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Hawaii’s World

By A.A. Smyser

Thursday, June 29, 2000



Expansion at
Kamehameha Schools

IN the bad old days, $100 million a year was about the most the now-ousted trustees of the Kamehameha Schools allocated to educate Hawaiian children.

In the fiscal year starting Saturday it will be $200 million. There is a realistic possibility of a future $300 million within the spending guidelines of the new interim trustees.

These numbers compare with a state public education budget of $1 billion for the 2000-01 year.

The temporary new trustees value the estate of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop at $5 billion today -- down somewhat because of losses. They have a Circuit Court guideline to spend annually from 2.5 to 6 percent of the estate's value.

Spending all this money wisely is the trick, of course. It is also the reason the new trustees haven't rushed right up to the $300 million level.

The guidelines for wise management of the rich estate are out for public hearings between now and mid-August in the form of a Draft Strategic Plan for running the schools.

This, at first glance, is a broad motherhood document with which few may disagree. But the potential exists for shifting priorities and even modifying directions based on what the public says.

Key points stand out:

Bullet Adherence to spiritual and Christian values, as specified by Princess Pauahi in her will.

Bullet Advancement of Hawaiian people through education.

Bullet Perpetuation of the Hawaiian language and culture.

Bullet Engagement of families and communities to help with education.

Bullet Formation of strategic alliances, including the public schools, where more than 40,000 students are Hawaiian.

Bullet Development of leaders focused on serving others.

Bullet Support for post-high school education and training.

Bullet Preparation for diverse vocations.

Bullet Outreach to populations not now served by Kamehameha.

Bullet Sound priority-setting and good business management to preserve and grow the estate.

Today the schools educate 3,500 K-12 students at their Kapalama Heights campus. New campuses being built on Maui and East Hawaii will mature to 1,200 K-12 students each.

Some 3,500 students get college tuition aid. Most study on University of Hawaii campuses, but many go out of state. A new Ke Alii Pauahi Scholarship Fund, welcoming private contributions, will be merit-based.

The Oahu campus is primarily college prep and likely will remain so. Maui and East Hawaii probably will mix college prep with vocational as they phase in.

THE trustees likely may restore a number of the cradle-to-grave outreach programs reaching over 30,000 people that were discarded en masse a few years ago as inefficient. There were several dozen of them. They will be re-examined one by one and possibly restructured if restored.

Working with expectant mothers and helping them in the pre-kindergarten years were important elements. National studies place increased importance on these years for shaping the future adult.

Public school partnerships will focus on geographic areas with large Hawaiian populations. Once established, they will provide programs to students in supported classes regardless of ethnicity.

Among Hawaii's 1.2 million people, 200,000 or more are believed to have at least some Hawaiian blood. Of the public schools system's 180,000 students, the 40,000-plus with Hawaiian blood are the fastest growing element.

Successes for the Hawaiian group, which has been disproportionately disadvantaged, will mean success for the state overall.



Bishop Estate Archive
Kamehameha Schools



A.A. Smyser is the contributing editor
and former editor of the the Star-Bulletin
His column runs Tuesday and Thursday.




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