State DOE:
Superintendent's Annual Report
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School Year 2002-2003

Published March 2004

14th Annual Report - Selected Highlights


Overall enrollment growth has ended for now. Enrollment peaked in 1995-96 and has declined since. However, schools, complexes, and districts are still experiencing the effects of population on Oahu. (Pages 5-7)

Special Needs

The number of students in need of special services has increased rapidly in the last decade. These students come from poor economic circumstances, have limited English proficiency, or need special education services. The numbers of students with these needs have increased by 40 to 80 percent since 1992-93. This means that the task facing public schools is steadily becoming more difficult and more costly. (Pages 8-9)

Administrative Staffing

The myth that Hawaii's public school system is "top heavy" with administrators has no basis in fact. The number of administrators as a percentage of total staff is substanially smaller than those in comparison states and is only a little more than half the average percentage for the nation. (Page 11)


Hawaii is the only state that funds its public schools from state revenues without using local government funds. While Hawaii's per-pupil expenditures have grown over the last decade, their rate of growth has lagged behind those of other states. While Hawaii is among the top five states in combined state and local expenditures per capita, it ranks last in the percentage of state and local expenditures allocated to public schools. (Pages 13-15)

Dropouts and School Completion

The estimated cumulative dropout rate for grades 9 through 12 is between 13% and 18% well above the Hawaii and national goal of 10% or less. Four-year graduation rates for students entering 9th grade in Hawaii are just under 80%, again, well below the state goal of 90% or more. (Pages 17-18)

Student Discipline

The incidence rates of disciplinary suspensions have continued a pattern of decline since 1995-96, with the exception of a slight upturn in incidents involving violence, primarily harassment and assault. The latter trend may be the result of increased attention to dealing with student behavior that threatens others, especially hazing or bullying. (Pages 23-24)

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