Public School Parents Encouraged to Complete Federal Census Survey Cards

Parents of Hawaii public school students are encouraged to complete and return to their school a federal census survey card that was sent home on Sept. 4.

The annual survey determines the number of federally connected students in the public school system for whom the state receives impact aid funds. These funds provide partial reimbursement to the state for local tax loss resulting from tax-free federal installations.

“Federal impact funds are critical to support our students, educators and the overall operation of our schools,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “All parents are encouraged to complete and return the cards.”

School Funding
During the 2011-12 school year, the state accounted for more than 30,000 federally connected students and received more than $80 million – or an average of nearly $2,700 per student – in federal impact aid the following school year. The amount represents about 20 percent of the state’s average per-pupil expenditure.

Parents should contact their school in case they have not yet received a survey card. Cards should be filled out and turned in as soon as possible, ideally by September. However, schools will accept the cards throughout the school year.

 

Department of Education Tackling Inefficiencies as Part of Education Transformation

As public schools begin a new year, the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) will keep part of its focus on investigating inefficiencies to enhance operations statewide. Today, the DOE revealed a new analysis aimed at improving development of school facilities.
DOE Release

A review of the DOE’s Facilities Development Branch (FDB) was presented before the Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE) Audit Committee. The analysis is based on the DOE/BOE strategic plan to locate and correct inefficiencies as directed by Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.

The review on FDB analyzed processes and controls related to specific construction, repair and maintenance activities against leading industry practices. It noted a number of findings and made recommendations for improvement.

“There is always an on-going need for improving or building additional facilities to support our students, and we need to make the best use of our capital improvement dollars. That’s why we commissioned a thorough review to help us better manage projects as we go forward,” stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “The findings of this review clearly indicate that outdated policies and procedures are prolonging many projects. Our department will work with all interested stakeholders to correct long-term challenges and address the recommendations.”

According to the report, “Inefficiencies in capital planning, construction building, and construction management limit FDB’s ability to maximize use of its biennium budget to repair, maintain, and construct new school facilities throughout the state.”

Other findings include:· FDB does not sufficiently leverage technology to streamline the project and construction management process.
· Lack of effective communication within FDB leading to setbacks.
· Insufficient master planning. “Our Strategic Plan has three major components: Student Achievement; Staff Development and Systems of Support improvements,” stated BOE Chairman Don Horner. “This latest audit is part of the overall Plan to make much needed long-term and systemic improvements in how to more effectively and efficiently build and repairs our schools in the future.”

Superintendent Matayoshi directed the DOE’s Internal Audit Office (IA) to assist in the scope to perform a Process and Internal Controls Review of FDB and to administer the procurement of those services. Following a request for proposal, Deloitte & Touche LLP was contracted in June 2011. The company summed up its findings and recommendations before the BOE Audit Committee today.

In February, IA presented its audit of the DOE’s food services program. Its review focused on the design and operating effectiveness of existing control procedures. The DOE has since taken corrective action based on the recommendations of that review.

Independent of all other departments within the DOE, the IA reports directly to the Superintendent and the BOE Audit Committee. IA reports quarterly on the status of audits and recommendations.

Last year, an audit of the DOE student bus transportation services surfaced a number of inefficiencies in contract procedures and fiscal mismanagement. Several changes have been made based on recommendations of that audit. The DOE also began this school year with its Get On Board initiative,a multi-year, multi-faceted commitment to reform its public school student bus transportation system. For more information about Get on Board, please visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

A copy of the DOE’s Construction Process and Internal Controls Review report is available here.

Reports presented before the BOE can also be found at HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

 

Hawaii State and HSTA Reach Tentative Agreement

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, and Board of Education (BOE) Chairman Don Horner today announced that a tentative agreement has been reached between the State of Hawaii and the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA).

abercrombieheader

The four-year tentative agreement that the HSTA will now take to its members for ratification, includes annual pay increases and performance evaluations for teachers.

“This is a major breakthrough for our teachers, our students, and the future of our state. I believe this contract is fair and provides opportunities for pay increases, which are long overdue after years of sacrifice from teachers and other public employees,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “With the state now being administered in a fiscally sound manner and improving economic estimates by the Council of Revenues, we were able to offer a comprehensive and favorable contract.”

“Public school teachers and their union representatives are critical partners in transforming education for our students and our state,” stated Superintendent Matayoshi. “We’ve worked very hard to get to this point, and we remain committed to providing teachers with necessary resources and support to achieve our strategic goals.”

“The Board is appreciative of the dedication, sacrifices, and achievements of our teachers,” stated BOE Chair Horner. “This agreement will allow us, together, to better support our teachers in reaching the objectives of our educational strategic plan.”

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This tentative agreement comes after a week of mediation between the two parties. The HSTA membership will now review the agreement and vote on it.

Click here to read the tentative agreement: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bz5wyVXhL3wjWDhEWDdhYXF2RGM/edit