Funded: State Policy Analysis

A Detailed Look at Each State's Funding Policies

Below, see summaries of the state’s education funding policy in each issue area. Click the Expand icon next to any summary to see more detail, if available, about that state’s policy regarding that issue area. Click the Citation icon
next to any summary to see the sources of the information regarding that issue area.
Hawaii
Funding Basics
Formula Type

Hawaii has a primarily student-based funding formula. It assigns a cost to the education of an average student, called a base amount. It then accounts for the additional cost of educating specific categories of students both through program-specific allocations and by applying multipliers to the base amount to generate supplemental funding for certain students.

The categories of students generating supplemental funding in Hawaii are students in certain grade levels, English-language learners, low-income students, some students with disabilities, students identified as gifted, and students living on neighbor islands. Services for some students with disabilities and for students enrolled in career and technical education programs are funded through program-specific allocations.

References:
Hawaii State Department of Education. FY18 WSF Alloc Calc for OEC - FINAL. (Honolulu, HI: Hawaii State Department of Education, September 6, 2017),
Office of Fiscal Services. Hawaii State Department of Education. Department of Education Operating Budget Request Fiscal Biennium 2015-2017. (Honolulu, HI: Hawaii State Department of Education, January 2015),
“Weighted Student Funding Formula,” Hawaii State Department of Education, n.d. accessed February 6, 2018,
Base Amount

Hawaii has a fixed base funding amount per student. For FY2018, the base amount was $4,129.53.

This means that an average student with no special needs or disadvantages would be funded at that level.

Hawaii has an Executive Biennium Budget that allocates education funding annually to the Department of Education. Hawaii operates as a single, statewide school district. Therefore, the state’s Department of Education distributes this funding directly to each school based on its number of students.

References:
Hawaii State Department of Education. FY18 WSF Alloc Calc for OEC - FINAL. (Honolulu, HI: Hawaii State Department of Education, September 6, 2017),
Local Revenue
Expected Local Share

Hawaii is one, statewide school district; education revenue is collected by the state and distributed directly to schools.

References:
Reinventing Education Act of 2004, Sen. SB 3238, 22nd H.A. Legislature (2004).
Property Tax Floors and Ceilings

Hawaii is one, statewide school district. The school district cannot directly levy taxes of any kind. Education revenue is collected by the state and distributed to schools.

References:
Reinventing Education Act of 2004, Sen. SB 3238, 22nd H.A. Legislature (2004).
Other Local Taxes for Education

Hawaii is one, statewide school district. School districts may not impose taxes and are funded exclusively from state revenue.

References:
Reinventing Education Act of 2004, Sen. SB 3238, 22nd H.A. Legislature (2004),
Student Characteristics
Grade Level

Hawaii provides different levels of funding for students in different grade levels. It does so both by applying multipliers to the base per-pupil amount for students in two different grade spans and by providing different amounts of whole-school funding for schools serving different grade levels.

The base amount is multiplied by 1.15 for students in grades K-2, and by 1.0363 for students in grades 6-8. (The multipliers have been expressed this way for consistency with other states. The funding is actually provided in an amount equal to .15 or .0363 times the per-pupil base amount, distributed in addition to the student’s own base amount funding. The multipliers used are fixed annually by the state’s Committee on Weights.) The additional funding for grades K-2 is intended for class size reduction through the hiring of more teachers. Students in grades 3-5 and 9-12 are funded at the base amount.

The state’s per-school allocations also vary depending on the grade levels served. In FY2018, Hawaii’s per-school funding was $283,000 for elementary schools and $373,000 for multi-track elementary schools; $442,000 for middle schools and $532,000 for multi-track middle schools; $450,000 for high schools; $720,000 for K-12 schools; $503,000 for K-8 schools; and $511,000 for 6-12 schools.

References:
Hawaii State Department of Education. FY18 WSF Alloc Calc for OEC – FINAL, (Honolulu, HI: Hawaii State Department of Education, September 6, 2017),
Hawai’i Educational Policy Center, Implementing the Reinventing Education Act of 2004, (Honolulu, HI: Hawai’I Educational Policy Center, September 2004),
English-Language Learner

Hawaii provides increased funding for English-language learners (ELLs). It does so by applying a multiplier to the base per-pupil amount for these students.

The amount of funding provided for each student depends on the student’s level of English proficiency. For students who are classified as “Fully English Proficient,” the state applies a multiplier of 1.0648 to the base amount; for students with “Limited English Proficiency”, the multiplier applied is 1.1944; and for students classified as “Non-English Proficient,” the multiplier applied is 1.3888.

The multipliers have been expressed this way for consistency with other states. The funding is actually provided in an amount equal to 0.0648, 0.1944, or 0.3888 times the per-pupil base amount, distributed in addition to the student’s own base amount funding. The multipliers used are fixed annually by the state’s Committee on Weights.

References:
Hawaii State Department of Education. FY18 WSF Alloc Calc for OEC – FINAL, (Honolulu, HI: Hawaii State Department of Education, September 6, 2017),
Reinventing Education Act of 2004, Sen. SB 3238, 22nd H.A. Legislature (2004),
Poverty

Hawaii provides increased funding for students from low-income households. It does so by applying a multiplier of 1.1 to the base per-pupil amount for these students.

Students are eligible for supplemental funding if they qualify for free or reduced-price lunch under the National School Lunch Program.

The multipliers have been expressed this way for consistency with other states. The funding is actually provided in an amount equal to 0.1 or 0.2 times the per-pupil base amount, distributed in addition to the student’s own base amount funding. The multiplier used is fixed annually by the state’s Committee on Weights.

References:
Hawaii State Department of Education, FY18 WSF Alloc Calc for OEC – FINAL, (Honolulu, HI: Hawaii State Department of Education, September 6, 2017),
Mitchell Otani, Chairperson, Committee on Weights X, “Committee Action on the Recommendations of the Committee on Weights X Regarding the Weighted Student Funding Formula Fund Allocation for the 2017-2018 and the 2018-2019 School Years,” May 23, 2017,
Special Education

Hawaii funds special education using a resource-based system, determining the cost of delivering special education services based on the cost of the resources, staff positions in particular, required to do so.

The bulk of state funding for special education is based on set student-to-staff ratios calculated based on the number of identified students.

The remainder of state special education funding is distributed through specific program-based allocations, including funding for the Hawaii Schools for the Deaf and Blind; services to special-needs students during school breaks and in extended-year programs; student evaluations; certain intervention and other services; administrative costs; and the training and licensing of special education teachers.

References:
Hawaii State Department of Education, Legislative Budget System – Budget Comparison Worksheet, (Honolulu, HI: Hawaii State Department of Education, 2017),
Office of Fiscal Services. Hawaii State Department of Education. Department of Education Operating Budget Request Fiscal Biennium 2015-2017. (Honolulu, HI: Hawaii State Department of Education, January 2015),
Gifted

Hawaii provides increased funding to schools for gifted and talented students. It does so by applying a multiplier of 1.265 to the base per-pupil amount for a set proportion of students assumed to be gifted and talented.

Hawaii assumes that gifted students make up 3% of the overall population in schools. Hawaii applies this multiplier to the base amount for that proportion of students in order to provide for gifted and talented education.

The multiplier has been expressed this way for consistency with other states. The funding is actually provided in an amount equal to 0.265 times the per-pupil base amount, distributed in addition to the student’s own base amount funding. The multiplier used is fixed annually by the state’s Committee on Weights.

References:
Hawaii State Department of Education, FY18 WSF Alloc Calc for OEC – FINAL, (Honolulu, HI: Hawaii State Department of Education, September 6, 2017),
Office of Fiscal Services. Hawaii State Department of Education. Department of Education Operating Budget Request Fiscal Biennium 2015-2017. (Honolulu, HI: Hawaii State Department of Education, January 2015),
Career and Technical Education

Hawaii provides increased funding for career and technical education (CTE) programs. It does so through a program-based allocation for which the state appropriated about $5.8 million in FY 2018.

These funds are intended for CTE teachers, substitute teachers, staff development, classroom supplies, and classroom equipment.

References:
District Characteristics
Concentrated Poverty

Hawaii does not provide increased funding for districts based on the concentrations of students from low-income households that they serve. However, Hawaii does provide funding for individual students from low-income households. For more information, see “Poverty.”

Sparsity and/or Small Size

Hawaii provides increased funding for neighbor islands. It does so by applying a multiplier of 1.004 to the base per-pupil amount for students living on neighbor islands.

Neighbor islands are all Hawaii islands except Oahu.

The multiplier has been expressed this way for consistency with other states. The funding is actually provided in an amount equal to .004 times the per-pupil base amount, distributed in addition to the student’s own base amount funding. The multiplier used is fixed annually by the state’s Committee on Weights.

References:
Hawaii State Department of Education, FY18 WSF Alloc Calc for OEC – FINAL, (Honolulu, HI: Hawaii State Department of Education, September 6, 2017),
Charter Funding

Funding for charter schools in Hawaii is calculated based on a similar formula to the one used to calculate funding for traditional public schools.

Like traditional public schools, charter schools are funded through a student-based formula that considers the characteristics of students they educate. Charter schools in Hawaii may choose to receive funding through the state’s funding formula for traditional public schools, including additional funding for students in most special programs and need categories. However, charter schools will not receive funding for special education, which is provided for charter students within the state’s traditional public school system. Alternatively, charter schools may propose to receive funding through an alternate student-based funding formula.

Hawaii is one, statewide school district and does not raise any local tax revenue.

References:
Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 302D-28 (Lexis 2019).
Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 302D-29 (Lexis 2019).

Click here to visit our charter funding site for more details.