This article was renumbered from Article IX to be Article X by Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978. The former Article X now appears as Article XI.




Section 1. The State shall provide for the establishment, support and control of a statewide system of public schools free from sectarian control, a state university, public libraries and such other educational institutions as may be deemed desirable, including physical facilities therefor. There shall be no discrimination in public educational institutions because of race, religion, sex or ancestry; nor shall public funds be appropriated for the support or benefit of any sectarian or nonsectarian private educational institution, except that proceeds of special purpose revenue bonds authorized or issued under section 12 of Article VII may be appropriated to finance or assist:

1. Not-for-profit corporations that provide early childhood education and care facilities serving the general public; and

2. Not-for-profit private nonsectarian and sectarian elementary schools, secondary schools, colleges and universities. [Ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978; am L 1994, c 280, 4 (HB 2692-94) and election Nov 8, 1994; am HB 2848 (2002) and election Nov 5, 2002]




Regarding proposed constitutional amendment to this section by SB 2922, L 2018, the Hawaii supreme court declared the ballot question invalid on October 19, 2018, SCPW-18-0000733.


Cross References


Admission Act provisions, see 5(f).

Department of education, see 26-12.


Attorney General Opinions


Policy regarding use of buses during release-time religious instruction not prohibited. Att. Gen. Op. 66-24.

Appropriation of public funds for transporting both private and public school children is not invalid. Att. Gen. Op. 67-13. See also Att. Gen. Op. 58-59.

The Church College of Hawaii is a private educational institution and cannot receive an appropriation of public funds. Att. Gen Op. 67-13.

Appropriation of public funds to provide insurance for JPOs at nonpublic schools is precluded. Att. Gen. Op. 73-15.

Department of education may use appropriated funds to contract with private language schools to provide language skills as alternative to enrolling in DOE language courses. Att. Gen. Op. 77-2.

A publicly-funded school voucher program would violate this section. Att. Gen. Op. 03-1.


Case Notes


Mentioned, concerning provision prohibiting use of public funds to aid sectarian schools. 403 U.S. 602, 647.

"Support or benefit" construed; provision prohibits appropriations to provide bus transportation subsidies to nonpublic school students. 51 H. 1, 449 P.2d 130.

First sentence encompasses the selection and location of public schools and university sites. 56 H. 582, 545 P.2d 684.



Previous Vol01_Ch0001-0042F Next