Hawaii Department of Education
School Consolidation Task Forces
The procedures for the consolidation of public schools are set forth in Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 8 (Department of Education), Chapter 38 (Consolidation of Public Schools). This rule was amended effective June 15, 2009. Electronic copies of Chapter 38 both before it was amended, and as currently amended, are available at this website. In summary, when any of three criteria under which a consolidation study is required by Chapter 38 are met, a study of the possible consolidation of schools must be undertaken.
Prior to its amendment in June 2009, the rule required the complex area superintendent to appoint a task force to study the possible consolidation and make a report and recommendation to the complex area superintendent. The task force conducts its meetings in accordance with Hawaii's "Sunshine Law" that affords the public the opportunity to provide testimony, and the task force must hold a public hearing on its report. After receiving the task force's report and recommendation, the complex area superintendent must forward the report and recommendation to the superintendent of education, together with the complex area superintendent's recommendation. The superintendent must forward the task force report and the recommendations of the task force and the complex area superintendent, together with the superintendent's recommendation, to the Board of Education for the Board's consideration and disposition.
The amendment of June 2009 changed the rule to require the superintendent of education, rather than the complex area superintendent, to initiate the consolidation study. The amended Chapter 38 does not provide for a task force, but retains the requirement for a public hearing on the consolidation study prepared under the direction of the superintendent. After the public hearing, the superintendent is required to send a recommendation to the Board of Education for its consideration and disposition.
The Department of Education has identified clusters of schools within which a consolidation study appears to be warranted. As the superintendent initiates studies of the possible consolidation of schools, websites within this "school consolidation studies" website will be created for the posting of drafts of the studies and notices of relevant meetings.
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