Thursday, April 18, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, November 22, 2009
Audit: DoE instructor salaries diverted to "operating expenditure, supplies, and capital items"
By Andrew Walden @ 5:57 PM :: 10284 Views :: Energy, Environment

by Andrew Walden

Hawaii Department of Education Hawaiian Studies instruction statewide has suffered a "decade of decline" as funding for the salaries of "kupuna program" instructors and teaching assistants are diverted to other uses.  The diversion of resources out of the classroom stems from "vague guidelines" and "weak oversight" according to a January, 2008 Audit report prepared by Hawaii State Auditor Marion M. Higa.

The Audit cites the Hawaii Board of Education and the top leadership of the Department of Education for "leaving the program without direction and in decline for more than a decade."

According to the report, $2.8 million allocated to hire instructors and teachers aides under the kupuna program was "instead primarily spent on operating expenditure, supplies, and capital items."

And now the very same DoE claims budget cuts require furlough days.



Read Audit Summary report below and link to full Audit Report >>> HERE.


Management Audit Finds DOE's Hawaiian Studies Program Lacks Accountability, Says There is No Evidence of Effectiveness

By Hawaii State Auditor, January, 2008


We conducted this audit in response to Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 74, Senate Draft 1, of the 2007 legislative session, calling for a financial, program, and management audit of the Hawaiian Studies Program.

We found that the role of the Hawaiian Studies Program, especially its kupuna component, has not been clearly defined and is in need of reevaluation. Lacking accountability for the program’s intended outcomes, the Department of Education is unable to show evidence of its effectiveness. In addition, vague guidelines and weak oversight over the schools that receive the bulk of the Hawaiian Studies funds have allowed resources intended to employ küpuna to be diverted to purposes with little or no connection to a Hawaiian education.

Longstanding stakeholder dissatisfaction with the program—particularly its centerpiece, the kupuna component—can be traced to a lack of leadership and guidance by the Board of Education and the Department of Education in providing direction and focus for the program.

The board and department leadership have accepted unworkable plans and failed to establish a process to determine the effectiveness of küpuna, leaving the program without direction and in decline for more than a decade. The program has also struggled to adapt to changing priorities and strategic directions affecting the entire public school system, such as the federal No Child Left Behind initiative and the State’s Reinventing Education Act of 2004.

On the operational level, a lack of guidance and oversight has permitted schools to receive funding without accounting for predetermined deliverables and even divert funding for unauthorized purposes. We found expenditures for office supplies, computers, and furniture made with program funds that did not meet spending guidelines.

While most of the funding for the Hawaiian Studies Program is intended to provide for the services of küpuna in elementary schools, over 20 schools no longer employ küpuna, but use the funds allocated for kupuna payroll for other purposes with no guidance on achieving comparable outcomes. Our survey of individuals on the department’s kupuna payroll listing indicates that significant numbers of küpuna have concerns about working conditions that differ from guidelines, training, or ongoing support.

Given that $2.8 million provided to schools over the past three years as not used to hire küpuna, and instead primarily spent on operating expenditure, supplies, and capital items, we found that there is a need to review the allocation of these resources and ensure that the küpuna receive sufficient support to be effective. Finally, we found that schools purchase textbooks that have been criticized by Hawaiian stakeholders for culturally inappropriate content, contravening a board policy in the process.

Recommendations and Response

We recommend that the Board of Education reevaluate the State’s compliance effort with the constitutional mandate and the Hawaiian Studies Program’s role in that effort.

The reevaluation should address purpose, expected outcomes, and any needed modifications for the kupuna component; sufficiency of community resources; and the role of School Community Councils in guiding cultural involvement at schools. We also recommend that the Department of Education require and empower the Hawaiian Studies Program administrator to provide better guidance and oversight, including holding schools accountable for the proper use of Hawaiian Studies Program allocations.

Finally, we recommend that the Hawaiian Studies Program administrator clarify fund allocation guidelines for schools to designate kupuna services or programs with equivalent objectives as priority uses for the funds, identify expected outcomes, and provide the oversight necessary to ensure that funds are used as intended.

The board and department responded to a draft of the report, expressing appreciation for the Auditor’s recommendations and their commitment to the program and actions suggested by the report.

For the full report, click here: Hawaiian Schools Audit


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii