Notice of Prospect of Revocation
At its general meeting on March 14, the Hawaii State Public Charter School Commission voted to issue a “Notice of Prospect of Revocation” of the charter contract with Kona Pacific Public Charter School. On March 18, a letter was mailed to the staff and families of the school, informing them of this decision.
The revocation of the charter contract would result in the closure of the school. The notice is the first step in that process, which will proceed over the next few months.
On March 21, the governing board of KPPCS sent a letter to the commission staff and commissioners expressing the school’s concern that proper legal processes were not followed regarding the commission’s meeting and vote. The text of the letter is below; follow the “more” link for the full text of the letter.
The school will next be responding to the notice itself. In their letter to KPPCS staff and families, the commission listed concerns about various actions taken by Kona Pacific’s staff, director and governing board, as well as former staff, directors and governing boards. The school will be addressing all of the commission’s concerns in its formal response to the Notice of Prospect of Revocation.
To view the Notice of Prospect of Revocation, please see the commission’s website here.
21 March 2019
To: Sione Thompson, Executive Director, SPCSC Commissioners, Hawaii State Public Charter School Commission, 1111 Bishop Street, Suite 516 Honolulu, HI 96813
Dear Mr. Thompson and Commissioners,
We are writing regarding the Commission’s March 14 meeting concerning Kona Pacific Public Charter School and the subsequent March 18, 2019 letter to Kona Pacific Public Charter School’s staff and parents. We respectfully insist that the Hawaii State Public Charter School Commission immediately: a) rescind its letter, b) remove the message on the same subject posted on its web page, and c) rescind its vote to initiate the revocation process of our charter for the following reasons:
First, the Commission posted and promulgated its notice for the March 14, 2019 meeting on March 8, 2019. As you are aware, the Charter School Commission is subject to HRS Chapter 92 – Public Agency Meetings and Records. See HRS 302D-3(a). Per HRS Section 92-7(a), the Commission is required to give written public notice of “any regular, special, emergency, or rescheduled meeting.” The meeting notice “shall include an agenda that lists all of the items to be considered at the forthcoming meeting.” Per HRS Section 92-7(b), the Commission is required to post the meeting notice on its website and its office “[n]o less than six calendar days prior to the meeting.” Per HRS Section 92-7(c), if the notice is posted on the Commission’s website less than six calendar days before the meeting, “the meeting shall be canceled as a matter of law and shall not be held.”
Although the agenda item “Update/Action on Intervention Protocol for Kona Pacific Public Charter School’s Notice of Concern Regarding Public Charter School Contract Violations and Performance Concerns” had been posted in advance of the deadline of six days prior, that meeting notice did not include an agenda that listed all of the items to be considered at the March 14 meeting, which constitutes a violation of HRS Section 92-7(a).
Governing Board Updates on the NOPR
12 April 2019
Aloha KPPCS Staff and Families,
Mahalo for your continued patience as the school works towards the best options for ensuring Kona Pacific Public Charter School will be able to remain open and serve the students and their families.
There has been a lot of misinformation circulating in our small community that is causing a lot of confusion and damage – this type of misinformation is harmful to the school, including adults and children.
Emails have circulated stating that Hawaii State Charter School Commission (Commission) staff have confirmed that if all governing board members resign, the commissioners will take revocation of the school’s charter contact off the table. However, the school’s attorneys have advised that Commission staff may not speak on behalf of the commissioners with regard to matters they have yet to vote upon. Specifically, while Commission staff have referenced HRS Section 302D-17(2)(B), “except that the authorizer may replace the entire governing board if the alternative is the initiation of revocation of the charter school’s charter contract and the governing board opts instead for reconstitution,” it is the commissioners themselves who will be the ones making the decision whether to accept or reject this option. In short, there is no guarantee that if the entire board resigns the NOPR will be rescinded.
The board is continuing to work closely with the school’s attorneys, and is consulting with the Commission staff, in order to achieve the best possible outcome for KPPCS.
Secondly, we would like to provide some extremely important corrections and clarifications. There have been a number of emails and other communications regarding KPPCS’s ESSA report and some of the data contained in that report. The ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) report is a document compiled by the Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) that provides comprehensive data on school and student performance and accountability.
The board has identified at least two areas in which the data on KPPCS’s 2017-18 ESSA report is fundamentally incorrect and has injured the reputation of our school, our teachers, our staff, and the members of the Governing Board. The first is the PPE (per-pupil expenditures), which was reported as being $2,684, far below the PPE for any other school in Hawaii.
This incorrect figure was quoted in widely distributed emails, along with unfounded and defamatory accusations of financial improprieties by board and staff members.
When we promptly investigated this situation, we found that the reason for the low PPE figure in the ESSA was that the school’s administration submitted incorrect data, only reporting the fourth quarter of the year, rather than for the entire year as required. At the direction of the governing board, the school’s administration is now in the process of correcting that figure; the Director reports that the tentative corrected PPE figure is $7,354.
The other incorrect ESSA data point was regarding teacher qualifications, in which KPPCS was identified as having 92% inexperienced teachers, an obviously incorrect figure, as our excellent faculty has many years of experience.
We found that the school administration did not provide this information to the DOE when requested, which resulted in the erroneous figure. The board has also asked the Director to ensure that this figure is corrected, and is continuing to investigate whether there is additional incorrect information that has been provided to the Commission and the DOE.
The board is continuing to move forward with the important task of making plans for the next year. It is very important that while dealing with the tasks at hand, we also look to prepare for the future and ensuring a seamless and smooth transition to the 2019-20 school year. There is currently a hiring committee diligently working towards finding leadership for the next school year.
Thank you for your patience and your support. We will do our best to answer questions and get back to you in a timely manner, but you may not receive immediate responses, as our focus is ensuring KPPCS is here for staff and children, not only next year but for many years to come.
8:00 am – 12:30 pm daily
First through Eighth Grade:
8:00 am – 2:45 pm (M,T,TH,F)
8:00 am – 1:30 pm (W)
The pu blows at 7:55, at which time the children line up for morning protocol. Morning supervision in the recess area begins at 7:30 a.m.
P.O. Box 115
Kealakekua, HI 96750