Queen Liliuokalani School's planned closure criticized

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi last week submitted her recommendation to the Board of Education to close 99 year-old Queen Liliuokalani School, but parents and school staff say proper rules were not followed to close the school.

Matayoshi's decision comes after a consolidation study done by the state Department of Education.

Members of the board have the final say in the matter and they will vote on the recommendation after it goes through one or more meetings conducted by the Committee on Administrative Services.

The chairman of the committee, John Penebacker was appointed by BOE chairman Garrett Toguchi. In a letter, Toguchi said Penebacker has "the authority to hold such meetings until (he) believe(s) all relevant discussion has been held...."

Once Matayoshi's recommendation is placed on the agenda for a meetings, the consolidation study will be made public and the public will then be able to testify to the committee.

Parents, staff and community members involved with the elementary school have sent a letter to House Speaker Calvin Say and Rep. Barbara Marumoto asking for their help to get the State Attorney General to render an opinion on the legitimacy of the school's closing study.

"Besides rule-breaking, the DOE has submitted to the Board a report filled with many errors," said parent Jan Bullock, in a letter.

To see the superintendent's 37-page recommendation report, along with the letters from Toguchi to Penebacker and from the acting principal, click here.

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