HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - During a Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, the state Department of Education provided members with an update on its investigations into alleged employee misconduct.
43 of the DOE's 22,000 workers are currently on department-directed leave or leave pending investigation, according to the DOE. 28 of them are teachers. 12 of the cases started more than a year ago. Some BOE members and other stakeholders believe there should be deadlines on the length of the department's investigations.
"There should be a guideline. There should be a policy. There can always be exemptions requested from a policy or from guidelines," said Darrel Galera, executive director of the Education Institute of Hawaii. "There is usually some kind of timeline that serves as a guideline."
"Each investigation is unique. Investigations in which there are more incidents can take longer, where there are more witnesses can take longer," explained Barbara Krieg, assistant superintendent for the Office of Human Resources. "We're always looking at how we can improve the process to minimize the amount of time that any employee is out on leave, to make sure that investigations are being done as quickly as possible, but also as thoroughly and appropriately as possible."
DOE officials said they have closed 15 cases since late June. Half of the current investigations involve allegations of inappropriate conduct toward students.