Private School Regulation


Under Hawaiian law, every private school is subject to the supervision of the Hawaiian Department of Education. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 298-7.

Registration/Licensing/Accreditation: The Hawaii Council of Private Schools (performs the functions and assumes the responsibilities of the Hawaii Department of Education (HDOE) for the licensing of private schools in Hawaii. Memorandum of Understanding The Hawaii Council of Private Schools, HDOE, Hawaii Association of Independent Schools (HAIS), pursuant to Hawaii Sessions Law, ACT 188.

Recordkeeping/Reports: As the licensing entity, the Hawaii Council of Private Schools is responsible for the publication of an annual directory of licensed private schools, annual enrollment report, keeping of permanent records for all schools, and handling of complaints.

Health: No person who has contracted tuberculosis shall, while afflicted with the disease, be allowed to teach in any public or private school. Haw. Rev. Stat.§ 302A-612.

Safety: Private school employees and officers have a duty to report suspected child abuse or neglect that is based upon a reasonable belief. Individuals should immediately make their reports orally to the Department of Social Services or to the police department. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 350-1.1. Private schools may develop procedures to obtain criminal history record checks for employees who work in close proximity to children. In addition, potential employees may be required to provide 1) a written statement of past convictions; 2) consent to a criminal history record check; and 3) permission to be fingerprinted. Private school employers may refuse employment or terminate an employee if the individual has been convicted of a crime, other than a minor traffic offense. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 846-43.

Transportation: Bus transportation subsidies to sectarian and private school students violate the state's constitution. Spears v. Honda, 449 P.2d 130 (1968).

Public Aid for Private Schools/Private School Students: The Hawaiian constitution prohibits the appropriation of public funds for the support or benefit of any sectarian or private educational institution. Hawaii Constitution, Art. X, § 1.

Homeschooling: A parent teaching the parent?s child at home shall be deemed a qualified instructor. Test scores are required for grades identified in the Statewide Testing Program, grades 3, 5, 8, and 10. The child may participate in the testing program through the local public school or through private testing at the parent?s expense. Other means of evaluation may be approved if requested by the parent. No course credits (Carnegie units) are granted for time spent being home-schooled. A home-schooled child who wants to earn a high school diploma from the local public high school shall attend high school for a minimum of three full years to meet the 22 credit requirement for graduation. A home-schooled child who wants to earn a high school diploma from the community school for adults shall meet the following requirements: be at least 17 years of age, have been home-schooled for at least one semester under Hawaii?s home-school procedures, take and achieve a satisfactory score on the GED. A child who is being home-schooled may participate in any college entrance examination made available to all other students through a request to the local public high school principal. HRS § 296-12, 298-9.

Miscellaneous: Hawaii's Foundation on Culture and the Arts consults with private schools and includes private school students in their program to recognize and display student art work. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 9-4.

The Board of Education must provide ways and means for placing libraries within reach of all residents particularly all public and private schools. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 312-1.

Private school functions are exempt from the states excessive noise prohibition between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 342F-30.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, 1999 - This information is presented for research use only and should not be construed as legal advice.  Please consult an attorney for further information.