The Hawaii Board of Education will be broadcasting live audio of its Tuesday meeting, a new initiative aimed at increasing the accessibility and transparency of meetings.

The audio will be accessible online, through a downloadable app for cell phones, or by calling a toll-free number. Information on all three options is available here.

The BOE is expected to discuss a proposed new discipline policy at Tuesday’s meeting that would make suspensions an action of last resort. The full board meeting starts at 1:30 p.m. People can also listen to a Human Resources Committee meeting starting at 9:30 a.m. and a Finance and Infrastructure Committee meeting at 11:30 a.m.

Wide view Board of Education Meeting. 17 june 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The Board of Education listens to a presentation at a June meeting in Honolulu.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii is the only state to have a single school district and Board of Education, which can make access to decision-makers a challenge for parents and educators outside of Honolulu.

“It’s a matter of openness and accountability,” Vanessa Ott, a former teacher who created the Facebook group BOE Watch, told Civil Beat last month.  “We have the geographical limitations of Hawaii, but if we use modern technology people can at least see what happens at the meeting.”

For now, audio of the meetings is only available live and will not be accessible after the meeting is over.  That means the meetings are still out of reach for parents and teachers who work during the day, Ott pointed out last month.

Staff members have been working to improve BOE transparency and accessibility this year by adding more information to items on the meeting agendas and making the meeting minutes more descriptive,  BOE Executive Director Alison Kunishige said last month.

About the Author