STATE OF HAWAII
BOARD OF EDUCATION
GENERAL BUSINESS MEETING
Queen Liliuokalani Building
1390 Miller Street, Room 404
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
January 16, 2020
|Beatrice DeRego||Kahuku High and Intermediate School||V.A. Presentation on intent to conduct an Experimental Modernization Project (in accordance with Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 78-3.5) to provide extra compensation to licensed, tenured teachers to address equity and compression of salaries||Support|
|James J.J. Cabralda||Leilehua High School||V.A. Presentation on intent to conduct an Experimental Modernization Project (in accordance with Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 78-3.5) to provide extra compensation to licensed, tenured teachers to address equity and compression of salaries||Support|
|Osa Tui Jr.||McKinley High School||V.A. Presentation on intent to conduct an Experimental Modernization Project (in accordance with Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 78-3.5) to provide extra compensation to licensed, tenured teachers to address equity and compression of salaries||Support|
|Corey Rosenlee||Hawaii State Teachers Association||Support|
|Anita Soldwisch||Public||IV.C. Superintendent’s Report: (1) update on school visits; (2) update on the development of a 10-year Board of Education and Department Strategic Plan, The Power and Promise of Public Education: Focus on getting final leadership input on 2030 Promise Plan||Comment|
|Neal Takamori||McKinley High School Foundation||VII.D. Board Action on Finance and Infrastructure Committee recommendation regarding approval of two public school land sites to lease pursuant to Act 155 (Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 302A-1151.1, Pilot program for lease of public school land) for further due diligence and investigation to replace two of the three sites approved by the Board on January 17, 2019 (475 22nd Avenue and 4087 Diamond Head): Kaimuki High School and Queen Kaahumanu Elementary School||Oppose/Comment|
|Beatrice DeRego-Coffield||Kahuku High and Intermediate School||Support/Comment|
|Corey Rosenlee||Hawaii State Teachers Association||Support/Comment|
|Catherine Caine||Waikiki Elementary School||Support|
|Jacce S. Mikulanec||Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiʻi||VII.F. Board Action on renaming the school currently known as East Kapolei Middle School to Honouliuli Middle School||Comment|
Covell stated that the Department’s intent to conduct an EMP is part of a larger strategy in terms of recruitment and retention. She described the Department’s teacher pipeline efforts and higher education partnerships. She detailed various recruitment efforts, including the “Be a Hero. Be a Teacher,” campaign, “It’s Great to be a Teacher” events, and the Department’s refer a friend program. She noted that the Department plans to run its refer a friend program for a year and is using Title II federal funds to provide Department employees with $500 for successful teacher referrals. Covell highlighted that Department employees would be traveling to the Philippines in late January to interview qualified, English-speaking, teacher graduates, and would then show video interviews to principals. The Department’s goal is to hire 50 teachers through this initiative. Covell emphasized that compensation matters significantly to the Department’s other efforts. She stated that the Department would continue its other recruitment and retention efforts, but noted that these efforts would have minimal effects if the Department does not address compensation issues.
Covell stated that the EMP supports the Superintendent’s and Board’s vision to be bold. She noted that the Department would be unable to fund this initiative without legislative support. Covell detailed that the Department does not currently have specific numbers but would present costs to the Board prior to implementation. The Department’s goal is to implement the EMP in the 2020-2021 school year. Covell stated that the Department engaged in preliminary work with HSTA and is aware that compression exists between steps nine through 11 on the pay scale. She noted that teachers with 24 years of services are receiving the same salary as teachers with eight years of service. Covell emphasized the importance of retaining experienced teachers and detailed that study after study shows that experienced teachers have a greater effect on student achievement. Covell stated that Hawaii falls in the middle in comparison to other states in terms of average teacher salary, but is at the bottom once cost of living is factored in.
Covell stated that the Superintendent has the authority to engage in EMPs. She detailed that the Department would need to determine the duration of the project, how one-time salary adjustments would work, and costs. She stated that the preliminary estimate is $46 million. She stated that the Department would need to determine how to adjust pay so that salaries are competitive with other states, professions, and education levels. She noted that the Department is not keeping pace with other professions that require experience and expertise. Covell stated that the Department of Human Resources Development utilized an EMP to address pay compression and equity. She noted that statute provides the Department with a mechanism to try something different to address issues. She reiterated that the Department does not have the funding to implement the EMP and plans to ask the Legislature for funds to boost teacher compensation so that salary schedules align with the rest of the nation. Covell stated that it is discretionary and noted that the Department plans to present the EMP to the Board prior to moving forward.
Board Member Voss stated that he supports the Department addressing teacher pay issues and compression as soon as possible. He noted that legislators are interested in exact costs rather than preliminary estimates. Board Member Voss emphasized the importance of timing and noted that teachers make decisions in the middle of spring. He stated that the Board would need to review exact figures and a full plan as soon as possible and asked when the Department plans to provide this information. Covell stated that the Department has a preliminary plan and is reviewing its number to ensure that they are factual. She noted that the Department plans to meet with HSTA to reconcile its numbers. She stated that the Department’s full plan would be ready by February 15, 2020. Covell explained that the Department wanted to wait until its compensation study was complete, which it just received. She detailed that the Department hired a third party to conduct a compensation study and needed to analyze the results. She stated that the Department would be ready to provide the Board with the EMP plan by mid-February.
Board Member Voss emphasized the importance of the Department completing the EMP plan as soon as possible and asked for a briefing at the next Board meeting.
Kishimoto stated that the Department has had conversations with key legislators. She stated that the Department has a draft plan and has had discussions with legislators around this draft and the possibility of legislators sponsoring a bill. Kishimoto stated that the Department is pushing forward aggressively.
Board Member Takeno stated that initially, the Department was to present its intent to conduct an EMP to the Human Resources Committee (“Committee”) but he decided to defer the matter to the full Board. He asked that the Department bring the EMP to the Committee when the Department’s plan is fully written out and aligns with how statute states it should be produced so that the Committee can engage in dialogue and discussion.
Board Member Takeno stated that the Department is asking for funding for two initiatives and asked if one takes precedence over the other. Covell stated that both the pay differentials and EMP are critically important. She noted that legislators have asked the Department the same question and explained that both initiatives address different teachers. She stated that the Department would not prioritize one over the other because both are necessary.
Board Member Takeno asked which initiative would take precedence if the Department had to make a difficult choice. Kishimoto stated that the Department is pursuing Phase I of its extra compensation plan because the Governor included the funding for Phase I in his budget. She noted that Phase I already has approval from the Governor and budget requests behind it. The Department would risk both being tabled if it were to push for Phase II ahead of Phase I.
Board Chairperson Payne called for public testimony. There was no public testimony at this time.
VII. Action Items
Board Chairperson Payne stated that the Committee nominated Matthew Kodama for appointment to the Commission at the Board’s December 5, 2019 general business meeting. Pursuant to Sunshine Law, the Board did not deliberate or act on the Committee’s nominations at the same meeting at which the Committee reported its findings and recommendations. Board Chairperson Payne stated that the Board may appoint this nominee to fill the current vacancy on the Commission, left by the resignation of Commissioner Greg S. “Kalehua” Krug on September 23, 2019, to the remaining term effective immediately and ending June 30, 2022.
ACTION: Motion to appoint Matthew Kodama to the Commission to fill the current vacancy left by the resignation of Commissioner Greg S. “Kalehua” Krug on September 23, 2019, for the remaining term effectively immediately and ending June 30, 2022 (Takeno/Voss). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.
Committee Chairperson Takeno asked what Randall Tanaka would bring to the Assistant Superintendent position that was different or unique from other predecessors who held the position in the past and were equally qualified. He asked how Tanaka’s skillsets, knowledge, and abilities would help move the Department in a direction of increased productivity versus an increasing repair and maintenance (“R&M”) backlog.
Tanaka explained that all of his work experiences, including in hospitality and serving as the president and executive director of the 2016 World Conservation Congress, have had finite timelines. He stated that tasks have specific timelines, the organization of timelines have start and end times, and end marks do not move. He stated that he is geared in the fashion that tasks need to be accomplished. Tanaka noted that he has begun to review Jacobs Engineering reports, job contracting, a number of areas under performance contracts, tasks that need to be accomplished, and tasks that he will be held accountable for. He emphasized the importance of viewing individuals whom he will work with as partners and helping them to succeed so that the Department could succeed. Tanaka further emphasized the importance of pushing towards the clock. He stated that he would need to review different ways in which to accomplish tasks, the capacity of his team, whether the Department could achieve certain goals within the clock, and how to achieve these goals. He stated that he understands where the end line is and noted that he has always driven towards the end line in his previous roles. Tanaka stated that it is simple but the complexity will be to address shifting elements. He noted that it is guaranteed that elements would shift but how well the Department adjusts would determine effectiveness.
Committee Chairperson Takeno asked what the Board could expect from Tanaka. He asked about measurable targets Tanaka plans to address that Tanaka would be accountable for.
Tanaka stated that the R&M backlog would be his first priority and he would need to review the depth of the R&M backlog. Tanaka stated that he cannot give a straight answer as of yet because he is unsure of what the R&M backlog looks like but noted that he would review the R&M backlog and return to the Board with identified short-term projects, mid-term projects, and other long-term projects in which the Department might need to take a different approach.
Committee Chairperson Takeno stated that Tanaka has previous experience as a project manager and understands that systematically things must fall into place. He asked when the Board could expect a timeline regarding which areas Tanaka plans to target and address to decrease the R&M backlog.
Tanaka stated that he and the Board have mutual goals. He emphasized the importance of turning down the skyrocketing bell curve and reviewing ways in which to do so. He stated that he would need to review the order of, priority, and the Department’s ability to execute R&M projects. Tanaka stated that he plans to develop a 30-60-90 day plan to identify what is occurring and short-term projects and could present his plan to the Board. He emphasized the importance of keeping the Board informed and reporting roadblocks. He stated that there is no embarrassment in telling the truth in a timely manner. Tanaka stated that the Board represents people that talk to people. He noted the importance of arming the Board with knowledge so that the Board is able to answer questions regarding what the Department is achieving or not achieving consistently.
Board Member Voss stated that Tanaka has expressed that the R&M backlog would be his first concern and priority. He asked if Tanaka agreed that one critical measure to determine whether he succeeded or failed as Assistant Superintendent should be a substantial reduction of the R&M backlog. Tanaka confirmed that he agreed and stated that this is the yardstick. He noted that the R&M backlog is similar to athletics in regards to winning and losing. He stated that he would try to lean on the winning side and keep the Board informed. Board Member Voss commented that the Board would like to actually win rather than lean on the winning side. The Board would like the R&M backlog under $1 billion and moving in the right direction. He emphasized that the Board would ask about the status of the R&M backlog every month over the next two years. Tanaka stated that Board Member Voss clearly made his point and he understands.
Board Member Nolan Kawano asked about Tanaka’s resume. He detailed that Kishimoto’s memorandum to the Board states that Tanaka served as the director of the Commercial and Auxiliary Enterprises, Safety and Security at the University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges, but Tanaka’s resume does not list this position.
Tanaka explained that he worked with the East-West Center for the 2016 World Conservation Congress. He detailed that he worked with community colleges extending their educational programs through congress. Tanaka noted that he became friends with Mike Unebasami and there was an opportunity in regards to commercial enterprise where an individual became vice chancellor and needed someone to work within the commercial arena because of statute that allowed for this. Tanaka explained that his first priority was to review all commercial enterprises. He detailed that there were challenges because there was a restaurant in Waikiki that was perceived as competing with the private sector. He noted that it becomes tricky when taxpayer dollars are used to compete in the private environment. He stated that he engaged in discussions regarding educational purposes and made the recommendation to shut down the restaurant because it cost too much money and there was no plan to get out. Tanaka stated that he understood the educational component but Kapiolani Community College could deliver this component. Tanaka explained that he reviewed the process of commercial enterprise selection, established criteria, and attempted to have bankers review pro forma. However, bankers could not lend money due to subsidies and grants. He stated that individuals need to be careful in how they conduct business in the public arena and need to be aware of whether they are being perceived as competing with taxpaying dollars.
Board Member Kawano asked about the time period in which Tanaka served as the director of the Commercial and Auxiliary Enterprises, Safety and Security at the University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges. Tanaka stated that he believes it was late 2016. Board Member Kawano asked for confirmation that Tanaka did not list this position as part of his resume. Tanaka confirmed that he did not list this position on his resume. Tanaka emphasized safety and security and detailed that each of the seven campuses had security teams. He stated that he interacted with the United States Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Honolulu Police Department, and the Honolulu Fire Department during his time at the 2016 World Conservation Congress and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation because of dignitaries in attendance. Tanaka stated that part of his work at community colleges included addressing campus security and security systems. He stated that safety and security would be a big issue moving forward. For example, community colleges currently conduct sweeps due to individuals experiencing homelessness entering campuses. He stated that students who attend classes on campus do not feel safe.
Board Member Kawano expressed concern that Tanaka does not have real estate, R&M, or project management experience. He stated that these types of experiences might have been embedded in his previous roles but expressed concern that they were not his primary responsibilities. Tanaka stated that he understood Board Member Kawano’s concerns.
Board Member Uemura agreed with Board Member Kawano. He stated that he reviewed how Tanaka’s resume aligned with some of the requirements of the job and expressed concern that Tanaka does not have engineering, project management, or construction experience. He stated that the Department did not provide the Board with a job description so he cannot thoroughly compare Tanaka’s resume to the role. Board Member Uemura asked if Tanaka has concerns regarding the responsibilities of the Assistant Superintendent position and his lack of experience in certain areas.
Tanaka stated that he is not concerned regarding his lack of experience in certain areas. He explained that as Assistant Superintendent he would need to manage assets and one asset is personnel. He stated that he has managed personnel in previous roles and is able to do so again. Tanaka stated that he has some understanding of construction but noted that his partnerships and relationships with partners and contractors would be vital. Board Member Uemura asked if Tanaka believes that what is truly required is management skills if he is surrounding himself with individuals who have expertise that he does not have. Tanaka confirmed that this is correct. Covell added that the Department would provide the Board with a copy of the position description. She noted that a large percentage of what the Department requires from an Assistant Superintendent is leadership.
Board Member Uemura commented that the Department has historically had challenges finding skilled employees and compensating them competitively. He asked how Tanaka would overcome these challenges in the areas of construction and engineering besides asking for funds from the Legislature. Tanaka emphasized the importance of working with individuals who are currently on the team and determining what kinds of training and skillsets they could be elevated to in order to increase productivity. He stated that he would need to have discussions with unions, including the United Public Workers and Hawaii Government Employees Association, to review the bench. Tanaka detailed his experience with organized labor during his role as interim general manager for the Hawaii Convention Center. He stated that he was involved in lengthy discussions and noted that requests were reasonable depending on the perspective and lens in which someone viewed the situation. Tanaka stated that he wished every individual was compensated fairly but noted that this is not reality. He stated that compensation is set against the task at hand. He detailed that he would work with his team, attempt to move them up, attempt to provide them with the right training, and work with the pool he has.
Board Member Uemura explained that the position requires a particular skillset. He asked how Tanaka would use his leadership to elevate team members’ skillsets if he does not have their particular skillsets. He asked how Tanaka would help his team and know that he was receiving correct information. Board Member Uemura detailed that historically the Department was unable to complete projects because internal staff did not possess certain skillsets.
Tanaka stated that he knows how to weld and pound nails. He explained that his father worked in construction but had always wanted to be a farmer so his family owns a farm and he is able to do masonry work. Tanaka stated that he has a good understanding of trades even though he is not a journeyman. He noted that he has associates in the field and a friend who is a plumber. Tanaka detailed that during his time at the Hawaii Convention Center, there was work done to rig two boiler systems to increase the water temperature for washing devices. He detailed that the work did not appear right to him so he brought in his friend who is a plumber who confirmed that the work did not appear to be right. Tanaka emphasized the importance of utilizing available resources. He stated that he and his team have to be willing to engage with one another and emphasized the importance of building teams.
Military Representative Captain Lyn Hammer asked about Tanaka’s initial thoughts regarding Title IX requirements. She detailed that the Board received an update regarding how the Department is meeting Title IX requirements and heard from a student who expressed concern that women’s sports teams use lavatories while men’s sports teams have locker rooms. Military Representative Captain Hammer stated that Title IX issues appear to be more prevalent in older schools and asked about Tanaka’s plans to evolve facilities and increase compliance.
Tanaka stated that Title IX is in his deck of priorities. He detailed that he has two daughters who both participated in sports. Tanaka emphasized that there is no exception to Title IX and further emphasized equity. He stated that the Department needs to fully get there and noted that it is that simple. Tanaka detailed that the University of Hawaiʻi recently had to address noncompliance issues in terms of Title IX. He emphasized the importance of addressing and fixing noncompliance. He stated that while it sounds simple, it is challenging. However, the Department would need to make the best effort it could to get things accomplished.
Military Representative Captain Hammer stated that Tanaka appears to emphasize solutions and the best ways in which to spend limited resources. Tanaka stated that he recently listened to concerns regarding Title IX from individuals on Kauai and hears their concerns.
ACTION: Motion to approve the appointment of Randall Tanaka as Assistant Superintendent for the Office of School Facilities and Support Services (De Lima/Cox). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.
Board Chairperson Payne stated that the two Board-appointed representatives currently serving on the SCC Exception Review Committee are Board Member Margaret Cox and Assistant Superintendent Rodney Luke. Board Member Cox is resigning from the Committee.
Board Chairperson Payne stated that she is offering to take Board Member Cox’s place and represent the Board on the SCC Exception Review Committee. Assistant Superintendent Luke would remain as the Board’s second representative on the SCC Exception Review Committee.
ACTION: Motion to appoint Board Chairperson Payne as one of the Board’s representatives on the SCC Exception Review Committee, replacing Board Member Cox, as described in Board Chairperson Payne’s memorandum dated January 16, 2020 (De Lima/Voss). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.
Board Chairperson Payne adjourned the meeting at 2:44 p.m.