• Hawaiʻi State Senate

Hawai'i State Public Schools Department: FY 2021 Budget Report

The Department operates Hawaii's public schools on a $2.1 billion budget comprised primarily of state funds (82 percent). It develops and upgrades facilities with a separate $559 million Capital Improvements Program (CIP) budget sourced almost entirely from the state. Learn about the DOE budget, state comparisons and more.

Legislative Briefings

In January 2020, the Hawaiʻi DOE will present its Fiscal Year 2021 budget to several committees of the state legislature. Click below to view the presentations and supplemental materials.

Budget fact sheet

Quick overview of the Hawai‘i DOE's Operating at Capital Improvements Program budgets.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Budget process

The State of Hawaii runs its budget on a fiscal biennium that's submitted to the Legislature during odd-numbered years, with course-corrections and new asks submitted during the intervening years via a supplemental budget. The Board of Education approves the Department's budgetary ask annually in October. The budget is then modified by the Department of Budget and Finance before a formal submission to the Hawaii State Legislature when its session begins in January.  This chart provides an overview of what the budget process looks like.

The Hawaii DOE's budget is comprised of:

  • An Operating budget to cover the expense of running schools; and

  • A Capital Improvements Program (CIP) budget to cover the expense of maintaining, developing, and upgrading school facilities and campuses.

COMING UP: FY21 Supplemental Budget request 

(July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021)

Budget instructions from the Department of Budget & Finance were issued on September 4, 2019 as Finance Memorandum FM-19-11. The Board of Education approved the Department's Operating and CIP budget requests on Oct. 3, 2019. They were submitted to the Department of Budget & Finance for review by the Governor and decisions were issued on November 22, 2019.  The Governor’s decisions are documented in Finance Memorandum (FM) 19-18 and FM 19-18 Attachment (EDN – HTH); and will be transmitted to the Legislature for discussions and debate starting January 2020. The details of the Governor’s additions to the Department’s operating budget are included in the Department of Budget & Finance Form A’s and Form A’s for- trade off transfers.

On 12/16/2019, the Legislature sent out budget briefing instructions to all departments.

In January 2020, the Hawaiʻi DOE will present its Fiscal Year 2021 budget to several committees of the state legislature. Click below to view the presentations and supplemental materials.

Hawaiʻi DOE Budget Presentation Testimony Tables Appendix

IN PLACE NOW: FB 2019-21

(July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021)

The Board of Education approved the Fiscal Biennium budget on Oct. 18, 2018. It was reviewed by the state Department of Budget and Finance and approved by the Governor on Nov. 27, 2018, for referral to the Hawaii State Legislature. The 2019 Legislature transmitted HB2, CD1 for Governor's approval in the spring of 2019 and it was enacted on April 12, 2019 as Act 005/SLH 2019.

Click to view: FB 2019-21 Operating BudgetFB 2019-21 CIP Budget

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Operating budget

Each year, the Hawaii State Department of Education educates and supports about 180,000 students and employs about 22,000 full-time employees and 20,000 substitutes and casual employees in positions across 293 public schools, 15 complex areas, and the state office. The Operating budget for FY 2020 is $2.1 billion — $1.74 billion coming from the state's General Fund. Funds are distributed by program categories, known as EDNs. Nearly all funds go to schools.


  • EDN 100 (58.8%) is almost entirely distributed to schools using the Weighted Student Formula (WSF). The WSF gives schools a specific dollar amount for each student, and additional funds for students with certain characteristics, such as qualifying for the free and reduced lunch program (socioeconomically challenged) or being English Language Learners. This creates a transparent model of funding equity on a statewide basis. The balance of EDN 100 is used to support programs such as Athletics, JROTC and Alternative Learning Centers.

  • EDN 150 (22.2%) supports special education students who may require or have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

  • E​DN 400 (11.6%) pays school bills — sewer, electric, water, repair, food service and others.

  • EDN 500 (0.2%) pays for Adult Education programs at public schools.

  • EDN 700 (0.6%) pays for pre-kindergarten programs at public schools.


FY 2020 Here is a breakdown, by program category, of the $1.74 billion the State Legislature appropriated for FY 2020 during the 2019 session. Percentages are rounded:

FUNDING SOURCES The Operating budget funding comes from four sources:

  • General funds (blue): Comes from the State of Hawaii’s general fund, primarily state tax revenues. This is the top source of funding to the Department.

  • Federal funds (red): The Department receives grants from federal agencies including the U.S. Departments of Education, Agriculture, Defense and Health and Human Services.

  • Special funds (yellow): Those coming from revenue-generating activities, including school food services, student bus transportation services, summer school program, after-school programs, adult education, driver education, and use of school facilities.

  • Trust funds (green): May include donations & gifts, foundations & other grants, school athletic program activity collections, and “fair share” and School Impact District​ developer fees.

The Capital Improvements Program budget

The Capital Improvements Program (CIP) pays for renovations, repairs and major maintenance to existing facilities, landscape improvements, new construction, land acquisition, and utility modifications. The CIP Budget is set by the state as part of a comprehensive program to manage state facilities, and is handled separately from the DOE’s Operating Budget.​Facilities staff work with principals directly to prioritize school-level needs.

Like the EDNs for the Operating budget, CIP appropriations are added into planning categories that direct how the funds can be used. Funds appropriated are expended in these buckets. They are:

  • Capacity: New Schools, new classroom buildings, classroom additions, expansions, portable replacement, land acquisition

  • Repair & Maintenance: Building envelope preservation, structural repairs

  • Health & Safety: Traffic safety and parking, flood mitigation, security/vulnerability, hazardous materials, heat abatement

  • Compliance: ADA, Title IX

  • Instructional: Facilities meeting particular program requirements of Career and Technical Education, STEM, Arts, Special Education, and EDSPEC instructional spaces

  • Innovation: Energy efficiency, alternative energy, revenue generation, public/private partnerships

  • Support: Administration, library, food service, PE/Athletics, electrical upgrades, state/district/complex offices, EDSPEC support spaces

  • Equipment: 21st Century furniture

  • Project Completion: Supplemental consultant services, project cost overruns

  • Technology Infrastructure: Network equipment, program bells, paging system


Amounts are rounded​. The chart shows Board-approved CIP budgetary requests (REQUESTED) and the Legislature's appropriation (APPROVED) for the next fiscal biennium. Amounts in the supplemental budget will change when that request is submitted and reviewed during the 2020 Legislative session. Special requests and line items are noted below the subtotal.

Financial reporting under ESSA

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has a per-pupil expenditure (PPE) reporting requirement, as follows: 

“Each State report card… shall include the following:… the per-pupil expenditures of Federal, State, and local funds, including actual personnel expenditures and actual non-personnel expenditures of Federal, State, and local funds, disaggregated by source of funds, for each local educational agency and each school in the State…" [ESEA Sec. 1111(h)(1)C)(x)] 

Hawaii DOE is reporting the PPE for the state and each school in the state beginning with Fiscal Year 2017-2018. This information was reported to the Board of Education on January 17, 2019 and these expenditures in the aggregate are part of our budget reporting to the Legislature with the Fiscal 2019-2021 request. (See chart.) To learn more about how PPE is calculated at these various levels, and to understand the factors that drive variances between schools, please review:

How does Hawaii’s educational spending compare nationally?

The funding of public schools is typically expressed “per pupil” — how much school districts are taking in and spending divided by the number of students served. It is helpful to look at Hawaii's spending relative to other states and the District of Columbia. Here are some key findings of the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual survey reflecting Fiscal Year 2016 data, released May 2018 (figures pulled from Summary Tables 11 and 12):

FY 2016 PER-PUPIL SPENDING: $13,748. The national average is $11,762.

REVENUES — Hawaii is:

  • 12th in the nation for per-pupil revenue. Hawaii has one of the highest costs of living in the country, yet its school system receives less than 11 other states.

  • 25th in the nation for revenue per $1,000 of personal income in the state. Hawaii's public schools are given $43.52 for every $1,000 of income earned in the state. Twenty-four other states spend a larger fraction of personal income on public schools. The U.S. average is $43.15. The highest is Wyoming at $61.86.

SPENDING — Hawaii is:

15th highest in the nation for per-pupil spending. We are:

  • 16th in the nation for spending on instruction at $8,066 per pupil (U.S. average is $7,160)

  • 48th in the nation for spending on general administration at $97 per pupil (U.S. average is $226)

  • 8th in the nation for spending on school administration at $924 (U.S. average is $651)


This nationally reported per-pupil funding includes monies from EDNs 100-400, and includes all means of finance: state, federal, special and trust. It also includes fringe benefits for general-funded employees that are not appropriated in the Department’s EDNs — since they are budgeted centrally at the Department of Budget and Finance for all general-funded employees. This is important to understand because it creates an appearance of a substantial difference between the amount of per-pupil funding given to the Department and that given to the state’s public charter schools. The state's per pupil funding formula, contained in statute §302D-28, is based on the DOE's EDN 100, 200, 300, and 400 general fund budget. By that base calculation, for FY 2017-18, per-pupil funding for the Department and charter schools was $7,359, and is adjusted each year to align with funding levels for the Department.

Annual Financial and Single Audit Report

An independent report analyzing financial statements of the public school system, including operating, capital improvement and federal funds. FY 2017 report released March 28, 2018. View report.​

Past audits, dating back to 2002, can be found in our Report Finder tool.

Annual Financial Report

The Department presents its Annual Financial Report to inform the public of the total cost of public education in Hawaii. It is a key component of department accountability and public transparency. The Annual Financial Report provides both Operating and CIP fund information, including operating revenues, receipts and expenditures. We have included operational costs such as repairs and maintenance of school facilities, and other expenses incurred by state and county agencies for public education purposes.

Budget allocations since 1999

Links to databases of allocations to Department offices, districts and schools. View by allocation number, program and/or organization.

SY 2019-20 SY 2018-19 SY 2017-18

SY 2016-17

SY 2015-16

SY 2014-15

SY 2013-14

SY 2012-13 SY 2011-12 SY 2010-11SY 2009-10

SY 2008-09

SY 2007-08

SY 2006-07

SY 2005-06 SY 2004-05​​ SY 2003-04

SY 2002-03

SY 2001-02

SY 2000-01

SY 1999-00

​​​​Source: http://www.hawaiipublicschools.org/ConnectWithUs/Organization/Budget/Pages/home.aspx

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Copyright 2019 Hawai`i Senate Majority

Hawai`i State Capitol
415 South Beretania St.
Honolulu, HI 96813