STATE OF HAWAII
BOARD OF EDUCATION
GENERAL BUSINESS MEETING

MINUTES

Thursday, May 20, 2021

*The Board did not meet at a physical location. As part of the response to the threat of COVID-19, Governor David Ige issued a Twentieth Supplementary Proclamation dated May 7, 2021, suspending Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 92, Public Agency Meetings and Records, to the extent necessary to enable boards as defined in Section 92-2, to conduct meetings without any board members or members of the public physically present in the same location, among other things.


PRESENT:
Catherine Payne, Chairperson
Kenneth Uemura, Vice Chairperson
Shanty Asher
Kaimana Barcarse
Margaret Cox
Lynn Fallin
Kili Namauʻu
Dwight Takeno
Bruce Voss
Hunter Harris, Student Representative
Colonel Angenene Robertson, Military Representative


EXCUSED:
None


ALSO PRESENT:
Alison Kunishige, Executive Director
Kenyon Tam, Board Analyst
Regina Pascua, Executive Secretary
Lady Garrett, Secretary


  1. Call to Order


Board Chairperson Catherine Payne called the Board of Education (“Board”) General Business Meeting to order at 1:32 p.m.


II.
Executive Session
This portion of the meeting was closed under Section 924 and Section 925(a)(4) and (3), Hawaii Revised Statutes.


Board Chairperson Payne called for public testimony on this agenda item.


Anthony Cupo, member of the public, testified on the legality of the executive order in place given the absence of any emergency and that executive orders only have authority over executive branch agencies.


Board Chairperson Payne explained that any oral testimony should be relevant to agenda item being considered, specifically the lawsuits that will be discussed during executive session. She informed him that she would permit him to provide his testimony at the end of the meeting during the late testimony portion.


Board Chairperson Payne stated that written testimonies have been posted publicly on the Board’s website.

B. Deliberation concerning the authority of Board of Education (“Board”) Member authorized to represent the Board in successor bargaining with the Hawaii State Teachers Association (Bargaining Unit 5) and consultation with the Board’s attorney on questions and issues pertaining to the Board’s powers, duties, privileges, immunities, and liabilities concerning successor bargaining


Board Chairperson Payne called for public testimony on this agenda item. No one provided oral testimony at this time.


Board Chairperson Payne stated that the Board would need to move into executive session to deliberate on the authority of the Board member authorized to represent the Board in successor bargaining with the Hawaii State Teachers Association (“HSTA”) and to consult with its attorney on questions and issues pertaining to the matters on the agenda.

Board Vice Chairperson Kenneth Uemura moved to enter into executive session to deliberate on the authority of the Board member authorized to represent the Board in successor bargaining with HSTA and to consult with the Board’s attorney on questions and issues pertaining to the matters on the agenda. Board Member Dwight Takeno seconded.

Board Chairperson Payne asked if there were any objections to motion. No Board member raised objections, and the motion was carried through unanimous consent from all members present (Board Vice Chairperson Uemura, Board Members Asher, Barcarse, Cox, Fallin, Namauʻu, Takeno, and Voss).

ACTION: Motion to move into executive session to deliberate on the authority of the Board member authorized to represent the Board in successor bargaining with the Hawaii State Teachers Association and to consult with the Board’s attorney on questions and issues pertaining to the matters on the agenda (Uemura/Takeno). The motion was carried through unanimous consent from all members present.


The Board recessed at 1:41 p.m. and reconvened at 2:19 p.m.


III.
Approval of Meeting Minutes of February 18, 2021 Special Meeting, February 18, 2021 General Business Meeting, March 4, 2021 General Business Meeting, March 18, 2021 Special Meeting, April 15, 2021 Special Meeting, April 15, 2021 General Business Meeting, April 15, 2021 General Business Meeting (executive session)


Board Chairperson Payne called for public testimony on this agenda item. No one provided oral testimony at this time.


Board Chairperson Payne asked Board members to review the minutes of the Board’s February 18, 2021 Special Meeting, February 18, 2021 General Business Meeting, March 4, 2021 General Business Meeting, March 18, 2021 Special Meeting, April 15, 2021 Special Meeting, April 15, 2021 General Business Meeting, and April 15, 2021 General Business Meeting executive session.


Board Vice Chairperson Uemura moved to approve the meeting minutes of the Board’s February 18, 2021 Special Meeting, February 18, 2021 General Business Meeting, March 4, 2021 General Business Meeting, March 18, 2021 Special Meeting, April 15, 2021 Special Meeting, April 15, 2021 General Business Meeting, and April 15, 2021 General Business Meeting executive session. Board Member Kaimana Barcarse seconded.


Board Chairperson Payne asked if there were any objections to the motion. No Board Member raised objections, and the motion carried through unanimous consent from all members present (Board Vice Chairperson Uemura, Board Members Asher, Barcarse, Cox, Fallin, Namauʻu, Takeno, and Voss).


ACTION: Motion to approve the meeting minutes of the Board’s February 18, 2021 Special Meeting, February 18, 2021 General Business Meeting, March 4, 2021 General Business Meeting, March 18, 2021 Special Meeting, April 15, 2021 Special Meeting, April 15, 2021 General Business Meeting, and April 15, 2021 General Business Meeting executive session (Uemura/Barcarse). The motion was carried through unanimous consent from all members present.


IV.
Reports of Board of Education (“Board”) Committees, Board Members, and Superintendent


Board Chairperson Payne called for public testimony on this agenda item. No one provided oral testimony at this time.


Board Member Takeno, Human Resource Committee Chairperson reported that the committee met earlier today to discuss the recommendation for action concerning the State Librarian’s employment contract and recommendation for action concerning Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (“EUTF”) adjustments for Department of Education employees excluded from Bargaining Units (“BU”) 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, and 13. He stated that all committee members attended the meeting and participated in discussions; committee members unanimously recommended that the Board approve State Librarian Stacey Aldrich’s employment contract and to authorize Board Chairperson Payne to execute the contract on behalf of the Board. He also reported that the committee recommended action to approve EUTF adjustments for Department employees excluded from BU 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, and 13 and employees not included in any appropriate BU or entitled to coverage under Section 89-6, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

B. Finance and Infrastructure Committee Report on: (1) Update on the Department of Education’s biennium operating budget request for fiscal years 2021-2023: Legislative conference committee decisions and next steps; (2) Update on the Department of Education’s biennium Capital Improvement Project (“CIP”) budget request for fiscal years 2021-2023: Legislative conference committee decisions and next steps


Board Chairperson Payne called for public testimony on this agenda item.


Corey Rosenlee, Hawaii State Teachers Association (“HSTA”), testified on behalf of HSTA and expressed appreciation for Board’s efforts to maintain teacher differentials.


Julie Reyes Oda, Nanakuli High and Intermediate School, encouraged the Board to support implementation of House Bill 613, Conference Draft 2 (“HB 613”), which appropriates a one-time workforce stabilization payment of $2,200 for teachers. She testified that teacher turnover rates are high, there is a teacher shortage crisis, and that it is important to prioritize public education, so it makes sense to provide teachers with a stabilization payment.


Susan Pcola-Davis, member of the public, testified that while the Legislature passed HB 613, there is still an underlying federal funding application that needs public input and then must be approved by the Board before it is submitted to the United States Department of Education (“USDOE”). She stated that a lot of time was spent gathering the priorities for the application and that Christina Kishimoto, Superintendent, should be held accountable for sliding it into the Department’s presentation to the committee without any prior notice.


Board Member Bruce Voss, Finance and Infrastructure Committee Chairperson reported that the committee received an update from the Department on the operating and capital improvement projects (“CIP”) budgets for the fiscal biennium 2021-2023, as approved by the legislature. He summarized the highlights of the Department’s report to the committee on the Legislature’s actions: (1) the Department is facing a shortfall of approximately $124 million over the next two years; (2) of this shortfall, approximately $23 million is in weighted student formula funds, which are funds allocated to schools; (3) the Legislature did not fund the $32.5 million that the Board approved for teacher differentials. Board Member Voss stated that there was a lot of discussion about the allocation of funds, compliance with USDOE guidelines, timing, and required public input as they relate to federal relief funds.
Board Member Voss also reported the Department provided a presentation regarding CIP with the total amount approved by the legislature at $453 million in projects and more than half line item projects balanced over $150 million and lump sums requested by the Department including approximately $88 million for deferred maintenance projects. He stated that the legislature did not provide lump sum funds for deferred maintenance compliance, or health and safety for the second year of the biennium; however, the Department indicated a request for supplemental funds would be made during next legislative session.

C.
Update on Investigative Committee (a permitted interaction group pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 92-2.5(b)(1)) concerning nomination of individuals to serve as members of State Public Charter School Commission: reopening of application window


Board Chairperson Payne called for public testimony on this agenda item. No one provided oral testimony at this time.


Board Member Kili Namauʻu reported that the investigative committee tasked with nominating individuals to serve as members on the State Public Charter School Commission was originally supposed to report its findings and recommendations at today’s meeting. She explained that the committee decided to reopen the application window because it only received two applications for three anticipated vacancies. She noted that the new application deadline is June 4, 2021, and the committee will present its findings and recommendations to the Board on June 17, 2021 with the Board taking action on the committee’s recommendations on July 15, 2021.

D. Investigative Committee (a permitted interaction group pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 92-2.5(b)(1) investigating issues relating to the search for a superintendent, including transition timeline and process, recommendation for an interim superintendent, search timeline and process, and composition of group conducting search: findings and recommendations on timeline and process for selecting and transitioning to an interim superintendent and searching and selecting a permanent superintendent


Board Chairperson Payne called for public testimony on this agenda item.


Cheri Nakamura, HEʻE Coalition, testified in support of the investigative committee tasked with investigating issues relating to the search for a superintendent (“Transition Committee’’) recommendation to have the current vice chairpersons of the Board’s standing committees and the Board Chairperson serve on the search committee for the next superintendent. She stated that it is appropriate to have input from each standing committee and to have the vice chairpersons leading the process for decisions on the next school leader.


Susan Pcola-Davis, member of the public, testified that the investigative committee’s report lacks any updated information since the interim superintendent application period closed on April 30, 2021. She noted that the interim superintendent is scheduled to start on August 1 and that school starts on August 3, so it would have been more prudent to relieve the current superintendent from her duties once she announced she was no longer interested in a new contract.


Board Chairperson Payne noted that the Transition Committee provided findings and recommendations on a process and timeline for transitioning to an interim superintendent and searching for a long-term superintendent at the Board’s April 15, 2021 general business meeting. She explained that another of the Transition Committee’s tasks was to determine the composition of the group conducting the superintendent search (‘‘Search Committee”). She reported that the Transition Committee recommended designating Board Chairperson Payne as chairperson of the Search Committee with Board Members Kaimana Barcarse, Lynn Fallin, and Kili Namauʻu to serve as the other members of the committee.


Board Chairperson Payne explained that pursuant to Sunshine Law, the Board could not deliberate or take action on this recommendation from the Transition Committee at this meeting, but the Board would do so at its next meeting.


V.
Action Items


Board Chairperson Payne called for public testimony on this agenda item. No one provided oral testimony at this time.


Human Resources Committee Chairperson Takeno stated that the committee recommended approving the state librarian’s employment contract attached to Committee Chairperson Takeno’s memorandum, dated May 20, 2021.


Board Chairperson Payne called for a roll call vote on the motion. The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye (Board Vice Chairperson Uemura, Board Members Asher, Barcarse, Cox, Fallin, Namauʻu, Takeno, and Voss).


ACTION: Motion to approve the state librarian’s employment contract attached to Committee Chairperson Takeno’s memorandum, dated May 20, 2021 (Human Resources Committee/no second required). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.

B. Board Action on Human Resources Committee recommendation Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (“EUTF”) adjustments for Department of Education employees excluded from Collective Bargaining


Board Chairperson Payne called for public testimony on this agenda item. No one provided oral testimony at this time.


Human Resources Committee Chairperson Takeno stated that the committee recommended approving the EUTF adjustments for Department employees excluded from BU 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, and 13 and any other Department employees entitled to coverage under Section 89-6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, as described in Kishimoto’s, memorandum dated May 20, 2021.


Board Chairperson Payne called for a roll call vote on the motion. The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye (Board Vice Chairperson Uemura, Board Members Asher, Barcarse, Cox, Fallin, Namauʻu, Takeno, and Voss).


ACTION: Motion to approve the EUTF adjustments for Department employees excluded from BU 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, and 13 and any other Department employees entitled to coverage under Section 89-6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, as described in Kishimoto’s memorandum dated May 20, 2021 (Human Resources Committee/no second required). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.

C. Board Action on findings and recommendations of Investigative Committee (a permitted interaction group pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 92-2.5(b)(1) investigating issues relating to the search for a superintendent, including transition timeline and process, recommendation for an interim superintendent, search timeline and process, and composition of group conducting search: timeline and process for selecting and transitioning to an interim superintendent and searching and selecting a permanent superintendent


Board Chairperson Payne called for public testimony on this agenda item.


Cheri Nakamura, HEʻE Coalition, testified in support of the Transition Committee’s modification to the 2017 process to allow the advisory group to provide direct input on the superintendent characteristics and job description. She suggested the search committee use a process to gather public input through an online and in-person survey using the 2017 job description as a base and then again through public testimony after the characteristics and job description has been refined.


Susan Pcola-Davis, member of the public, testified in support of the public input process and requested that a future meeting include a transition committee report on how public input will be designed. She testified against having the advisory group represent stakeholder groups and advocated for the public at large to be part of the process to select the superintendent.


Board Chairperson Payne stated that the Transition Committee reported its findings and recommendations on a timeline and process for selecting and transitioning to an interim superintendent and searching and selecting a permanent superintendent at the Board’s April 15, 2021 general business meeting. She noted that the Board did not deliberate or take action at that meeting pursuant to Sunshine Law, but it may do so at this meeting.


Board Vice Chairperson Uemura moved to adopt the findings and recommendations, including the timeline and process for selecting and transitioning to an interim superintendent and searching for and selecting a long-term superintendent, as described in Board Chairperson Payne’s memorandum dated April 15, 2021, provided that the Search Committee, once formed, may make any revisions it determines necessary to complete its tasks. Board Member Cox seconded.

Board Member Lynn Fallin asked about the role of the advisory committee and its specific functions.

Board Chairperson Payne invited Board Member Voss, Board Vice Chairperson Uemura, and Board Member Cox to share further on the role of the advisory committee because of their previous involvement in the selection of the previous superintendent search.

Board Vice Chairperson Uemura stated he was on the search committee with former Board Chairperson Lance Mizumoto and former Board Member Patricia Bergin. He indicated that Board support staff could provide an answer since they coordinated a lot of the work.

Board Member Margaret Cox stated there student voice that was reflected in the selection of the superintendent and that the Board listened to the students.

Board Member Voss stated that the advisory group provided specific input particularly on the characteristics of the superintendent, not so much on the final group of candidates to be considered, and students gave the advisory group on the type of person and characteristics to look for.

Board Student Representative Hunter Harris stated the Hawaii State Student Council will be more than happy to assist the Board and welcomes the opportunity to speak with potential candidates for the position.

Board Member Fallin expressed appreciation for comments and noted that she will rely on Board support staff to learn more about the process.


Board Chairperson Payne called for a roll call vote on the motion. The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye (Board Vice Chairperson Uemura, Board Members Asher, Barcarse, Cox, Fallin, Namauʻu, Takeno, and Voss).


ACTION: Motion to adopt the findings and recommendations, including the timeline and process for selecting and transitioning to an interim superintendent and searching for and selecting a long-term superintendent, as described in Board Chairperson Payne’s memorandum dated April 15, 2021, provided that the Search Committee, once formed, may make any revisions it determines necessary to complete its tasks (Uemura/Cox). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.

D. Board Action on matters relating to Fukushima v. State of Hawaii Board of Education (CV 20-00582 DKW-KJM and 3CCV-20-0000481), Tudela v. State of Hawaii Board of Education (1CCV-21-0000482), and Kam v. State of Hawaii Board of Education (3CCV-21-0000088)


Board Chairperson Payne called for public testimony on this agenda item. No one provided oral testimony at this time.


Board Chairperson Payne stated that during the executive session, the Board consulted with its attorney on lawsuits described on the agenda. She noted that the Board is taking action in public based upon its deliberations with its attorney and pursuant to law.


Board Member Barcarse moved to authorize Board Chairperson Payne as discussed in executive session. Board Member Cox seconded.


Board Chairperson Payne called for a roll call vote on the motion. The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye (Board Vice Chairperson Uemura, Board Members Asher, Barcarse, Cox, Fallin, Namauʻu, Takeno, and Voss).


ACTION: Motion to authorize Board Chairperson Payne as discussed in executive session (Barcarse/Cox). The motion carried unanimously with all members present voting aye.


VI.
Late Public Testimony on Board Agenda Items


Board Chairperson Payne called for public testimony from any individuals who did not have an opportunity to testify on earlier agenda items. No one provided oral testimony at this time.


Anthony Cupo, member of the public, testified on agenda item II.A, entitled “II.A. Executive Session: Consultation with the Board’s attorney on questions and issues pertaining to the Board’s power, duties, privileges, immunities, and liabilities relating to Fukushima v. State of Hawaii Board of Education (CV 20-00582 DKW-KJM and 3CCV-20-0000481), Tudela v. State of Hawaii Board of Education (1CCV-21-0000482), and Kam v. State of Hawaii Board of Education (3CCV-21-0000088).” He stated that this is all for the children and that should be the only concern for all Board members. He reminded the Board that their actions are being watched and policies being put forth towards schools are in contradiction to many laws and that today he only heard about finances and has not heard anything about children.


Board members received written testimony before the meeting. The following is a listing of the people who submitted written testimony before the meeting.
Name
Organization
Agenda Item
Derek MizunoHawaii Employer-Union Benefits Health Trust FundV. B. Board Action on Human Resources Committee recommendation Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (“EUTF”) adjustments for Department of Education employees excluded from Collective Bargaining
Cheri NakamuraHE’E CoalitionIV. D. Investigative Committee (a permitted interaction group pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 92-2.5(b)(1) investigating issues relating to the search for a superintendent, including transition timeline and process, recommendation for an interim superintendent, search timeline and process, and composition of group conducting search: findings and recommendations on composition of group conducting search; and V. C. Board Action on findings and recommendations of Investigative Committee (a permitted interaction group pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 92-2.5(b)(1) investigating issues relating to the search for a superintendent, including transition timeline and process, recommendation for an interim superintendent, search timeline and process, and composition of group conducting search: timeline and process for selecting and transitioning to an interim superintendent and searching and selecting a permanent superintendent
Susan Pcola-DavisIV. B. Finance and Infrastructure Committee Report on: (1) Committee Action on recommendation concerning State Librarian’s employment contract; (2) Committee Action on recommendation concerning Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (“EUTF”) adjustments for Department of Education employees excluded from Collective Bargaining; IV. D. Investigative Committee (a permitted interaction group pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 92-2.5(b)(1) investigating issues relating to the search for a superintendent, including transition timeline and process, recommendation for an interim superintendent, search timeline and process, and composition of group conducting search: findings and recommendations on composition of group conducting search; and V. C. Board Action on findings and recommendations of Investigative Committee (a permitted interaction group pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 92-2.5(b)(1) investigating issues relating to the search for a superintendent, including transition timeline and process, recommendation for an interim superintendent, search timeline and process, and composition of group conducting search: timeline and process for selecting and transitioning to an interim superintendent and searching and selecting a permanent superintendent

VII.
Adjournment


Board Chairperson Payne adjourned the meeting at 3:07 p.m.