Hawaii Department of Education

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The Hawaii Department of Education is part of the state’s executive branch of government and administers federal and statewide educational policy. The department also prepares a systemwide budget for the public school system to submit to the Hawaii State Board of Education, which submits a final proposed budget to the Legislature. The department is overseen by the education board and run by the superintendent of education.

The superintendent is the CEO of the education department and is responsible for carrying out board and federal educational policies. The superintendent’s office also handles communications and oversees department operations.

 Several divisions within the department cover the different aspects of public education in Hawaii:


Vision for Success

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

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

FB 2017-19
We 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 has gone through several iterations during the 2017 Legislative Session.

  • SENATE DRAFT BUDGET — Operating Budget [VIEW]
  • HOUSE DRAFT BUDGET — Operating Budget [VIEW]
  • EXECUTIVE REQUEST (what the Governor approved):

FY 2016-17
The Supplemental Budget FY 2016-17, which covers July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017, was passed by the Legislature in April 2016, adding:

  • $31.6 million in Operating Budget funds,
  • $305.9 million in state CIP funds. (Separately, the Legislature added $100 million toward Heat Abatement​.)

Details of those requests are found in the larger sections below: Operating Budget and CIP Budget. ​

  • HIDOE officials communicated the Governor’s Executive Request to the Ways & Means and Finance Committees of the Hawaii State Legislature, and to the Education Committees in January 2016. Click to view the presentation.​
  • View a line-item list​ of the supplemental budget requests showing the requests from HIDOE/BOE and the Governor, with House and Senate budget positions, and the final budget passed in April 2016.

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

Each year, the Hawaii State Department of Education educates and supports more than 180,000 students and employs about 25,000 teachers and staff in positions across 290 public schools (256 Department schools, 34 charter schools), 15 complex areas, and the state office. The Operating Budget for FY 2016-17 is $1.934 billion — $1.567 billion coming from the state’s General Fund.

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


  • EDN 100 (59%) 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.


APPROVED: FY 2016-17
Here is a breakdown, by program category, of the $1.57 billion the State Legislature appropriated for FY 2016-17 during the 2016 session (HB1700 HD1 SD1 CD1​). Amounts are in millions, and percentages are rounded:


EDN 100: School Based Budgeting $919.7 59%
EDN 150: Special Education $357.4 23%
EDN 200: Instructional Support $52.2 3%
EDN 300: State Administration $48.6 3%
EDN 400: School Support $183.9 12%
EDN 500: School Community Services $2.9 < 1%
EDN 700: Early Learning $3.0 < 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​. Shows HIDOE CIP budgetary requests and the Legislature’s appropriation.

FY16 (Biennium Budget) FY17 (Supplemental Budget)
Condition $129.0 $66.0 $64.0 $76.1
Capacity $162.8 $0 $234.0 $16.1
Equity $84.0 $3.0 $92.1 $16.1
Program Support $35.2 $1.0 $57.5 $11.6
Project Positions $8.5 $6.5 $2.0 $4.3
TOTAL $419.5 $76.5 $449.6 $124.2
Legislative Add-Ons $90.0 $104.7
TOTAL $419.5 $166.5 $449.6 $228.9
Priority Line-Items (add-ons match DOE priority needs)
Solomon El (DoD matching funds: $30.6) $5.1 $5.1
Priority: Mililani MS new classroom building $0 $11.5
Priority: Campbell HS new classroom building $35.0 $12.0
Priority: Waikoloa E&MS new classroom building $12.0 $11.0
Priority: Kihei HS: New School, Phase II $75.0 $37.5
Cool Schools $100.0
TOTAL $576.7 $406.0

The list of Legislative add-on projects can be seen each year in final budget bill, under “G. Formal Education EDN 100 – School-Based Budgeting.”

  • ​View the 2015 Session budget bill, with funding amounts and projects for FY16. ​
  • View the 2016 Session budget bill​, with funding amounts and projects for FY17.

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 2014 data, released in June 2016 (figures pulled from Tables 11 and 12):

  • FY 2014​ PER-PUPIL FUNDING: $14,434

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.
  • 31st in the nation for revenue per $1,000 of personal income in the state. Hawaii’s public schools are given $43.19 for every $1,000 of income earned in the state. Thirty other states spend a larger fraction of personal income on public schools. The U.S. average is $43.91. The highest is Alaska at $67.60.

SPENDING — Hawaii is:

  • 16th in the nation for per-pupil spending. We are:
    • 16th in the nation for spending on instruction ($7,464 per pupil)
    • 51st in the nation (last among all states and D.C.) for spending on general administration ($53)
    • 11th in the nation for spending on school administration ($806)

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

Email: doe_info@hawaiidoe.org

Strategic Plan 2017-2020

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Districts/Complex Areas

Hawaii’s 256 public K-12 schools are distributed into 42 “complexes,” made up of a high school and its feeder schools. Complexes are grouped on a geographic basis into 15 complex areas, each of which is led by a complex area superintendent appointed by the department superintendent. The complex areas are distributed into seven geographic school districts, each of which is represented on the Hawaii State Board of Education.

The districts and complex areas are divided as follows:

Oahu (four districts, nine complex areas)


  • Farrington-Kaiser-Kalani
  • Kaimuki-McKinley-Roosevelt


  • Aiea-Moanalua-Radford
  • Leillehua-Mililani-Waialua
  • Leeward
  • Campbell-Kapolei
  • Pearl City-Waipahu
  • Nanakuli-Waianae


  • Castle-Kahuku
  • Kailua-Kalaheo

Hawaii (one district, three complex areas)


  • Hilo-Laupahoehoe-Waiakea
  • Kau-Keaau-Pahoa
  • Honokaa-Kealakehe-Kohala-Konawaena

Maui/Molokai/Lanai (one district, two complexes)


  • Baldwin-Kekaulike-Maui
  • Hana-Lahainaluna-Lanai-Molokai

Kauai/Niihau: (one district, one complex)


  • Kapaa-Kauai-Waimea


Key Players

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