A Kalihi charter school which has been in financial trouble is asking for the community’s help in order to stay open.
Dozens of students, parents and friends waved signs outside Halau Lokahi this morning to generate support and to say it will stay open for the new school year.
The school was on the brink of closing after falling about $400,000 in the red. Last month, it was unable to pay teachers’ salaries.
Halau Lokahi’s director Laara Allbrett argues it doesn’t receive enough money per student from the state, and that the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) wants an audit of the school’s books.
When Allbrett was asked if it was a responsible thing to let the school go into the red for so many years in a row, she responded “We’re all taxpayers. The parents here are all taxpayers. So it’s not like taxpayers out there versus taxpayers in here. We are all taxpayers.”
“(The school) took out money from the teachers paychecks through the year, but the money was not given to the HSTA for the dues,” responded HSTA president Will Okabe by phone. “So where did the money go? When they took the money from the teachers to pay the union dues?”
Halau Lokahi will have a new governing board, and the Charter School Commission hopes to get those members selected by next week.