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HAWAII: OHA awards $1.5 million for charter schools

grant-moneyThe Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has approved $1.5 million in emergency funding to 17 Hawaiian-focused public charter schools for the 2013-2014 school year to address the budgetary shortfalls the schools have continued to face over the last five years.

The Na Lei Naauao – Native Hawaiian Charter School Alliance (NLN) is truly grateful for OHA’s continued commitment to support these unique values-based models of education, that are at once ancient and modern.

The schools’ successes validate NLN’s capacity to design and control the process of education dedicated to perpetuating Hawaii’s language, culture and traditions.

The process helps the native learning communities honor the past, address the present and serve the future.

Haunani Seward, the director of Ke Kula Niihau o Kekaha on Kauai, said, “Our culture is defined by our values. When we learn our genealogy, we honor our ancestors. When we recognize a place as piko, we aloha aina. Accepting and recognizing our leadership roles is kuleana and we malama these relationships. These beliefs are the kaula or rope that binds us together. NLN captures this kaula, creating relevant curricula for today’s haumana. Whether through language, reforestation, hula drama, or sailing canoes, the outcome is ultimately the same – passing on these important cultural values.”

An innovative, culturally-driven educational approach, known as EA-Education with Aloha presents unprecedented potential to address the distinctive needs of Hawaii’s largest, most undereducated major ethnic population.

The success of EA-Education with Aloha is also an indicator that Hawaiians can design, implement and evaluate quality models of education and that public school children in Hawaii, particularly native Hawaiian students, should be given an option to choose Hawaiian-focused ways of education.

Furthermore through public, private partnerships and sharing of resources, we can develop a parallel system of education that is culturally driven, family-oriented and community-based for all Hawaii nei.

Research have confirmed that Hawaiians in charter schools perform better on standardized reading and math tests and are significantly less chronically absent than Hawaiians in standard public schools.

NLN schools have high levels of school engagement and positive achievements due to culturally-grounded, strength-based approaches, which are sensitive to student and family needs.

Co-Administrator Allyson Tamura of Kanu o ka Aina New Century Public Charter School (KANU), located in Waimea on the island of Hawaii, is extremely appreciative for OHA’s continued support of Hawaiian-focused public charter schools.

“OHA’s support allows KANU to remain steadfast to our school’s vision and mission, positively impacting our students, staff, their families and our community,” she said.

OHA’s generous funding will support more than 4,000 students at 17 Hawaiian-focused public charter schools with enrollments that are up to 90-percent Hawaiian. These schools are located on the islands of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai and Hawaii Island.

OHA is a unique, independent state agency established through the Hawaii State Constitution and statutes to advocate for the betterment of conditions of all Native Hawaiians with a Board of Trustees elected by the voters of Hawaii.

OHA is guided by a vision and mission to ensure the perpetuation of the culture, to protect the entitlements of Native Hawaiians, and to build a strong and healthy Hawaiian people and nation.

Kalo Kanu o ka Aina literally mean, plants of the land and figuratively refers to, natives of the land from generations back. Incorporated in 2000 as a Native Hawaiian non-profit, KALO provides viable choices in education, which empower learners of all ages.

KALO’s womb-to-tomb programs constitute a dynamic intergenerational family of learners comprised of educators, students, parents, extended families, community supporters and partnering organizations dedicated to the perpetuation of Hawaii’s native language, culture and traditions.

OHA is a unique, independent state agency established through the Hawaii State Constitution and statutes to advocate for the betterment of conditions of all Native Hawaiians with a Board of Trustees elected by the voters of Hawaii.

OHA is guided by a vision and mission to ensure the perpetuation of the culture, to protect the entitlements of Native Hawaiians, and to build a strong and healthy Hawaiian people and nation.

— Find out more:
www.oha.org
www.kalo.org

Source: Hawaii 24/7

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This entry was posted on March 13, 2014 by in Charter Schools, Hawaii, States.

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