The OHA Board of Trustees in October approved distributing $3 million directly to Hawaiian-focused charter schools over the next two years, changing the way OHA provides its longstanding support to the schools to maximize the amount of funds that go to the students.
“More than a decade ago, the leaders of the charter school community first came to OHA to ask for our kōkua because of the substantial financial challenges they faced,” said OHA Chair Colette Y. Machado. “Today’s board action represents the continuation of our longstanding commitment to these schools, and most importantly to their keiki.”
“These schools are educating our next generation of Native Hawaiian leaders who will guide our lāhui into the future,” said OHA Chief Executive Officer/Ka Pouhana Kamanaʻopono Crabbe. “Providing more funds directly to these schools and students will help ensure that our alakaʻi (leaders) of tomorrow are grounded in both traditional and western perspectives.”
Since 2006, OHA has provided $18.6 million to support 17 Hawaiian-focused charter schools located throughout the state. These schools provide innovative culture-based education to more than 4,200 students, nearly three quarters of whom are Native Hawaiian. For the last eight years, OHA contracted with a third-party entity to administer OHA’s funds to each of the schools. The third party entity has historically retained a fee to cover the administrative cost related to distributing the funds, and ensuring compliance and reporting from the schools.
The OHA board’s decision today eliminates the use of the third-party entity and directs the OHA administration to directly disburse funds to each of the 17 schools, meaning that the administrative fee will be distributed to the schools. The board approved providing $1.5 million for both this school year and the next.