ASSOCIATION OF HAWAIIAN CIVIC CLUBS
No. 2017 – 44
URGING THE HAWAI‘I STATE LEGISLATURE TO ENACT A LAW ENSURING THAT ALL PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS HAVE EQUAL ACCESS TO APPROPRIATE EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES AND FOOD SERVICE
WHEREAS, all charter schools in Hawaiʻi are chartered by the State Public Charter School Commission (SPCSC) under the oversight of the Board of Education (BOE) and subject to the operating parameters of the Department of Education (DOE) for facilities and food services; and
WHEREAS, there are two types of charter schools in Hawai‘i, start-up charter schools with no operating facilities and conversion charter schools (for DOE school with facilities); and
WHEREAS, there are 37 charter schools in Hawaiʻi of which over half are committed to Hawaiian epistemology (the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope, the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion); are community designed and controlled, and reflect, respect and embrace ‘ōlelo Hawaiʻi, ‘ike Hawaiʻi, Hawaiian cultural values, philosophies and practices; and
WHEREAS, there are nearly 12,000 charter school students in Hawaiʻi, all of whom should have equal access to appropriate facilities and food subsidies as do all other public school students, but this is currently not the case; and
WHEREAS, the Hawaiʻi Department of Education (DOE) assesses the free and reduced lunch applications of all public school students and determined in the 2016 Title 1 Status Reports that 70% of the student population of Hawaiian charter schools is considered economically disadvantaged and qualifies for federal food subsidies; and
WHEREAS, there are two types of charter schools in Hawaiʻi, start-up charter schools with no kitchen facilities and conversion charter schools with existing DOE kitchen facilities; and
WHEREAS, some charter schools, especially those in rural areas of Hawaiʻi, are denied access to National School Lunch Program subsidies because there are no appropriate United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) certified kitchens besides those existing in DOE public schools; and
WHEREAS, since 2000, the inception of start-up charter schools in Hawaiʻi, the charter school Commission has repeatedly requested the legislature appropriate facilities funding for charter schools but none has been approved; and
WHEREAS, without USDA appropriate kitchens in charter schools, low income families are not able to receive federal free and reduced food subsidies that are provided to all other traditional DOE families; and
WHEREAS, without USDA appropriate kitchens, Hawaiʻi is losing millions of dollars in food subsidies for low income families per year; and,
WHEREAS, although Hawaiʻi charter school statutes, Section 302D, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes, ensures that charter schools and traditional public schools enjoy the same per pupil general funding amounts and access to state and federal financing, or parity in funding, it is ironic that Section 302D-29.5, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes, makes plain that charter schools alone are solely responsible for their facility building costs and maintenance; and
WHEREAS, the lack of appropriate free and reduced food service severely burdens and adversely impacts charter school families as a result of the State’s decision prohibiting students from purchasing USDA lunches under the National School Lunch Program; and
WHEREAS, beginning 2012, the DOE decided that charter schools would no longer have access to the nearest existing DOE food service which effectively resulted in the denial of access to qualified families receiving federal subsidized meals under the USDA National School Lunch Program; and
WHEREAS, the Hawaiʻi State Legislature has the authority and power to enact a law that ensures that all public students have access to appropriate educational facilities and food service.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs at its 58th annual convention in Seattle, Washington, in the malama of ʻIkuwā and the rising of Māhealani, this 4th day of November 2017, urging the Hawaiʻi State Legislature to enact a law ensuring that all public school students have equal access to appropriate educational facilities and food service; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, urge the BOE and DOE of the State of Hawaiʻi to immediately provide school breakfasts and lunches to charter school students who qualify at no additional expense to the school or students, and the State legislature provide equitable facilities support to charter schools; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be transmitted to Chair of the Board of Education, the Executive Director of the Charter School Commission as well as the Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, President of the State Senate, Speaker of the State House of Representatives, Chair of the State Senate Committee on Education, Chair of the State House Committee on Education, Chair of the State Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the State House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources, & Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and all County Mayors.
The undersigned hereby certifies that the foregoing Resolution was duly adopted in the malama of ʻIkuwā and the rising of Māhealani on the 4th day of November 2017, at the 58th Annual Convention of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs in Seattle, Washington.
Annelle C. Amaral, President