Local charter school faces more money troubles - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local charter school faces more money troubles

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Halau Lokahi Public Charter School is facing a financial shortfall after Kamehameha Schools declined to provide nearly a quarter of a million dollars in funding.

After the school ran out of money last year, Halau Lokahi stopped paying rent and staff wages ended up to be more than $400,000 in debt.

Executive Director of the State Public School Charter Commission Tom Hutton explained that the commission decided to approve a new financial plan for the school for the new school year, but had a few requirements.

"They approved a new financial plan but they required that the leadership of the school be changed, the governing board be replaced, and the principal be replaced," Hutton said.

Kamehameha Schools does their funding through Hoolaki Like, which supports Hawaiian-focused charters, but this time, it didn't come through. 

According to the Star Advertiser, M. Waialeale Sarsona, director of Hoolako Like, explained that when collaborators do not fulfill their responsibilities under their contract with Kamehameha Schools, their eligibility for future funding is jeopardized, as is the case with Halau Lokahi. 

Hutton said one of the first things the commission has asked is for any sourcing of funding from past obligations, and that it be presented in a written document so it's a solid commitment for future funding.

The school is scheduled to report to the State Charter School Commission next week, where the commission will review the school's new plan and determine what action to take.

The school will also explain how it will sustain its operations until June, which currently serves 159 students from kindergarten through 12th grade. 

"It's a big hole to climb out of," Hutton explained. "They have to look very hard at their expenses and you know primarily for this school that is rent and salaries for staff and so those are the things that they've been working very hard with."

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