The Department's Budget

The Department operates Hawaii's public schools on a $1.99 billion budget comprised primarily of state funds (81 percent), as well as federal, special, and trust funds. It develops and upgrades facilities with a separate budget sourced almost entirely from the state. Hawaii is 15th in the nation for per-pupil spending. Learn about the Operating and Capital Improvement Program 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

The State of Hawaii runs its budget on a fiscal biennium that's submitted to the Legislature during odd-numbered years, with course-corrections and new asks submitted during the intervening years via a supplemental budget. The Board of Education approves the Department's budgetary ask annually in October. The budget is then modified by the Department of Budget and Finance before a formal submission to the Hawaii State Legislature when its session begins in January.

The Hawaii DOE's budget is comprised of:

  • An Operating budget to cover the expense of running schools; and
  • A Capital Improvements Program budget to cover the expense of maintaning, developing, and upgrading school facilities and campuses.

Information about the current cycle follows. This chart provides an overview of what the budget process looks like.

FB 2019-21 (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021)
The Board of Education approved the Fiscal Biennium budget on Oct. 18, 2018. It will be reviewed by the state Department of Budget and Finance for referral to the Hawaii State Legislature, which will begin hearings in January 2019.

  • Operating Budget [VIEW]
  • CIP Budget [VIEW]

FY 2019 (July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019)
The supplemental budget for fiscal year 2019 was approved by the Board of Education on Oct. 17, 2017, reviewed by the Department of Budget and Finance, and presented to the Hawaii State Legislature in January 2018. (View the presentation here.) House decisions were released in March, Senate decisions were released in April. The Governor signed HB 1900, HD1, SD2, CD1 on June 22, 2018 and it became Act 53, SLH 2018.

  • Operating Budget [VIEW]
  • CIP Budget [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 20,000 substitutes and casual employees in positions across 292 public schools, 15 complex areas, and the state office. The Operating Budget for FY 2019 is $1.99 billion — $1.63 billion coming from the state's General Fund. Funds are distributed by program categories, known as EDNs. Nearly all funds go to schools.

  • EDN 100 (58.2%) 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 (22.6%) supports special education students who may require or have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
  • E​DN 400 (12.1%) 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 2019
Here is a breakdown, by program category, of the $1.63 billion the State Legislature appropriated for FY 2019 during the 2018 session. Amounts are in millions, and percentages are rounded:

EDN 100: School Based Budgeting$948.3
EDN 150: Special Education$367.7 22.6%
EDN 200: Instructional Support$56.1
EDN 300: State Administration$51.7
EDN 400: School Support$197.6
EDN 500: School Community Services$4.0
< 1%
EDN 700: Early Learning$3.8
< 1%


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.
  • 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.
pie chart


Here is a breakdown of the Department's Operating budget funding across all sources dating to FY10 (Source: Executive Biennium and Supplemental Budget Bills):


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 Board-approved CIP budgetary requests (REQUESTED) and the Legislature's appropriation (APPROVED).

FY18 (Biennium Budget) FY19 (Supplemental Budget)
Condition $159.3 $90.0 $213.3
$ 54.5
Capacity $259.6 --
Equity $146.0 $33.0 $199.4
Program Support $100.7 $33.0 $123.9
Lump Sums (project completion, TItle IX, equipment)
$9.0 --
$ 33.0
TOTAL $674.6 $156.0 $783.6 $ 114.5
Legislative Add-Ons$118.5 $166.9
Special: Act 57, energy eff./heat abatement$30.8$46.4 ----
TOTAL $705.4 $320.9 $783.6 $281.4

How does Hawaii’s educational spending compare nationally?

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 survey reflecting Fiscal Year 2016 data, released May 2018 (figures pulled from Summary Tables 11 and 12):

  • FY 2016 PER-PUPIL SPENDING: $13,748. The national average is $11,762.
REVENUES — Hawaii is:
  • 12th 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 11 other states.
  • 25th in the nation for revenue per $1,000 of personal income in the state. Hawaii's public schools are given $43.52 for every $1,000 of income earned in the state. Twenty-four other states spend a larger fraction of personal income on public schools. The U.S. average is $43.15. The highest is Wyoming at $61.86.
SPENDING — Hawaii is:
  • 15th highest in the nation for per-pupil spending. We are:
    • 16th in the nation for spending on instruction at $8,066 per pupil (U.S. average is $7,160)
    • 48th in the nation for spending on general administration at $97 per pupil (U.S. average is $226)
    • 8th in the nation for spending on school administration at $924 (U.S. average is $651)

This nationally reported 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. The state's per pupil funding formula, contained in statute §302D-28, is based on the DOE's EDN 100, 200, 300, and 400 general fund budget. By that base calculation, for FY 2017-18, per-pupil funding for the Department and charter schools was $7,359, and is adjusted each year to align with funding levels for the Department.

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 2017 report released March 28, 2018. View report.​

Past audits, dating back to 2002, can be found in our Report Finder tool.

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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