Struggling charter school rallies for funding at State Capitol

Students, teachers and parents gathered outside the State Capitol Monday to rally in support of an embattled charter school.

Halau Lokahi supporters marched to draw attention to the release of charter funds that they say the school has not gotten, but that all other charter schools have already received.

“The funds for all the other charter schools were released on July 18 and that’s by law, and yet Halau Lokahi has not had any funds released to us,” said Laara Allbrett, Halau Lokahi co-founder. “Our objective is to get the monies released so we can take care of our landlord, take care of our obligations, and the students are looking forward to school starting in August.”

The school has been plagued with money problems, racking up a debt of more than $400,000.

Catherine Payne, chair of the State Public Charter School Commission, previously told KHON2 that while charter schools got their initial payment in July, the commission decided not to give any payment to Halau Lokahi until it received a viable financial plan for the entire school year.

“We didn’t want to give them money that would only take them part way through the year as they pay off their old debts and trying to move forward,” she said. “I know that there’s a feeling sometimes that we’re not supporting them, but truly our commissioners want this school to go forward, but we have a great responsibility for these state funds and to the students at the schools.”

The school says it has a financial plan, but the commission says it has not seen it.

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