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Charter school resolves deficiencies

A deficiency notice issued to Ka‘u Learning Academy earlier this summer has been resolved, staff at the state’s Public Charter School Commission said last week.

Two employees at the second-year, Naalehu-based public charter school briefly lost health care coverage last school year because staff either missed deadlines or improperly processed payroll and employee benefits. The school also did not properly pay or withhold union dues and struggled to submit monthly financial reports on time.

The commission had issued the “notice of deficiency” after Ka‘u failed to submit a plan to correct its problems by a May 27 deadline.

A notice of deficiency is a written notification informing a school of “non-compliance with legal or contractual requirements or unsatisfactory performance” in its charter contract. The notice affects a school’s performance rating.

Ka‘u’s board president Mark Fournier submitted a corrective plan on July 10 ultimately resolving the deficiency. The plan says payroll problems will be solved by instituting a “payroll lag of one pay period for all hourly employees” to allow “ample time to meet the payroll submission schedule set out by the commission.”

The school also said in the plan as soon as it became aware of health care coverage suspension it “resolved the issue within two days” and that problems were “two isolated and very different incidents and show no repeat pattern.”

The school said it sent the union representing its employees a “check in the full amount of the dues for the year” on June 17.

“As a new school KLA faced a very steep learning curve,” the plan reads. “While we certainly stumbled on several occasions, we have always done our best to correct issues and institute procedures that will avoid these issues in the future.”


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