The life or death of the Halau Lokahi charter school was at stake Thursday at a highly contentious meeting of the state public charter school commission. The school has more than a $400,000 shortfall. School officials say the shortfall is partially due to lower enrollment rates in the past few years.
Tom Hutton, the commission’s executive director, recommended the school be shut down today due to the school’s dire financial straits. However, school officials submitted a last ditch plan to save the school late Thursday.
Supporters of the school say you need to look beyond dollar signs and at the change the school has made in students’ lives. “If I never came to the school I’d probably have a criminal record,” said former student Grayson Kauwe. A group of parents, teachers and students showed up and voiced their concerns at Thursday’s meeting.
The commission is set to receive the new financial plan by 5 p.m. Friday. They will reconvene Wednesday at noon to issue the results of the evaluation of the plan and ultimately decide the fate of the school.