The Department's Budget

The Department operates Hawaii's public schools on a $1.9 billion budget comprised primarily of state funds (81 percent), as well as federal, special and trust funds. Hawaii is 17th in the nation for per-pupil spending. Learn about the Operating and Capital Improvement Projects budgets, state comparisons and more.

Budget factsheetHow it works, when it happens, where monies are spent, and other key facts about the DOE budget.​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Budget process

FY 2019
The supplemental budget for fiscal year 2019 was approved by the Board of Education on Oct. 17, 2017. The budget has been reviewed by the Department of Budget and Finance. The DOE presented it to the Finance, Ways and Means, and Education Committees of the Hawaii State Legislature in January. (View the presentation here.) House decisions were released in March, Senate decisions were released in April:

    • Operating Budget [VIEW]
    • CIP Budget [VIEW] — House only
    • Operating Budget [VIEW]
    • CIP Budget [VIEW]
  • BOARD OF EDUCATION (what HIDOE requested and Board approved):
    • Operating Budget [VIEW]
    • CIP Budget [VIEW]

FB 2017-19
The DOE presented the Executive Budget for the 2017-19 fiscal biennium to the Ways and Means and Financial committees of the Hawaii State Legislature on Jan. 17, 2017, and to joint education committees on Jan. 23. View the presentation here. The budget went through several iterations during the 2017 Legislative Session. It was approved on May 4, 2017.

  • ACT 49: FINAL BUDGET: Operating Budget [VIEW
    • Drafts: Legislative Conference [VIEW], Senate [VIEW], House [VIEW] | CIP Budget [VIEW]
  • EXECUTIVE REQUEST (what the Governor approved): Operating Budget [VIEW]​ | CIP Budget [VIEW]
  • BOARD OF EDUCATION (what HIDOE requested and Board approved): Operating Budget: SummaryFull document​ | CIP Budget: Full document​ | BOE Presentation: Budget Process for FB 2017-19 [VIEW]

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Operating Budget

Each year, the Hawaii State Department of Education educates and supports about 180,000 students and employs about 22,000 teachers and 10,000 support staff in positions across 292 public schools (256 public schools, 36 charter schools), 15 complex areas, and the state office. The Operating Budget for FY 2018 is $1.983 billion — $1.61 billion coming from the state's General Fund.

Money is allocated from the state's General Fund into program categories, known as EDNs. Nearly all funds go to schools.

  • EDN 100 (58%) is almost entirely distributed to schools using the Weighted Student Formula (WSF). The WSF gives schools a specific dollar amount for each student, and additional funds for students with certain characteristics, such as qualifying for the free and reduced lunch program (socioeconomically challenged) or being English Language Learners. This creates a transparent model of funding equity on a statewide basis. The balance of EDN 100 is used to support programs such as Athletics, JROTC and Alternative Learning Centers.
  • EDN 150 (23%) supports special education students who may require or have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
  • E​DN 400 (12%) pays school bills — sewer, electric, water, repair, food service and others.
  • EDN 500 (0.2%) pays for Adult Education programs at public schools.
  • EDN 700 (0.2%) pays for pre-kindergarten programs at public schools.

FY 2018
Here is a breakdown, by program category, of the $1.61 billion the State Legislature appropriated for FY 2018 during the 2017 session. Amounts are in millions, and percentages are rounded:


EDN 100: School Based Budgeting$941.6 58%
EDN 150: Special Education$367.7 23%
EDN 200: Instructional Support$53.7 3%
EDN 300: State Administration$49.8 3%
EDN 400: School Support$190.6 12%
EDN 500: School Community Services$3.7 < 1%
EDN 700: Early Learning$3.2 < 1%

The Capital Improvement Projects Budget

Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) are renovations, repairs and major maintenance to existing facilities, landscape improvements, new construction, land acquisition, and utility modifications. The CIP Budget is set by the state as part of a comprehensive program to manage state facilities, and is handled separately from the DOE’s Operating Budget.​ Facilities staff work with principals directly to prioritize school-level needs. 

Like the EDNs for the Operating Budget, CIP appropriations are added into planning categories that direct how the funds can be used. Funds appropriated can only be expended in those buckets. They are:

  • Condition: Repair & Maintenance, Electrical/Technology Infrastructure, Hazardous Material Removal, Health & Safety, Structural Improvements
  • Equity: Science Facilities, Special Education, Energy Improvement, Right-sizing of spaces, Physical Education, Noise/Heat Abatement
  • Program Support: Gender Equity, New Restrooms, ADA Compliance, Support Program Spaces, Playground Equipment
  • Capacity: New Schools, Classroom Additions, Temporary Facilities, Repurposing existing to create capacity

Amounts are in millions and rounded​. The chart shows HIDOE- and Board-approved CIP budgetary requests (REQUESTED) and the Legislature's appropriation (APPROVED). 

  • The approved FY18 Capacity category is comprised of four major projects — Campbell High ($27 million), a new East Kapolei Middle School ($77 million), a new Kihei High School ($63 million), and Pohukaina El ($10 million).
FY18 (Biennium Budget) FY19 (Supplemental Budget)
Condition $159.3 $90.0 $143.9 $ --
Capacity $259.6 $177.0 $178.9 --
Equity $146.0 $33.0 $86.4 --
Program Support $100.7 $33.0 $87.9 --
Priority Items, Project Positions/Adjustments $9.0 $4.3 $9.0 $ 4.3
TOTAL $674.6 $337.3 $506.1 $ --
Legislative Add-Ons$118.5
Special: Act 57, energy eff./heat abatement$30.8$46.4 $30.8
TOTAL $705.4 $502.2 $536.9 $4.3

Funding sources

​​The Capital Improvement Projects budget is almost entirely funded by the State of Hawaii. The Operating Budget funding comes from four sources (see pie chart, below):

  • General funds (blue): Comes from the State of Hawaii’s general fund, primarily state tax revenues. This is the top source of funding to the Department — by far.
  • Federal funds (red): The Department receives grants from federal agencies including the U.S. Departments of Education, Agriculture, Defense and Health and Human Services.
  • Special funds (green): Those coming from revenue-generating activities, including school food services, student bus transportation services, summer school program, after-school programs, adult education, driver education, and use of school facilities.
  • Trust funds (purple): May include donations & gifts, foundations & other grants, school athletic program activity collections, and “fair share” and School Impact District​ developer fees.
budget chart​​

Here is a breakdown of Department Operating budget funding across all sources dating to FY 2009-10
(Source: Executive Biennium and Supplemental Budget Bills):

FY2016-17 FY2015-16 FY2014-15 FY2013-14
General funds $1,567,678,982 $1,530,655,758 $1,402,889,559 $1,399,913,038
Federal funds $265,034,049 $258,012,049 $250,994,824 $259,250,749
Special funds $83,954,451 $96,755,747 $95,339,367 $95,339,367
Trust funds $17,640,000 $17,640,000 $24,290,000 $24,290,000
TOTAL $1,934,307,482 $1,903,063,554 $1,773,513,750 $1,778,793,154

FY2012-13 FY2011-12 FY2010-11 FY2009-10
General funds $1,348,108,657 $1,365,566,677 $1,253,433,452 $1,396,097,613
Federal funds $284,547,256 $311,496,353 $305,716,386 $374,991,570
Special funds $96,535,944 $88,045,223 $79,055,420 $75,406,544
Trust funds $32,919,060 $32,990,000 $13,716,215 $13,750,000
TOTAL $1,762,110,917 $1,798,098,253 $1,651,921,473 $1,860,245,727

How does Hawaii’s educational spending compare?

The funding of public schools is typically expressed “per pupil” — how much school districts are taking in and spending divided by the number of students served. It is helpful to look at Hawaii's spending relative to other states and the District of Columbia. Here are some key findings of the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual report on Public Education ​Finances​, reflecting Fiscal Year 2015 data, released in June 2017 (figures pulled from Tables 11 and 12):

  • FY 2015 PER-PUPIL SPENDING: $12,855. The national average is $11,392.
REVENUES — Hawaii is:
  • 17th in the nation for per-pupil revenue. Hawaii has one of the highest costs of living in the country, yet its school system receives less than 16 other states.
  • 37th in the nation for revenue per $1,000 of personal income in the state. Hawaii's public schools are given $40.97 for every $1,000 of income earned in the state. Thirty-six other states spend a larger fraction of personal income on public schools. The U.S. average is $43.42. The highest is Alaska at $72.61.
SPENDING — Hawaii is:
  • 17th in the nation for per-pupil spending. We are:
    • 19th in the nation for spending on instruction at $7,554 per pupil (U.S. average is $6,903)
    • 50th in the nation for spending on general administration at $70 per pupil (U.S. average is $218)
    • 9th in the nation for spending on school administration at $871 (U.S. average is $626)

Per-pupil funding includes monies from EDNs 100-400, and includes all means of finance: state, federal, special and trust. It also includes fringe benefits for general-funded employees that are not appropriated in the Department’s EDNs — since they are budgeted centrally at the Department of Budget and Finance for all general-funded employees. This is important to understand because it creates an appearance of a substantial difference between the amount of per-pupil funding given to the Department and that given to the state’s public charter schools, which only looks at EDNs 100-400 relating to the state’s general fund — this is the funding formula in statute under Act 106, Session Laws of Hawaii 2012. By that base calculation, for FY 2015-16, per-pupil funding for the Department and charter schools was $6,911.15.

Annual Financial and Single Audit Report

An independent report analyzing financial statements of the public school system, including operating, capital improvement and federal funds. FY 2016 report released March 24, 2017. View report.​

Annual Financial Report

The Department presents its Annual Financial Report to inform the public of the total cost of public education in Hawaii. It is a key component of department accountability and public transparency. The Annual Financial Report provides both Operating and CIP fund information, including operating revenues, receipts and expenditures. We have included operational costs such as repairs and maintenance of school facilities, and other expenses incurred by state and county agencies for public education purposes.

Budget allocations since 1999

Links to databases of allocations to Department offices, districts and schools. View by allocation number, program and/or organization.


Contact Information

Budget Branch

Phone: 808-784-6020


Strategic Plan 2017-2020

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