S.R. NO.













REQUESTING THE BOARD OF EDUCATION and department of education TO COMPLY IN FULL WITH THE findings and recommendations of the Office of the Auditor's Management Audit of the Department of Education's Hawaiian Studies Program.



     WHEREAS, during the late 1960s and early 1970s, Hawaii experienced a grassroots movement to revitalize the native Hawaiian culture, which also led to demands for Hawaii-oriented courses in Hawaii's public schools and colleges; and


     WHEREAS, at the same time, proponents of the movement acknowledged a risk of losing native knowledge of the Hawaiian language, culture, and history permanently with many traditional kupuna being of advanced age and rapidly dwindling in numbers; which prompted the 1978 Constitutional Convention to propose a Hawaiian Education Program that, upon approval by the voters, became Article X, Section 4, of the Hawaii State Constitution; and


     WHEREAS, Article X, Section 4, of the Hawaii State Constitution states:



     Section 4.  The State shall promote the study of Hawaiian culture, history and language.


     The State shall provide for a Hawaiian education program consisting of language, culture and history in the public schools.  The use of community expertise shall be encouraged as a suitable and essential means in furtherance of the Hawaiian education program." (emphasis added); and


     WHEREAS, the request primarily focused on the program's kupuna component, which employs traditional kupuna (Hawaiian for grandparent or elder) and individuals with knowledge of Hawaiian language and culture to provide educational services to public school children in grades K-6; specifically, the resolution cited concerns relating to:


     (1)  Funding, including allegations that moneys are diverted to purposes not related to Hawaiian studies;


     (2)  Employment conditions of kupuna, including complaints of inappropriate assignments and compensation inconsistencies; and


     (3)  Leadership, oversight, and support, including outdated curriculum and schools lacking the services of kupuna; and


     WHEREAS, the Hawaiian Studies Program is designed to serve all students in grades K-12 and consists of kupuna and makua who, through their teaching and leadership alongside regular teachers, seek to preserve the native language, values, history, and culture of Hawaii with all students; and


     WHEREAS, program activities include support training for regular classroom teachers to incorporate Hawaiian cultural and historical content in a standards-based curriculum; and


     WHEREAS, the Auditor previously issued two reports that covered the Hawaiian Studies Program as part of larger reviews of departmental programs:  Budget Review and Analysis of the Lower Education Program Report (No. 83-10), and Follow-Up Budget Review and Analysis of the Lower Education Program (No. 84-13);


     WHEREAS, in Report No. 83-10, issued three years after the Hawaiian Studies Program's creation, the Auditor found that the program design lacked comprehensiveness and the means to measure its effect and recommended improvements to the program design; and


     WHEREAS, the follow-up Report No. 84-13 a year later reiterated criticism of the program's planning and evaluation design; and


     WHEREAS, in Report No. 84-13, the Auditor noted that the Department held the view that the classroom teacher should be the cornerstone of the program and that Hawaiian concepts should be totally merged into the existing elementary curriculum; and


     WHEREAS, Report No. 84-13 also noted that plans lacked detail on how teachers would be trained to accomplish this goal and the expected program effects; and


     WHEREAS, Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 74, S.D. 1, Regular Session of 2007, requested the Auditor to conduct a financial, program, and management audit of the Department of Education's Hawaiian Studies Program; and


     WHEREAS, in response to Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 74, S.D. 1 (2007), the Auditor filed Report No. 08-02, Management Audit of the Department of Education's Hawaiian Studies Program (January 2008), which reported the following:


     (1)  Absent clear guidance, a realistic implementation plan, and desired outcomes, the kupuna component of the Hawaiian Studies Program has receded from its initial prominent position as the Department of Education's primary response to the Hawaiian education mandate to a far less pivotal role.  In fact, some policy-makers no longer see the component as essential to the compliance effort.  Absent the means to objectively demonstrate the component's effectiveness, the Department relegates kupuna services to school principals without adequate guidance and oversight to ensure that the funds used will produce the desired outcomes.  The Board of Education has been reluctant to assume a leadership role in defining what a Hawaiian education should include, which has been critical of the Department's inability to account for its achievements; and


     (2)  While relying on schools to administer the services of kupuna, the Department has failed to provide the oversight and support needed to ensure that the kupuna services provide value for taxpayer funds.  In addition, the program administrator's appropriation guidelines provide no directions for acceptable equivalent alternative services for schools that do not hire kupuna, resulting in funds being diverted for unauthorized or questionable purposes; and


     WHEREAS, the Management Audit of the Department of Education's Hawaiian Studies Program cited the following as major reasons for the slow deterioration of the Hawaiian Studies K-6 Hawaiian Studies Program:


     (1)  The Board of Education and the Department of Education have failed over twenty plus years to develop a viable program with the necessary goals, objectives, and evaluation components for the K-6 Hawaiian Studies program with supportive curriculum and an evaluation component to measure the desired outcomes of the program;


     (2)  The Board further failed to delineate how the kupuna program with its emphasis on kupuna knowledge and expertise would bring about the desired outcomes for learning the language, culture, and history for the children;


     (3)  The Department of Education's failure to develop goals or objectives for the program resulted in the Department's inability to allocate the funds to the program based on something measurable and concrete or to conduct a meaningful evaluation of the kupuna program and expenditures of kupuna monies;


     (4)  The Department failed to clearly delineate the role of the classroom teacher vis-a-vis the kupuna; and


     (5)  The Department has allowed resources intended to employ kupuna to be diverted to purposes with little or no connection to a Hawaiian education.  The audit found that $2,800,000 is provided to the schools to hire kupuna.  However, the funds are primarily spent on operating expenditure, supplies, and capital items, in direct violation with the Department's spending guidelines; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-sixth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2012, that the Board of Education and the Department of Education are requested to:


     (1)  Allocate resources to develop the fundamental requirements of a viable K-6 educational program with stated goals, objectives, and evaluation measures, including the completion, dissemination, and implementation of a five-year Hawaiian studies strategic plan;


     (2)  Update and revise the Hawaiian studies program and curriculum guides for grades K-6;


     (3)  Monitor the fiscal responsibility of the use of Hawaiian studies funds in the schools;


     (4)  Make a clear statement of the role of kupuna and makua as teachers of the Hawaiian culture and the role of the regular classroom teacher as a true partner in the endeavor;


     (5)  Allocate substantive resources to further kupuna and makua training and educational programs in all aspects of Hawaiian culture so they can impart the knowledge as envisioned by the Hawaii State Constitution for the keiki (children) of Hawaii; and


     (6)  Provide an accounting of all expenditures relating to the implementation of Article X, Section 4, of the Hawaii State Constitution that establishes a Hawaiian education program, and require accounting to be in accordance with the recommendations of the Management Audit of the Department of Education's Hawaiian Studies Program; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Education and Department of Education report its progress on the items listed above to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2013; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Chairperson of the Board of Education, the Superintendent of Education, and the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.









Report Title: 

Hawaiian Studies Program; DOE; Report on Progress