Charter school task force holds first meeting

Published: Jul. 20, 2011 at 6:57 PM HST
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By Mark Carpenter

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Expect changes in the near future for Hawaii's charter school system.

The newly formed Charter School Governance, Accountability, and Authority Task Force held its first meeting Wednesday at the State Capitol.

Created earlier this month by Gov. Abercrombie, the 11-member group hopes to develop avenues of accountability between the charter school system and government education leaders.

"Wanting to make sure that at the end of the day, we have something concrete that we are able to deliver and that we can make sure that our charter school system has clear lines of accountability and authority, a good governance structure and that we are doing our best by our charter school students really is the most important thing for all of our task force members," said Sen. Jill Tokuda, Co-Chair of the Task Force.

Board of Education chairman Don Horner was optimistic about Wednesday's meeting.

"I personally am an advocate for charter schools. I think it's a very, very strategic weapon in student achievement and there's clearly opportunity for improvement," Horner said. "And I'm very convinced that we're moving in the right direction."

In addition to outlining a governance structure, the task force meeting also discussed a number of objectives including how to designate funding.

"Charter schools are very, very important. At the same time, it's taxpayer dollars, those are our public school students," Tokuda said. "We need to be accountable for all of those areas and hope the task force is able to make some really good recommendations."

The group will be meeting four more times and is required to report a preliminary plan at the start of next year's legislative session.

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