KAAAWA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Parents, students, and faculty from Kaaawa Elementary School are celebrating the Board of Education's unanimous decision to keep the Windward Oahu school open rather than close it and send its students to other schools.
The Department of Education is taking a long detailed look at consolidating schools in order to save money. It considered closing Kaaawa Elementary and splitting its students up sending some to Waiahole Elementary and the rest to Hauula Elementary.
"It would reflect poorly on our education system if we were to close this top performing school and send the students to the two bottom performing schools in the complex area," Brian Walsh, Kaaawa School Community Council Representative told the board before its vote Thursday night.
"Consolidation would close a high performing school, Kaaawa, and negatively impact the receiving schools, Waiahole and or Hauula, by eliminating the programs that these schools have in place to help improve student achievement," said Kaaawa parent Yara Lamadrid-Rose.
The matter was studied by a task force. That task force recommended the school not be closed.
Assistant superintendent Randy Moore, who is in charge of school facilities and support services, told Hawaii News Now the DOE would like to save at least $500,000 if it is going to close a school. Moore said closing Kaaawa Elementary would have saved only "a couple hundred thousand dollars a year plus maybe a hundred thousand dollars worth of fringes."
The board considered the task force's recommendation and the testimony from the community and voted unanimously to keep Kaaawa Elementary open.
The next schools that'll be considered for possible consolidation are Lilioukalani Elementary, which is in the Kalani school complex, and either Koko Head or Kamiloiki elementary schools, which are in the Kaiser complex.