity. He questioned holding a neighbor island meeting when the Board did not have funds to do so; the supplemental budget request would not be justified if the Board could hold neighbor island meetings without the additional funds. Board Member Williams stated that the Board needed to follow bylaws and have provisions that allowed them to do so.
Board Member Minn suggested the Board do what it can with the funds available and give the other islands the same treatment as Oahu by flying all of the Board members over.
Board Vice Chairperson De Lima stated he agreed with the way that Board Member Williams viewed the situation regarding not holding a neighbor island meeting if the funds were not available. However, Board Vice Chairperson De Lima wanted to have a plan for holding meetings during the first and second quarters.
It was agreed that the logistics would be discussed at the next meeting.
G. ACTION: Motion to amend the bylaws to hold neighbor island meetings subject to the availability of funds, as described in the submittal dated December 1, 2015 (Williams/Horner). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.Board Action on adoption of Board general business meeting schedule for 2016 calendar year and discussion concerning community meetings
The Board deferred action on the 2016 meeting schedule to solicit input on possible neighbor island meeting days.
ACTION: Motion to defer action on the adoption of Board general business meeting schedule for 2016 calendar year until the Board’s next meeting (De Lima/Cox). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.
The meeting recessed at 3:30 p.m. and reconvened at 4:49 p.m.
Board Chairperson Mizumoto asked if there was any further public testimony. No further testimony was submitted.