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Supporting strong education systems

We believe that by advocating for a strong continuum in our education systems, we will promote achievement for every Native Hawaiian learner, and ensure a brighter future for education in Hawai‘i. We know that Hawaiian culture-based education will serve as a competitive advantage for all Hawai‘i’s children.

Early Learning

Early learning supports positive outcomes in academics, promotes emotional well-being, and provides our keiki a strong foundation for a lifetime of success. Unfortunately, only 1 in 4 in Hawai‘i attend early learning programs.

The Right Investment for a Lifetime of Success:

Early learning equips keiki with the social competence and cognitive skills they need to succeed.1

Early learning improves learners’ abilities in language and math.2

Students who attend preschool are more likely to graduate from high school and college.3

How we support early learning:

  • Delivering Hawaiian culture-based preschool education in 29 Nā Kula Kamaliʻi preschools serving 1,638 keiki statewide.
  • Awarding over 3,000 Pauahi Keiki Scholarships for KS and non-KS preschools annually.
  • Advocating for the expansion of early learning opportunities for all keiki, particularly with public preschool in DOE, charter, and ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi classrooms.
  • Providing approximately $50M for KS preschools, preschool scholarships, and grants to non-KS preschools & early learning programs.


Hawai‘i’s health and people depend on a thriving education system.  Attaining success in K-12 through Hawaiian culture-based education will allow our keiki to prepare for post-secondary educational achievement, enabling good life and career choices.

Bridging the Achievement Gap

Only 30% of Hawai‘i’s eighth graders are proficient in reading, compared to 36% nationally.4

About 1 in 4 of Hawai‘i’s eighth graders are proficient in math, compared to more than 1 in 3 nationally.5

Almost 1 in 5 Hawai‘i students do not graduate from high school on time.6

How we support K-12 keiki:

  • Sharing data with the Board of Education to promote  Hawaiian culture-based education across the public education system.
  • Spending $28.33 million in fiscal year 2017-2018 to support the Hawai‘i Department of Education, including Hawaiian-focused charter schools.

College & Career

Every learner deserves access to post-secondary education and training that allows them to thrive here in Hawai‘i. Over a lifetime, bachelor’s degree holders contribute $381,000 more in taxes than they receive in benefits. 

Clearing the Path to Prosperity

Hawai‘i ranks 37th in the nation in college-going rates for high school seniors.7

Less than half of Hawai‘i undergraduate students will complete their degree within 6 years.8

Only around 10% of Hawai‘i residents hold an advanced degree.9

How we support success in college & career:

  • Partnering with the University of Hawai‘i and Chaminade to increase Native Hawaiian college achievement and advance Hawaiian culture-based curriculum.
  • Advocating in support of the University of Hawai‘i Promise Program to provide scholarships for qualified students.
  • Advocating in support of the Teach Our Own teacher program and directly supporting the increase of licensed Kula Kaiapuni teachers through Ka ʻAuwai Kaiapuni.

1 National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. “The Science of Early Childhood Development.” (2007): 4-8.
2 Vivian C. Wong, Thomas D. Cook, W. Steven Barnett, and Kwanghee Jung. “An effectiveness-based evaluation of five state pre-kindergarten programs.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 27, No. 1 (2008): 122-154.
3 Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy. “Abecedarian Project.”
4 The National Assessment of Educational Progress. “NAEP Reading Report Card.”
5 Ibid.
6 Hawai‘i Data Exchange Partnership. “College & Career Readiness Indicators (CCRI).”
7 The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. “College-Going Rates of High School Graduates - Directly from High School.”
8 The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. “Graduation Rates.”
9 U.S. Census Bureau. "2013-2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.”

Make your voice heard!


Kawaiaha‘o Plaza

567 South King St
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 523-6200

KS Hawai‘i

16-716 Volcano Rd
Kea‘au, HI 96749
(808) 982-0000

KS Kapālama

1887 Makuakāne St
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 842-8211

KS Maui

275 ‘A‘apueo Pkwy
Pukalani, HI 96768
(808) 572-3100