boosts spending

Rebounding revenues allow for
$47 million more to fund programs

The Kamehameha Schools increased spending on educational programs by $47 million last year as its revenues rebounded from the post-9/11 economic downturn.

In its annual report for the year ending June 30, the $6 billion charitable trust said it spent a record $289 million on its educational programs last year due in part to increased enrollment at its neighbor island campuses and the costs associated with the start-up of charter schools.

The estate's revenues rose to $544.4 million from $153.9 million a year earlier, according to the report.

"Building and maintaining a strong financial foundation for the trust is critical as Kamehameha Schools strives to reach its strategic goal of extending its educational reach to more Hawaiians," said acting Chief Executive Officer Colleen Wong.

The improved finances helped fund record participation in the estate's programs last year. The trust said it served more than 158,000 Hawaiian students though its Kapalama Heights and neighbor island campuses, its outreach and extension programs and its scholarship and financial aid programs.

Enrollment at the estate's three campuses rose by 624 to 4,427 last year due largely to the addition of ninth-grade classes at its Maui and Big Island schools.

The trust also spent $7 million on efforts to obtain accreditation for Kamehameha Schools-sponsored preschools and to help fund the start-up of charter schools in communities that have a large Hawaiian population, according to the report.

Founded by the 1884 will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the estate is a tax-exempt charity that educates children of native Hawaiian ancestry. It is one of the nation's wealthiest charities and is the state's largest private landowner with more than 365,000 acres in Hawaii.

The estate benefited from the sale of three major mainland holdings last year, according to the report. They included the $127.6 million sale of oil and gas venture Kukui Inc., the $150 million sale of 300,000 acres of timber property in northern Michigan and the $25 million sale of a small shopping center in Palm Desert, Calif.

Kirk Belsby, the estate's vice president for endowment, said he believes that Kamehameha Schools will be able to sustain its performance during the current fiscal year given the strength of the nation's financial markets.


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