More Than $54 Million Headed to Hawai‘i K-12 Schools to Provide Extra Academic Support for Low Income Students

Today U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that Hawai‘i K-12 schools will receive $54,188,328 in new federal funding for the 2020-2021 school year to support initiatives aimed at helping educate low income students. Authorized under Title I Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the funds will be given directly to local education agencies to provide extra academic support at schools where a disproportionate number of students live in poverty. The funds can be used for teacher professional development, additional teachers, new technology, and academic programs among others.

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz

“This new federal funding means local schools will have more resources for students from low-income families,” said Sen. Schatz. “These funds can help cover the costs of teacher training, new technology, and course materials.”

In Hawai‘i approximately 97,000 public school students are enrolled in Title I schools.

Title I funding is the largest source of federal funding for elementary and secondary education in the country. The grants provide financial assistance to school districts for services that improve the teaching and learning of children at risk of not meeting academic achievement requirements. Based on a variety of factors such as per-pupil expenditures, poverty, and population estimates, Title I Grants are targeted to help students who reside in high concentration areas of children from low-income families. Hawai‘i’s local education agencies expect to receive these funds by July 1, 2020.

This year’s funding is an increase of $2,958,764 from the -2020 school year. The counties and grant fund amounts are as follows:

  • Hawai‘i County: $14,451,796
  • Honolulu County: $32,938,682
  • Kauai County: $1,996,481
  • Maui County: $4,779,116.

In addition, Hawai‘i will receive $22,254.00 in Title I Part D Subpart grants. This funding is distributed to schools with high numbers or percentages of children and youth in locally operated juvenile correctional facilities, including facilities involved in community day programs.

14 Hawaii Public Schools Rewarded With $1 Million for Exceptional Achievement

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) today rewarded 14 public schools with $1 million for exceptional achievement as part of the state’s new Strive HI Performance System.

DOE Release

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii State Board of Education Chairman Don Horner, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and other state officials attended a ceremony at Red Hill Elementary – one of the top-performing schools – to present individual awards ranging from $20,000 to $95,000.

“These exemplary educators, staff, students and their families share a belief and commitment to always Strive HI,” said Governor Abercrombie. “I applaud their resilience and dedication to provide the very best opportunities to all children.”

“We are excited to provide well-deserved recognition and support to help schools continue to excel in preparing students for college and careers,” stated Superintendent Matayoshi. “To get to this point is not easy. Yet these principals and teachers have shown what is possible through a unified effort, hard work and dedication.”

Strive HI, the state’s redesigned school accountability and performance system, measures key success indicators and provides rewards to “Recognition” schools – those demonstrating the highest progress toward raising student achievement, graduation rates, and closing the achievement gap.

Notably, more than half, or nine of the state’s 14 “Recognition” schools are Title I, meaning they overcame challenges associated with serving a large number of disadvantaged children from low-income families. Red Hill Elementary is one of the Title I schools that worked with its community to focus on intervention programs for student success.

“Our hardworking teachers’ dedication and commitment to our students are why we are able to celebrate today,” said Red Hill Elementary Principal Mona Smoot. “These funds will play a critical role in allowing schools such as ours to continue to focus on student success and to align our school to common core state standards.”

Award funds must support initiatives to sustain success such as professional development, investments in technology, musical instruments, science lab and equipment, among other improvement strategies.

The 14 “Recognition” schools and their awards are:

Highest Performance and High Progress ($95,000 each)

· Ahuimanu Elementary
· Red Hill Elementary
· Waters of Life Public Charter School

Highest Performance ($75,000 each)

· E.B. de Silva Elementary
· Hickam Elementary
· Hokulani Elementary
· Lanakila Elementary
· Liholiho Elementary
· Manoa Elementary
· Maunaloa Elementary
· Palisades Elementary
· Pearl Ridge Elementary
Highest Progress ($20,000)

· Kalihi Uka Elementary
· Konawaena Elementary
About the Strive HI Performance System

The federal government in May approved the Strive HI Performance System to replace outdated aspects of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Under NCLB, schools were graded on whether students met escalating annual reading and math benchmarks, known as Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP. In that system, AYP status was a single indicator and crude instrument that led directly to a series of strict, escalating consequences.In contrast, the Strive HI Performance System serves as more of a diagnostic tool to understand and support a school’s performance and progress on multiple, research-based indicators, including reading, math and science scores, achievement growth and gaps, chronic absenteeism, graduation rates, college readiness and enrollment.

The inaugural Strive HI Awards were held last spring, when 32 schools received nearly $1 million to further improvement efforts.

The Strive HI Performance System goals are aligned with the Hawaii State Board and Department of Education’s 2011-18 Strategic Plan. For school-by-school results and more information, visit

Strive HI Awards criteria

“Recognition” schools are limited to no more than five percent of all Hawaii public schools.

· High-performing school criteria:

– Meet or exceed annual targets for all student groups.

– Graduation rates in top 10 percent of all high schools.

– Current year achievement gap rate less than 30 percent.

· High-progress school criteria:

– Increases of 15 percent or higher of all students’ proficiency over three years.
– Highest increases in grad rates (top 10 percent of schools with increase of 10 percent over three years).
– Reduction of achievement gap rate between high-needs and non-high needs students by 10 percent or more over three years.