About the Hawaii DOE
Hawaii's public school system was founded on Oct. 15, 1840 by King Kamehameha III. It is the oldest public school system west of the Mississippi. Our 292 schools (256 public, 36 charter) belong to one statewide public school district with
15 regional Complex Areas.
Children in Hawaii are required to attend school between the ages of 5 and 18:
Strategic Plan & Nā Hopena A‘o
Our mission and vision are reflected in the 2017-2020 DOE/BOE
Strategic Plan, our governing document to grow equity and excellence in the school system. Its ambitious but attainable goals and objectives are measured via statewide indicators that are reported to the Board of Education.
We serve our community by developing the academic achievement, character, and social-emotional well-being of our students to the fullest potential. We work with partners, families, and communities to ensure that all students reach their aspirations from early learning through college, career, and citizenship.
Hawai‘i’s students are educated, healthy, and joyful lifelong learners who contribute positively to our community and global society.
Nā Hopena A‘o (HĀ) is a framework of outcomes that reflects our core values and beliefs in action, throughout the school system and the communities in which our schools reside, to develop the competencies that strengthen a sense of belonging, responsibility, excellence, aloha, total-well-being and Hawai‘i (“BREATH”) in ourselves, students and others. With a foundation in Hawaiian values, language, culture and history, HĀ reflects the uniqueness of Hawai‘i and is meaningful in all places of learning.
Excerpts from the latest of these key state reports follows. To view these and other key reports, visit the School Data and Reports section of this website.
From the Enrollment Report (2017-18) –
view the spreadsheet
- Department schools: 168,095 students
- Charter schools: 11,160 students
- Regular Education: 161,976
- Special Education: 17,279
- Teachers at Department schools: 12,700+
BUDGET ALLOCATIONS (2017-18) – View the Department's budget page
Operating Budget: $1.98 billion
- State general funds: $1.61 billion
- Federal funds: $273 million
- Special/revolving funds: $84 million
- Trust funds: $15.9 million
Construction Improvement Programs (CIP) budget: $455.8 million from all sources, plus $46.4 million specifically for
Heat Abatement and energy efficiency work.
- Per-pupil spending: $12,855 (FY 2014) — 17th in the nation (national average is $11,392)
Title I is the federal education program that provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards. As part of its Title I requirement, states produce a plan for equitable access to excellent educators, view here.
The Department's list of Title I schools is reported as schools that have a minimum poverty threshold of 47.2%. Poverty is determined via family enrollment in two federal programs — Community Eligibility Provision and the Free & Reduced Lunch Program — during the prior school year.
The percentage of DOE students considered economically challenged, 2016-17: 50.5%
- Number of students qualifying for free lunch: 75,387
- Number of students qualifying for reduced-price lunch: 15,563
Number of homeless students (2016-17): 2,976
2016 Strive HI System results:
Learn more about the Strive HI Performance System. To view a school's individual report, go to the school's page. You can search in the header of this website for the name of the school, or search using our School Finder tool
- Steady progress on statewide assessments in English Language Arts/Literacy, Mathematics and Science. This is the first year states taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment could do an "apples-to-apples" comparison with last year's results.
- ELA: Up 3 points to 51 percent meeting the standard
- Math: Up 1 point to 42 percent meeting the standard
- Science: Up 2 points to 43 percent proficiency on the Hawaii State Assessment-Science. Over three years, students are up 9 points in proficiency on the exam.
- "Bonus" metrics introduced for the first time this year show that 41 percent of all 11th and 12th graders are taking advanced coursework that demonstrate their college & career readiness.
- There was a slight regression in chronic absenteeism for elementary schools (up two points), but it is still down five points since the system began tracking it.
- Readiness metrics are holding steady for 11th grade ACT, graduation rate and college-going rate.
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
NAEP is a congressionally authorized project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. It is an assessment of a representative sample of 4th and 8th graders in reading and math that's given every two years, with additional assessments in other subjects and in grade 12. The test is known as "The Nation's Report Card." You can compare Hawaii's results with other states and the national average on the
Nation's Report Card website.
2013: The Nation’s 2013 Report Card by the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) showed Hawaii’s fourth- and eighth-graders proved to be among the nation’s leaders when it comes to improved progress in mathematics and reading achievement. It also marked the first time Hawaii’s fourth-graders surpassed the national average in mathematics. [View press release]
2015: The 2015 NAEP Report Card showed scores slipping around the country; Hawaii was also among that trend. However, the 10-year trajectory of improvement (see below) is still among the best in the nation and is cited as a success in the state's school system improvement efforts. [View press release]
10-Year Growth, 2005-2015: Hawaii is outpacing states in NAEP proficiency gains over 10 years. [VIEW]
Math 4th grade: +8 points, 4th in nation (tied)
Math 8th grade: +14 points, 2nd in nation
Reading 4th grade: +6 points, 6th in nation (tied)
Reading 8th grade: +9 points, 1st in nation (tied)