Categorized | Education

OHA awards $1.5M to charter schools


The Board of Trustees for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has awarded a $1.5 million grant to help charter schools with a particular interest in students from the Native Hawaiian community keep pace with growing enrollment.

The OHA grant is expected to help the 17 Hawaiian-focused charter schools that make up the Na Lei Naauao Alliance cover various costs associated with teaching and feeding students, as well as transporting them to school.

Student enrollment at Hawaiian-focused charter schools reached 4,033 last year, from 127 students in 2000, when the first school of its kind opened. Since 2005, OHA has contributed $11.1 million to these charter schools in the alliance.

“Our support for Hawaiian-focused charter schools reflects the role we believe they play in contributing to an environment where children have an opportunity to thrive,” said OHA Chairperson Colette Machado. “We are extremely encouraged by their efforts to point Hawaiian students in the right direction.”

Taffi Wise, the executive director of the Kanu O Ka Aina Learning Ohana, a Hawaiian-focused charter school in Waimea, characterized the OHA grant as a much needed boost for the 2012-2013 school year.

“I don’t know where we would be without support from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs,” she said. “OHA’s support literally keeps our doors open.”

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