The Hawaii State Department of Education will be asking the Legislature for $31.7 million in operating funds and $164 million in Capital Improvement Projects for Fiscal Year 2014-2015.
The DOE presented its Supplemental Budget Request before the Senate Ways and Means and House Finance Committees in the State Capitol Auditorium Tuesday morning.
The DOE says the budget for operating funds puts the department at its current funding levels.
"Our budget aligns with our Strategic Plan and targeted goals for the success of our students, staff and department," stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. "We have identified the most critical components to execute our strategic initiatives. The progress that we've made over the past two years is extraordinary. This budget provides the necessary supports that educators deserve to stay on course and build on our progress."
The Superintendent noted recent achievements by students and educators that have brought acclaim to Hawaii, including the following:
•Hawaii students making the highest gains in the nation in reading and math performance across all tested grades in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
•An increase of students enrolled in college and fewer students needing remediation.
•National recognition of program efforts to ensure teacher preparation and development are aligned with college-and career-ready standards.
"The core budget is aligned to support ongoing reform efforts," said Amy Kunz, assistant superintendent & chief financial officer, Office of Fiscal Services. "These are targeted requests based on measurable results."
The DOE plans on tackling numerous projects under the CIP supplemental request, including the following:
•Air condition/heat abatement acceleration program ($25 million)
•Science classroom upgrades at 12 high schools ($10 million)
"The department’s supplemental CIP request reflects the minimum level of funding necessary to maintain recent improvements and to remain diligent on the upkeep of our schools," noted Raymond L'Heureux, assistant superintendent, Office of School Facilities and Support Services.
The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 288 schools and serves more than 185,000 students.