Link to NCES Summary of Hawai‘i Public School Information

Link to Educational, Geographic, Demographic Hawai‘i Public School Information

As of fall 2023, there are 257 schools, 12,810 teachers, and 164, 634 students in the Hawai‘i Department of Education system of public schools.
Hawai‘i is the only state which is itself a district. Many other states have hundreds of districts. The total number of school districts in the U.S. is 13,452.
Income Levels
17% of Hawaii residents live in “covered Households” meaning the income is 150% of the poverty line or less.
Over 40% of households across the state are ALICE (Asset Limited, INcome Constrained, Employed) or in poverty.
Individuals with a language barrier include those individuals who speak a language other than English at home and have low levels of literacy. A significant portion of individuals in Hawaiʻi who have a language barrier are foreign-born. Of the 268,995 foreign-born individuals over five years old residing in Hawai‘i as of 2021, nearly 50 percent or 107,598 individuals did not speak English “very well”.8 Over 25 languages other than English are. spoken within households in Hawai‘i
Race and Ethnicity
Racial or ethnic minority groups. For the purposes of this Plan, minorities are defined as individuals who identify as a race other than White alone. Hawaiʻi is known the world over as a melting pot of cultures, and the data shows that a clear majority of Hawaiʻi residents—over 77%—belong to ethnic minorities. Native Hawaiians are considered to be a minority group with unique challenges, barriers, and assets that are sometimes distinct from other ethnic minorities.


Hawai‘i public student ethnicity
26.6% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
26.4% Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander
16.8% Hispanic/Latino
11.3% White
1.4% Black
0.2% American Indian or Alaska Native

Digital Access
Smartphones are increasingly ubiquitous across generations, geographies, ethnicities, and socioeconomic strata. In the 2020 HIDOE Distance-Learning Survey, 96% of 41,150 family members and students in grades 6-12 statewide reported that they have a smartphone with Internet access. It is noted that the rate is higher among family members than students.

HSTA 20 Points for the Constitutional Amendment for School Funding (flyer linked to sources)

Parents for Public Schools of Hawaii Flyer for School Funding Constitutional Amendment (sources for this flyer are listed below)


Point/URL Source Title/Description Date
Hawaii spends the lowest % of county and state funds on education in the country. HI Dept. of Bus., Econ. Dev. & Tourism “An Analysis of Real Property Tax in Hawaii” Mar 2017
­Adjusted for cost of living, Hawai‘i ranks 45th in the nation in per pupil spending. EdBuild Article by non-profit organization focused on public school funding 2016 survey
­Adjusted for cost of living, Hawai‘i teachers are the lowest paid in the nation. NPR “The Fight Over Teacher Salaries: A Look At The Numbers” Mar 16, 2018
­Many Hawai‘i public school students attend school all year without qualified teachers Civil Beat “Hawaii Has Fewer Certified Teachers This Year” Nov 2017
­Hawai‘i is ranked 49th worst state in which to be a teacher. Pacific Business News “Hawaii is one of the worst US states for teachers” Sep 2017
Native Hawaiian students are more likely to have unqualified teachers than others. Hawaii DOE Equitable Access to Excellent Educators Nov 2015
Hawaii is the only state without property tax funding of public education. Nat’l Center for Ed. Statistics Tables of Data on all states 2013-2014
­Hawai‘i has the lowest property tax rate in the country. Wallet Hub Property Taxes By State Feb 2018
­Low property taxes lead to high prices for homes and land. Civil Beat “Why the prices of homes and everything else are high in Hawaii” May 2014
­Off-island investors use Hawai‘i property for gains without paying significant taxes. Honolulu Magazine “Will the Kaka‘ako Condo Boom Ease Honolulu’s Housing Crisis?” May 2016
­Foreign owned properties are 64% more expensive than local residents’ homes. HI Dept of Bus, Econ Dev & Tourism Research and Economic Analysis Division Residential Property Analysis May 2016
The proposed surcharge is ONLY on investment properties- not on residents’ homes Hawaii State Legislative Website Constitution – Taxation and Public Education amendment sections April 2018




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