For general information about Kamehameha Schools' racially exclusionary admissions policy, see:
In 2003, there was a great amount of activity regarding two lawsuits against the admissions policy. One lawsuit was "settled" by an agreement that allowed a 7th grade boy with no native Hawaiian ancestry to attend the school for all six years remaining through his graduation from high school. The other lawsuit was decided in favor of the school; however, that decision is being appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and then to the U.S. Supreme Court. Throughout 2003 there was great political turmoil in the ethnic Hawaiian community as well as the general community regarding the lawsuits and the way the school handled them. There were also several large and noisy marches and protest demonstrations. For extensive details (perhaps 80 pages) about activity during the year 2003, see:
NOW BEGINS COVERAGE OF EVENTS FOR YEAR 2004 REGARDING THE KAMEHAMEHA SCHOOLS ADMISSIONS POLICY.
The Honolulu Advertiser, Saturday, January 3, 2004
Ruling on Kamehameha admissions set for appeal
By David Waite
Advertiser Courts Writer
Lawyers for a non-Hawaiian student from the Big Island who is seeking to enroll in Kamehameha Schools say they will appeal a Nov. 17 ruling by a federal judge that upheld the school's practice of giving admissions preference to students of Hawaiian ancestry.
The boy contends that he meets all other admissions criteria but was refused admission to Kamehameha because he has no Hawaiian blood.
Eric Grant and John Goemans, who represent the unidentified applicant known only as "John Doe," claim Kamehameha's "Hawaiian preference" admissions policy violates a federal law prohibiting racial discrimination.
U.S. District Judge Alan Kay, however, ruled that race-based programs that give one group priority over another are within the law in certain very narrow situations when those programs serve a legitimate purpose.
In the case of Kamehameha Schools, Kay found that the admissions policy seeks to remedy the historical injustices suffered by Hawaiians over the more than 100 years since the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown.
The boy's lawsuit was one of two filed last year by Grant and Goemans challenging the Kamehameha admissions policy. They also filed a lawsuit on behalf of 12-year-old Brayden Mohica-Cummings of Kaua'i, whose lawsuit was settled in late November after Kamehameha agreed to let Mohica-Cummings attend until he graduates from high school.
The attorneys estimate that the appeal of Kay's ruling to the 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals in San Francisco could take 18 to 24 months and said that the case ultimately will be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Aside from operating its own private schools in Hawai'i and participating in the operation of some public schools, Kamehameha also provides millions of dollars each year in college scholarships for students of Hawaiian ancestry, regardless whether they attended Kamehameha Schools. In 2004, for the first time, 4 students out of 2700 who received college scholarships had no Hawaiian ancestry. School administrators say this happened because all ethnic Hawaiians who applied and were eligible received scholarships and there was a little money left over for non-Hawaiians. It is unclear whether this "crumbs from the table" approach to scholarships is similar to the admission of a white boy to the Maui campus a couple years previously when there was one slot left open after all ethnic Hawaiian applicants who were eligible were admitted. Is this a political ploy to show judges that Kamehameha merely has a racial "preference" and not an absolute racial exclusion? Giving a few thousand dollars of college scholarship money to people with no Hawaiian ancestry does not seem to cause the same level of outrage among the alumni and activists as admitting a student to the school itself. Perhaps that's because college students are scattered at different colleges where most students are not ethnically Hawaiian anyway, so the issue of maintaining racial purity on a Kamehameha campus does not arise.
The Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, March 21, 2004
Non-Hawaiians get scholarships
By Vicki Viotti
Four non-Hawaiian students will attend college this fall with scholarships from Kamehameha Schools because of a shortage of qualified candidates of Hawaiian ancestry.
Kamehameha officials, while seeking ways to encourage more applicants, point out a large measure of success in the total figures — about $15 million in college scholarships being awarded for the 2004-05 academic year to about 2,700 students. They also point out that every qualified Hawaiian applicant got financial help, grants averaging about $5,000.
However, Ray Soon acknowledged that the applicant list ran out before the money did and that an amount estimated at between $20,000 and $30,000 went to non-Hawaiians.
School officials have held private meetings in recent weeks to discuss the issue with members of Kamehameha's extended community of student families and alumni.
So far, say those contacted by The Advertiser, there's been no outcry over the scholarships — unlike the furor of the past two years over the admission of two non-Hawaiians, one to the school's Maui campus and one at the Kapalama flagship.
Soon, who serves as the school's vice president for community relations and communications, said the falloff in scholarship applications probably stemmed from tougher requirements instituted about two years ago.
That occurred because the school decided to change the scholarship processing service used in evaluating the applications, he said. Previously the federal service Free Application for Federal Student Aid evaluated applications, he said, but more recently the lawsuits in federal court challenging the school's Hawaiian preferential admission policy have led the school to avoid the use of federally financed services.
So Kamehameha began using the private College Scholarship Service, Soon said, which requires applicants to submit much more information. To prove financial need, for example, the student must turn in information on the value of family assets as well as household income, he said.
"The application process is onerous," Soon said. "It takes people with patience to get through it."
Within the community of Kamehameha families and alumni, reaction to the scholarship awards has been generally supportive, according to some who say that at least the school is involving them in discussions on how to improve things.
Kamehameha graduate and Hawaiian community leader Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa said she was happy to hear that all Hawaiian applicants were accommodated first, but said she would have preferred to see the extra money simply awarded to another Hawaiian educational concern, such as Hawaiian charter schools.
However, Soon said the administration policy is to use budgeted scholarship money for its intended purpose. "Our preference policy is to serve Hawaiian students first, and then we served other needy students," he said.
Soon also said the school is considering setting aside less money for college scholarships and placing a greater emphasis on early childhood programs for Hawaiians.
Jan Dill is president of Na Pua a Ke Ali'i Pauahi, the nonprofit group that was formed to support the intent of school founder Bernice Pauahi Bishop's will. He and Na Pua colleague Marion Joy, both Kamehameha graduates, were among those who have attended recent meetings on the issue with Dee Jay Mailer, the schools' newly appointed chief executive officer.
Dill said the school has committed to making the process less intimidating to the applicant.
"Dee Jay is clearly focused on maintaining the (Hawaiian) preference policy and making sure every Hawaiian is given the opportunity," he said. "It's an issue of administrative reform, and I think that's going on."
"People shy away when they think the application is so convoluted, and then they just drop it," said Joy. "We understand the situation."
Joy said several volunteers from the school community have pledged to assist students in their applications. Kame'eleihiwa endorsed that pledge and said the news about the scholarships is essentially good.
"I would be upset if they awarded non-Hawaiians and left out Hawaiian students," she said. "The fact that they had enough money for all who applied is good.
"Do I wish that more Hawaiian students had applied? Yes, I do, and I intend to do all that I can to make sure that more Hawaiians apply in the future."
It turns out that granting Kamehameha scholarhsip money to 4 students of no Hawaiian ancestry has had the same kind of corrective action as the admission of one non-Hawaiian student to the school. In both cases, non-Hawaiians were served only after all eligible ethnic Hawaiians were served. And in both cases, the response has been that something must be done to lower the standards and/or implement an aggressive outreach program to make sure that there will be enough "eligible" ethnic Hawaiians to use up all available admission slots or scholarship dollars. Here is how that strategy came to light the day after it was announced that 4 non-ethnic-Hawaiians had received scholarship money. It almost seems the announcement about 4 non-Hawaiians being given scholarships was intentionally timed to spur the ethnic Hawaiian community into action to get more applicants for the next cycle of scholarships, for fear that otherwise a little more money might go to students without the magic blood. The timing of this publicity is almost like publicity over prosecutions of income-tax evaders is timed every year to coincide with the period just before most people file their income tax returns.
The Honolulu Advertiser, Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Kamehameha beefs up scholarship assistance
By Vicki Viotti
Kamehameha Schools, confronted by frustrated parents and students seeking college scholarships, has beefed up its financial aid hotline to help applicants needing grants for this fall.
• Financial Aid also offers over-the-phone assistance and general information: 534-8080.
The hotline (see box) is one step in an uphill trek the school faces in making its scholarships more accessible to its target population of Native Hawaiians, some of whom say there are too many restrictions and too little response from the office that hands out the money.
The issue arose this week after The Advertiser reported that four scholarships out of 2,700 were granted to non-Hawaiians after the list of qualified Hawaiian applicants was exhausted. The Kamehameha policy is that the school must give preference to Native Hawaiians in educational services, said school spokesman Ray Soon.
Soon also clarified that those grants to non-Hawaiians were for students enrolled in college this year; the deadline for new applicants attending in the 2004-2005 academic year is April 15.
The report has stirred an emotional response from some who say the program had not been well publicized. Victoria Lyman, mother of three Kamehameha graduates and one senior, said the school's financial aid operation is "in utter and complete disarray" and that calls to the office often don't get returned promptly.
Soon acknowledged that the school has been less than responsive in the past. "We're definitely working on that," he said. "We've put more people on the phones, people who have had training."
Other scholarship restrictions, he said, are under review:
• The rule requiring applicants to be Hawai'i residents is being reconsidered.
"Alumni across the nation have been cut off from receiving scholarships because they are not residents of Hawai'i," Lyman said. "That includes students who purposely got residency in states such as California or Washington to help bring down tuition costs."
• School administration also is weighing whether to lift the restriction barring scholarships applying to non-U.S. schools, Soon said. That rule was instituted because of the difficulty of assessing the accreditation of some foreign schools, he said, but many colleges clearly would meet U.S. standards.
Scotty Oshiro, who attends the University of Ottawa in Canada, had been turned down for a scholarship. "Because of the reason I was denied, I didn't apply again," he wrote in an e-mail to The Advertiser.
• Kamehameha also is looking for an application service with less burdensome requirements than the College Scholarship Service the school now uses, and one that doesn't charge a fee.
The added requirement that applicants provide information on assets as well as income has left Butch Ramos, father of a senior, wondering how to answer.
"We live on Hawaiian Home Lands," Ramos said. "So what's the value of my house? Hawaiian Home Lands cannot be sold. How do I tell them my house has zero value? I know we'll go back and forth on that one."
Ramos said the idea of non-Hawaiians getting scholarships isn't upsetting as long as Hawaiians are served. It's the belief that Hawaiians are being deterred by the application that bothers him.
A lot of parents haven't filled out the application because "it's intimidating," he said. "We shouldn't make it hard. We should make it easy for people."
** Inset box **
Get some help
Help with Kamehameha Schools' college scholarship applications, due April 15:
• The next in an ongoing series of workshops is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Elementary School Dining Hall, Kapalama campus.
• Information is available online at the Financial Aid and College Services site:
This next topic is not directly related to the Kamehameha School desegregation issue or the desegregation lawsuits; however, it is very much related to former Bishop Estate (Kamehameha School) trustee Lokelani Lindsey, and accusations she has made against the estate.
The topic of Lokelani Lindsey is posted at this point in this webpage in order to preserve the chronological order of listing. Those who wish to skip the material about Ms. Lindsey should scroll down, and resume reading about the desegregation issue. The next desegregation-related item is the red-shirt march of September 6, 2004 in support of the school’s admissions policy; and then an article from October 17 announcing that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hold oral hearings in Honolulu on November 4 on the case of Doe v. Kamehameha, that had been decided by Judge Kay in Honolulu District Court. “Prayer vigils” will also be held in support of the school’s segregation policy.
In April 2004 there were full-page advertisements in two Honolulu newspapers announcing that Lokelani Lindsey is running for Mayor of Honolulu. Lokelani Lindsey is a former Bishop Estate trustee, who was convicted of tax fraud, was released from federal prison in April 1, 2004, and was living in Las Vegas. The expensive advertisement was apparently paid for by another convicted tax-fraud felon Richard Basuel, of the infamous RB Tax Preparation service. The advertisement first was published April 1 in the twice-monthly small-circulation ethnic Filipino free newspaper The Fil-Am Courier (Richard Basuel is Filipino), and got very little attention. But them there were efforts to place the full-page ad in the Honolulu Advertiser, which apparently refused to run it; and then the ad actually was published in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in its premiere edition of Sunday April 18. In that same edition of the Star-Bulletin reporter Sally Apgar wrote an article severely critical of the advertisement and saying that Lokelani Lindsey had not approved the ad and indeed is ineligible to run for Honolulu mayor both because she is a convicted felon and because she is not a resident of Honolulu.
The newspaper advertisement contained a website URL. The content of the website included the same content that was in the advertisement, plus substantial additional material including a 35-page pdf document consisting of legal documents filed by Lokelani Lindsey and statements made by her, and supported by officials of the "Hawaiian Kingdom", describing racial discrimination against ethnic Hawaiians, alleging fraudulent activities by Bishop Estate, and demanding that U.S. District Court Chief Judge David Ezra recuse himself from hearing her case because of Ezra's alleged bias against ethnic Hawaiians in general and Lokelani Lindsey in particular.
Below is the article by Star-Bulletin reporter Sally Apgar, followed by some of the contents of the website (including the contents of the newspaper advertisement), together with a link to download the 35-page pdf file containing legal documents and opinions (allegedly) written by Lokelani Lindsey and posted on (apparently) Richard Basuel's website. The contents of the website and the pdf file are extremely bizarre, but quite interesting for people who understand the issues surrounding Hawaiian sovereignty.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Sunday, April 18, 2004
Ads falsely cast Lindsey as candidate for mayor
The ad campaign is being run without her OK, her lawyer says
By Sally Apgar
Ousted Kamehameha Schools trustee Lokelani Lindsey, who was recently released from federal prison, is not running for Honolulu mayor despite ads appearing in today's paper that urge her to run, said her attorney Friday.
"No one has contacted my client and she has not given authorization to anyone to promote her running for mayor," said Honolulu attorney William Harrison .
"She doesn't know anything about this," he said.
Lindsey was released from a mainland prison April 1 after serving six months for bankruptcy fraud and money laundering .
Lindsey, 65, did not return calls to her hotel room in Las Vegas on Friday. She is on supervised release and is still caring for her ailing husband.
An ad, which asks for people to draft Lindsey as a candidate for mayor, is running in the print edition of today's Star-Bulletin on Page E14.
Earlier this month, a full-page ad appeared in the Fil-Am Courier, a Filipino newspaper, that read: "Elect! Lokelani Lindsey mayor of Honolulu."
The ad included a picture of Lindsey and a full reprint of an affidavit she filed in U.S. District Court dated July 30, 2003, that was placed in the court's overnight box during her bankruptcy fraud case.
In the affidavit, Lindsey portrays herself as a victim who was punished in the judicial system for having "insider knowledge" of corruption at Bishop Estate (now known as Kamehameha Schools), of "corrupt attempts to seize control" of the estate, "grand jury tampering" and "acts of abuse of Hawaiians."
The Fil-Am ad states it is "paid for by Friends of Lokelani Lindsey for Mayor, Christian Filipino Victims Foundation," which has a Web site at www.victimsgroup.com.
Harrison said Lindsey is not a member of the group and was not aware of the group's existence until he asked her about the ad.
Harrison said he suspected that Richard Basuel, who is also featured in the ad and was recently convicted of fraud, was behind the ads but without Lindsey's consent. Harrison declined to comment on Basuel or his motive.
Basuel did not return repeated calls for comment.
As a felon who has not completed her sentence, Lindsey is not eligible to run for state office, according to the state Office of Elections.
She must also be a registered voter of the county in which she plans to run. The election office said Lindsey was last registered to vote in Maui county.
Lindsey, a former gym teacher and hula dancer, rose through the ranks of the Department of Education on Maui and in Democratic political circles before gaining a seat as trustee. Critics have said that her close management of the schools stoked community unhappiness with the board, investigations of its alleged mismanagement and fueled a scandal that dogged the estate during the mid- to late 1990s.
Lindsey and three others were ousted from their $1 million-a-year jobs as trustees May 1999 after separate state and federal investigations into the alleged mismanagement of the estate's finances and its schools. A fifth trustee, Oswald Stender, resigned from his job at the same time, but not before he fought a lawsuit with trustee Gerard Jervis to oust Lindsey.
In the ad, Basuel states that he and Lindsey "both are political prisoners." He paid cash for the Fil-Am and Star-Bulletin ads.
Campaign Spending Commission Executive Director Robert Watada said Basuel has not registered with the commission. He noted that once someone has raised or spent $100 or more in pursuit of a candidacy and not filed with his office within 10 days, they are in violation of state campaign spending laws.
In February, a state Circuit Court jury convicted Basuel, the owner of a local tax preparation company called RB Tax Service, on 23 tax fraud counts, including attempting to evade taxes and first-degree theft.
Basuel, who remains free on bail, is scheduled to be sentenced May 12. He faces 10 years in prison from his preparation of tax returns for five people during tax years 2000 and 2001.
Christian Filipino Victims Foundation
Whether from government or private "masters", if you are a victim you have come to the right place for relief (refer to schedule).
Richard Basuel presents the Bishop Estate scandal which he and many others are victims of.
BRING US YOUR SCANDALS: TOGETHER WE CAN STOP THE ABUSES AND CURE THE PROBLEMS. ONE WITH GOD IS A MAJORITY!
The friends of Christian Filipino Victims Foundation, led by Chairman Richard Basuel, ask you to elect former Bishop Estate Trustee Lokelani Lindsey as Mayor of Honolulu. Both are political prisoners.
Vote for Lokelani Lindsey for Mayor of Honolulu
After years of preparing for her leadership whistleblowers role, Lokelani bravely exposed Hawaii’s biggest scandal, which was the real reason she was put in jail. Richard Basuel has been and is being prosecuted as a scapegoat for Hawaiian sovereignty issue even though he is neither Hawaiian nor a Hawaiian sovereignist, and as a way to intimidate the Filipino vote in Hawaii, i.e. Honolulu Star-Bulletin, April 19, 2001, published the Richard Basuel and associates were, “claiming Hawaii as a foreign country”.
Contrary to certain allegations, the Filipino Victims Foundation is a Christian based group who promotes agreeing with the government, especially on tax issues. Jesus said to pay taxes, Matthew 22:18-20. Lokelani Lindsey and Richard Basuel are two Hawaii citizens prosecuted for agreeing with the government. The Affidavit of Richard Basuel, filed February 27, 2004 in the Hawaii Bureau of Conveyances as Document No. 2004-040689, states,
AFFIDAVIT OF RICHARD BASUEL
CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU )
STATE OF HAWAII )
I, RICHARD BASUEL, am competent to testify herein, have personal knowledge of the herein, and hereby testify and aver that the following is true to the best of my knowledge,
1. Available on the internet is the following document attached hereto as Exhibit “A” Scandal 1
Appearance With Assistance Of Counsel And Request For Recusal Of Judge David A. Ezra; Declaration Of Lokelani Lindsey; Exhibits “1" - “4"; Affidavit Of Lokelani Lindsey; Certificate Of Service (“Lindsey Document”). The last page of this Lindsey Document was filed October 2, 2003 in USA v. Lokelani Lindsey, Cr. S-010318 (DAE RJ) and Cr. S-00-00482 HG, U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. However, on October 16, 2003 this Lindsey Document was sent by fax transmission from David Alan Ezra to the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, which filed it on October 17, 2003, the next day.
2. Exhibit “B” hereto is a reprint of the October 4, 2003 Star-Bulletin article, describing the Lindsey Document. Apparently Judge Ezra jailed Ms. Lindsey primarily on the basis of the Lindsey Document, which he refused to consider as filed even though Ms. Lindsey filed it prior to the hearing which jailed her. The Lindsey Document was filed AFTER the ten day motion for reconsideration and other deadline(s) that would have allowed Ms. Lindsey to stay out of jail at least until her properly filed, but ignored, motions were given a fair hearing. Probably to this day, nether Ms. Lindsey nor her attorney do not know her motions were docketed and should have been given a fair hearing based on being docketed (however improperly.
3. My circumstances are like those of Ms. Lindsey addressed in the Lindsey Document in that are both victims of abuse. For example, in my circumstances I was accused in the newspapers of promoting Hawaiian sovereignty even though there is nothing in writing that shows this. Obviously, I have been and am being persecuted as a Hawaiian sovereignty promoter as a warning to Hawaiian sovereignty supporters, but without risking an organized backlash from actual members of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court is responsible for abuses against Hawaii citizens, including Hawaiians and Filipinos targeted to scare Hawaiians, such as Richard Basuel.
See also: http://fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fisa/
The "Exhibit A" referred to on that webpage is the 35-page pdf file containing bizarre legal documents and opinions by Lokelani Lindsey. That 35-page document can be downloaded directly from Richard Basuel's webpage by clicking on the following URL:
OR, in case that link goes dead or that webpage is taken down, the 35-page document can also be downloaded by clicking here:
NOTHING FURTHER WILL BE POSTED HERE ABOUT THE ALLEGATIONS BY LOKELANI LINDSEY, OR HER (ALLEGED) CONNECTION TO RICHARD BASUEL. ANYTHING FURTHER ON THOSE TOPICS CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN TO THE END OF THIS PAGE AND FOLLOWING THE LINK TO THOSE TOPICS.
** Note from website editor Ken Conklin: The following article identifies property valuations and administrative expenses for Kamehameha School during fiscal year 2003, based on an IRS filing. However, the valuation of Kamehameha assets at only $4.2 Billion should be understood as an enormous underestimate. Kamehameha assets are primarily land holdings in Hawai'i, and real estate valuations are based on the value at the time the an asset was acquired (which, in the case of the core holdings of Kamehameha, would be the date Bernice Pauahi Bishop died about 120 years ago).
http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/May/15/ln/ln15a.htmlPosted on: Saturday, May 15, 2004
The Honolulu Advertiser, May 15, 2004
Kamehameha costs detailed
By Vicki Viotti
Kamehameha Schools ended the 2003 fiscal year with net assets of $4.2 billion and spent almost $172.5 million on its programs, according to the Internal Revenue Service form filed yesterday for the tax-exempt educational trust.
The filing also details the year's major administrative costs for the schools, which educate children of Hawaiian ancestry. They include more than $1 million in salary and other compensation paid to Hamilton McCubbin, the chief executive officer who resigned a year ago. That figure includes $493,586 in salary, $353,253 in unspecified "deferred compensation" and benefits, and $181,451 for an expense account and other allowances. McCubbin could not be reached for comment yesterday. His successor, Dee Jay Mailer, took over in January; her compensation package has not been disclosed.
The largest compensation payout was $5.3 million paid to the architectural firm Group 70 International. Most of the company's work involved design of buildings on the trust's newest Maui and Big Island campuses, said Kamehameha Schools spokesman Kekoa Paulsen.
The schools' protracted courtroom battles to defend its Hawaiian-preference admission policy was one reason for the $1.5 million paid to law firms in Washington, D.C., Paulsen said. Of the total, $890,722 went to Miller & Chevalier and $623,767 to Hogan & Hartson LLP, according to the tax document. Also, $1.2 million was paid to the schools' internal auditors KMH.
The spending for programs represents an increase of $33.5 million over the previous year. The school calculated that the allotment had served 4,427 students enrolled at its three campuses. About $21 million in scholarships and financial aid went to 7,517 students. The programs also included community outreach, conferences, workshops, distance education and other activities.
Michael Chun, headmaster of the flagship campus on Kapalama Heights, earned $207,074 in salary and added compensation. D. Rod Chamberlain and Stan Fortuna, headmasters of the Maui and Hilo campuses, respectively, each earned just under $180,000 in salary and benefits. Expense allowances gave an additional $47,616 to Fortuna and $38,804 to Chamberlain.
After McCubbin, the highest-paid executive was former chief educational officer Dudley Hare Jr., with salary, benefits and expense allowance totalling $743,214. Trustees Robert Kihune, Diane Plotts and Nainoa Thompson each earned $91,500 that year. J. Douglas Ing and Constance Lau, trustees who served successive terms chairing the board, earned $101,000 and $104,000, respectively
On September 6, 2004 (Labor Day) a large red-shirt protest march traveled through the heart of Waikiki, ending with a rally including speeches and music at the Waikiki Shell. One focus of this red-shirt march was to protest the lawsuit Doe v. Kamehameha School, currently on appeal at the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. If the lawsuit is successful it will force Kamehameha School to desegregate by declaring the school’s racially exclusionary admissions policy illegal. For newspaper articles, photos, and analysis related to the red-shirt march of September 6, 2004 see:
*** NEWS FLASH: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals 3-judge panel hearing this case consists of Judges Beezer, Graber and Bybee. This case will be the 6th (and last) case to be heard on the calendar for Thursday, November 4, 2004 in a session starting at 9 AM held in the Moot Courtroom at the University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law, 2515 Dole St., Honolulu. (The 9th Circuit Court normally meets in San Francisco, but twice each year holds hearings in Honolulu for a week on cases from Hawai'i and the pacific islands.)
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Sunday, October 17, 2004
School vows to battle suit
The 9th Circuit Court will rule on the legality of Kamehameha Schools' admissions policy
By Sally Apgar
Leaders of Kamehameha Schools announced yesterday that they will defend the school's right to grant admissions preference to applicants of Hawaiian ancestry at a hearing before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals next month.
"We will fight the hardest we have ever fought," said Kamehameha Schools Chief Executive Officer Dee Jay Mailer at a press conference yesterday crowded with more than 30 supporters.
Kamehameha Schools Trustee Nainoa Thompson said, "We are prepared to defend our (Hawaiian preference) policy for as long as it takes to correct the educational imbalances suffered by Hawaiians."
He added, "Our community sees this as another taking."
Thompson and Mailer were optimistic that the 9th Circuit would uphold the Nov. 17 decision of U.S. District Court Judge Alan Kay that the school's admissions policy does not violate federal anti-discrimination law.
The case, John Doe v. Kamehameha Schools, was filed in June 2003 on behalf of an unidentified student from the Big Island who claimed that he was qualified academically to attend Kamehameha but that he was not accepted because he lacked Hawaiian blood.
John Goemans, the Big Island lawyer who filed the suit, could not be reached yesterday for comment.
Eric Grant, the California attorney who argued the case against Kamehameha, did not return telephone calls to his home or office. Previously, Grant has said he was confident the 9th Circuit would overturn Kay's decision.
The school's admissions policy was adopted by its first board of trustees, which was led by Charles Reed Bishop, the widower of school founder Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. In 1884, Pauahi, who saw education as the means to a better life for native Hawaiians, donated her wealth of royal lands to the establishment and operation of a school.
Today the trust is a $6 billion, tax-exempt charity that educates more than 4,800 Hawaiian children each year on its three campuses and through programs in the community, including early childhood programs, scholarships and support for charter schools.
In his ruling, Kay argued that programs that give one race priority over another are legally allowed when they serve a legitimate purpose, such as remedying racial injustices of the past. Kay found that Kamehameha's policy serves to right the historical injustices and inequities suffered by Hawaiians since the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.
Yesterday, Thompson noted the school does not receive federal funds and that its efforts to correct inequalities have been recognized by Congress.
The hearing will be held in the moot court of the University of Hawaii-Manoa's William S. Richardson School on Nov. 4 when the court makes one of its scheduled visits to Hawaii. Coincidentally, Nov. 4 is also the 117th anniversary of Kamehameha Schools' founding.
The school is planning prayer services on the day of the hearing and a public show of support on Oct. 31.
The Doe case was one of two federal court cases Goemans filed against Kamehameha Schools in 2003 that challenged the admissions policy. The other case was filed on behalf of Brayden Mohica-Cummings, then a seventh-grader from Kauai. After Mohica-Cummings was accepted, it was found he had no Hawaiian blood.
Last November, around the time of Kay's ruling, Kamehameha settled with Mohica-Cummings. Under the settlement, Goemans would drop the federal suit and Mohica-Cummings would be allowed to continue his education at Kamehameha until he graduates.
Mailer said yesterday that since the Mohica-Cummings case, the school has implemented a "more rigorous" process to determine an applicant's Hawaiian ancestry. Applicants now must supply their own birth certificate in addition to those of their parents and, if possible, their grandparents. The school also checks with a computer database of Hawaiian ancestry.
Yesterday's press conference was symbolically held on the anniversary of Pauahi's death on Oct. 16, 1884.
"I see this as an issue of equality and a need to restore balance," Thompson said, adding, "It's also about raising the need for hope and healing in our community."
Mailer said the same legal team, headed by Honolulu attorney Crystal Rose and California attorney Kathleen Sullivan, that presented the case to Kay will argue before the 9th Circuit.
Mailer told reporters that it was fitting that "the arguments will be heard on Hawaiian soil, the homeland of Pauahi."
Show of Support
Public prayer services are being organized for those who want to show support for Kamehameha Schools' mission.
Oct. 31: Kamehameha is also holding an event open to the public called "Legacy Day" at the Bishop Memorial Chapel on the Kapalama campus from 1:30 to 5 p.m. A prayer service will be held starting at 3 p.m.
Nov. 4: At 7 a.m. the morning of the court hearing, simultaneous prayer services will be held on the UH Manoa campus, at various churches across the state and on the Kamehameha Schools campuses at Kapalama and on Maui and the Big Island. The UH prayer service will be held in the cavernous Stan Sheriff Arena, where Mailer said "thousands are expected to attend."
Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, October 24, 2004
Kamehameha faces another court test
By the Trustees and CEO of Kamehameha Schools
Nov. 4 is the 117th birthday of Kamehameha Schools. It is a day of great pride for everyone in the Kamehameha 'ohana, but this year, there will be no party.
Instead, we will greet that day with a sunrise prayer service, and then spend the morning in a federal courtroom, once again defending Kamehameha Schools' right to offer admissions preference to Hawaiian children.
It's ironic. The anniversary of one of the greatest private gifts ever bestowed on a group of people will be juxtaposed against the threat of losing our right to most directly serve its intended beneficiaries.
Our task that day is enormous. We must convince a panel of federal judges to affirm the ruling handed down last November by U.S. District Judge Alan Kay, who viewed the mission and work of Kamehameha Schools as "exceptionally unique" for the following reasons:
• We are privately financed.
• We exist to correct imbalances suffered by an indigenous people as the result of Western contact, and which continue to exist.
• Our educational mission parallels a recognized need that has been affirmed by Congress.
The leaders at Kamehameha have worked to fulfill this mission since 1887, through the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, the annexation by the United States and the establishment of statehood.
Tremendous strides have been made. Our graduates contribute in every sector of our society: in business, medicine, science, culture and the arts, education, social services, government, athletics and the military. Kamehameha Schools alumni are among the leaders in the effort to rebuild our communities and restore pride among the Hawaiian people.
However, as Congress acknowledged through its continued funding of the Native Hawaiian Education Act, the job is not yet done. Congress even highlighted Kamehameha Schools, encouraging us to "redouble our efforts."
Kamehameha's preference policy must be allowed to continue until the balance is restored.
We have always maintained that restoring Hawaiian well-being contributes to the well-being of our entire state. It is clear that many in our community agree. The fight to protect our preference policy was joined last year by non-Hawaiian leaders throughout Hawai'i who provided declarations of support. Nearly 84,000 people — 44 percent of them non-Hawaiian — signed petitions supporting the same sentiment.
It appears this legal challenge led many of us to reflect on what sets our community apart, and why we choose to live here and to raise our children here. Hawai'i is, indeed, a special place; a blend of cultural traditions from every ethnicity in the world, held together by the indelible spirit of the Islands' original inhabitants. The Hawaiian people opened their home to all, freely sharing what they had. In the process, they lost their sovereignty, and nearly lost their language, culture and identity.
Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop took responsibility for the continued well-being of her people and dedicated her estate for this purpose.
She was not the only ali'i to devote her wealth to the care and restoration of Hawaiians, and Kamehameha Schools is not the only organization devoted to improving Hawaiian well-being. There are many Hawaiian organizations and kanaka maoli who work each day to restore Hawaiian strength.
However, through her legacy, Pauahi has made so much possible. Thanks to Pauahi, Hawaiian perspectives today are being shared in every segment of our society. Thanks to Pauahi, our children have begun to understand and take pride in their heritage. Thanks to Pauahi, we all continue to enjoy the benefit of our graceful host culture. Thanks to Pauahi. She made it possible.
Still, as Judge Kay noted in his ruling last year, too many Hawaiians die young and perform poorly in school; too many are living in prison or in poverty. To close these gaps, Kamehameha Schools spends more than $200 million a year on campus programs and extensive outreach initiatives. We are now homing in on communities where most Hawaiian children live and learn.
Our Zero to Eight initiative — named Ho'o Mohala Kaiaulu ("to cause to blossom") — will support community efforts to develop the potential in our keiki, from prenatal to eight years of age. By building on the good work already being done by many others, supplementing with our resources where needed and leading when necessary, we intend to spread Pauahi's gift farther and farther into our communities.
Our educational budget comes from the revenue generated from Pauahi's estate. We do not accept any federal money, and we're not asking for federal assistance. All we want is to finish what Pauahi started.
And so, on Nov. 4, we will celebrate our birthday and make our case to the court. That morning, we will gather with our friends and neighbors at Stan Sheriff Center at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa. Students, faculty and staff from our Kapalama, Big Island and Maui campuses will likewise convene special observances, as will alumni and other supporters at prayer services across the state and on the Mainland. We will pay our respects to Pauahi, whose vision and generosity made possible what we enjoy today, and we will celebrate the tremendous gift she left us. And we will pray to Ke Akua for guidance and strength as we defend, once again, the policy we know to be pono, or right. We will fight to finish our work. For Pauahi, for Hawaiians and for all of Hawai'i.
NOTE FROM WEBSITE EDITOR KEN CONKLIN:
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals 3-judge panel hearing this case consists of Judges Beezer, Graber and Bybee. This case will be the 6th (and last) case to be heard on the calendar for Thursday, November 4, 2004 in a session starting at 9 AM held in the Moot Courtroom at the University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law, 2515 Dole St., Honolulu. (The 9th Circuit Court normally meets in San Francisco, but twice each year holds hearings in Honolulu for a week on cases from Hawai'i and the pacific islands. When the 9th Circuit Court comes to Honolulu it normally meets in a small 6th floor “courtroom” in a downtown building. The cases for the other 4 days this week will be held there. But the Court chose to hear the 6 cases for Thursday at the law school so that students can watch and learn. The campus is strongly leftist in political orientation, and the law school has become one of several departments that are intensely pro-sovereignty. It is expected that the courtroom will be packed with activists supporting Kamehameha’s racial admissions policy, and there will be hundreds of people chanting, singing, and waving signs outside)
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Sunday, October 31, 2004
[ ANALYSIS ]
Panel’s past cases make school suit a tossup
A student challenges Kamehameha Schools on its admissions rules
By Rick Daysog
One of the federal judges assigned to the Kamehameha Schools admissions lawsuit defended racial preferences in a mainland public school system. Another wrote that a California laboratory school's race-based admissions betrayed a "disquieting tolerance for the use of race in government decision making."
The third member of the federal appellate court panel made national headlines earlier this year when the Bush administration released -- and later disavowed -- a 2002 memo that argued that the president could use coercive methods to interrogate suspected terrorists.
On Thursday, the three 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals judges -- Robert Beezer, Jay Bybee and Susan Graber -- will begin hearing oral arguments on a legal challenge by an unnamed, non-Hawaiian student who is seeking to overturn the Kamehameha Schools' century-old admissions policy that gives preference to children of native Hawaiian ancestry.
That hearing will come after a similar 9th Circuit panel -- Graber, Bybee and Melvin Brunetti -- will hear arguments in the Arakaki vs. Lingle case, which is seeking to abolish the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
How the judges rule on the cases could have long-lasting impact for thousands of native Hawaiians. Some say that an adverse ruling in the Kamehameha admissions challenge could jeopardize the mission of the $6 billion charitable trust, which was founded by the 1884 will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop.
The Kamehameha Schools leadership said it is optimistic that the 9th Circuit would uphold U.S. District Judge Alan Kay's November 2003 ruling that the Hawaiian-preference admissions policy serves a "legitimate" purpose of remedying past and current socio-economic ills suffered by Hawaiians as a result of Western contact.
Attorneys for the school -- Stanford Law School professor Kathleen Sullivan and local attorney Crystal Rose -- have argued that its policy is permissible because Kamehameha Schools is privately operated, receives no federal funding, and aims to address those educational and economic imbalances faced by Hawaiians.
Eric Grant, a Sacramento, Calif.-based attorney for the unnamed student, said he's confident that the 9th Circuit will overturn Kay's decision and rule that the school's "racially exclusive" admissions policy violates federal anti-discrimination law.
Grant dismissed the "doomsday" scenario envisioned by the school should its policy be overturned.
For instance, traditionally black colleges such as Morehouse College, Spellman College and Tuskegee University do not have racially exclusive admission policies but are every bit as enthusiastic in supporting African-American culture and history, Grant said.
To be sure, the panel that's deciding the Kamehameha Schools lawsuit has heard similar arguments on admission programs for publicly run schools.
In July, Graber cast the dissenting vote when a three-member 9th Circuit panel rejected the Seattle School District's use of race to assign students to popular schools.
The panel -- the 9th Circuit's first since the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 ruling narrowly upholding affirmative action programs at the University of Michigan -- said the Seattle's public school's use of so-called racial tiebreakers to give preference to minority students violated fellow students' constitutional protection against racial discrimination.
In her dissenting opinion, Graber, a Clinton nominee, argued that the Seattle plan is constitutional and that Seattle's public school system had a compelling interest to remedy racial isolation and "de facto segregation."
"I would hold that the District has a compelling interest in structuring its assignment policies to prevent a return to the era in which Seattle's undisputedly segregated housing pattern was the exclusive determinant of school assignments to neighborhood schools," Graber wrote.
Beezer, who was nominated by Ronald Reagan, had a different take on a 9th Circuit case involving racial preferences at an experimental school run by the University of California Los Angeles' Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.
In 1999, a 9th Circuit panel upheld by a 2-1 vote the Corinne A. Seeds University Elementary School's admission policy, which takes into account an applicant's race, ethnicity, sex, family income and other factors.
The panel said the laboratory school is a "valuable asset for California's public education system" and that the school's use of race and ethnicity for research was similar to a medical school's use of Jewish patients to study Tay-Sachs disease, or blacks to study sickle-cell anemia.
In his dissenting opinion, Beezer said the ruling betrayed a "disquieting tolerance for the use of race in government decision making."
"The court's opinion betrays a disturbing tolerance for racial classifications, and a historically unjustified confidence in the ability of government to employ them for 'benign' purposes," Beezer wrote.
The potential swing vote on the panel, Bybee, is a recent appointee to the 9th Circuit.
Nominated by President Bush last year, he is a constitutional law scholar who has taught at the University of Nevada's William S. Boyd School of Law and Louisiana State University's Paul M. Hebert Law Center.
Earlier this year, Bybee attracted much media attention for a 2002 legal memo that he signed when he headed the Office of Legal Counsel, which is a Department of Justice unit that advises the White House on legal issues.
According to the New York Times, the memo concluded that interrogators could use coercive methods on terror suspects without violating federal torture laws or international treaties.
The Times said that the memo -- which narrowly defined torture as pain accompanying "death, organ failure or permanent impairment of a significant body function" -- was used to justify harsh interrogation tactics used against high-profile detainees like Khalid Shaikh Mohammad.
The Bush administration later distanced itself from the memo, saying it gave the wrong impression, the Times said.
9th Circuit Court of Appeals panelists for the Kamehameha Schools lawsuit:
Who: Robert R. Beezer
Title: Senior Circuit Judge
Nominated by: Ronald Reagan (1984)
Career: Private practice (1956-1984);
Judge Pro Tem, Seattle Municipal Court (1962-1976)
Education: University of Virginia, B.A., 1951; University of Virginia School of Law, LL.B., 1956
Who: Susan Graber
Title: Circuit Judge
Nominated by: Bill Clinton (1997)
Career: Assistant Attorney General, New Mexico Bureau of Revenue, Legal Division (1972-1974); Private practice (1974-1988); Presiding Judge, Oregon Court of Appeals (1988-1990); Associate Justice, Oregon Supreme Court (1990-1998)
Education: Wellesley College, B.A., 1969; Yale Law School, J.D., 1972
Who: Jay S. Bybee
Title: Circuit Judge
Nominated by: George W. Bush (2003)
Career: Private practice (1981-1984); Attorney, Office of Legal Policy, Department of Justice (1984-1986); Associate Counsel to the President, The White House (1989-1991); Professor, Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University (1991-1998); Professor, William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada (1999-2000); Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice (2001-2002)
Education: Brigham Young University, B.A., 1977; Brigham Young University, J. Reuben Clark Law School, J.D., 1980.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Sunday, October 31, 2004
Kamehameha Schools admissions policy challenge
A three-judge federal appeals panel will hear arguments Thursday in a lawsuit challenging the the Hawaiians-only admission policy of Kamehameha Schools. U.S. District Judge Alan Kay ruled last November that the policy is justified in correcting societal imbalances suffered by Hawaiians as the result of Western contact. He held that the schools' history and mission are "exceptionally unique" and noted that the institution is privately funded and aims at correcting imbalances that have been recognized by Congress. The lawsuit contends that the policy violates the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which the U.S. Supreme Court has determined forbids discrimination against any race in private schools.
The admissions preference: Correcting a historical imbalance
By Dwight K. Muraoka
As an estate and trust law attorney born and raised in Hawaii, I have watched the controversy over the admissions preference implemented by Kamehameha Schools with great interest. Initially, I believed that the preference was unconstitutional, given American concepts of racial equality and constitutional law. However, for various reasons, including respect for friends of Hawaiian ancestry, I decided to learn more about the preference before reaching conclusions.
What I expected to conclude was that the schools, although established by Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, should be forced to abolish the preference. Instead, I soon realized that little attention has been paid to the exceptionally unique circumstances under which the schools were established, and the effect that those circumstances and later events should have upon how we evaluate the preference. It also became apparent that an analysis based only upon current U.S. law would not only be incomplete, but could impose a severe injustice upon current and future beneficiaries of the schools, and constitute another example of disregard for the interests of those of Hawaiian ancestry, whenever inconsistent with American values and beliefs.
The preference originates from the princess' last will and testament. When the princess died, her will was administered, and passed most of her property to the trust that established Kamehameha Schools in 1887 and today bears the same name. These events confirmed that the princess' will, including the preference in favor of orphaned and indigent students of Hawaiian ancestry, was legal and enforceable under the laws of the Kingdom of Hawaii. All of these events occurred before the kingdom was overthrown.
During the princess' lifetime, the United States accorded full and complete recognition to the Kingdom of Hawaii, as an independent and sovereign entity. Treaties and conventions existed between the two nations, governing commerce and navigation. These treaties confirmed the sovereign status of the kingdom and its status as a friendly nation.
In January 1893, the kingdom was overthrown by a group of non-Hawaiian American business owners, with the direct participation and assistance of the U.S. government. The historical evidence confirms that the overthrow would not have been successful without assistance from the U.S. military. And, while there is disagreement about the reasons for the overthrow, our own government has confirmed that its actions in participating in the overthrow were illegal. Grover Cleveland, president at the time of the overthrow, described the actions of those who participated as an "act of war, committed with the participation of a diplomatic representative of the United States and without the authority of Congress." He went on to call for the restoration of the Hawaiian monarchy.
In 1993, the United States acknowledged again in Public Law 103-150, that its actions in overthrowing the Kingdom of Hawaii were illegal and wrong, and apologized. That law also acknowledged that the overthrow resulted in the deprivation of the rights of native Hawaiians to self-determination, and expressed a commitment to acknowledge the ramifications of the overthrow, to provide a proper foundation for reconciliation between the United States and the Hawaiian people.
The overthrow resulted in the laws and legal system of the kingdom being replaced with those of the provisional government, which later became known as the Republic of Hawaii, and, after annexation, the United States. The laws of the Kingdom of Hawaii recognized and permitted the schools to implement the admissions preference. Given that it was improper for our government to participate in the overthrow that removed the legal system and laws under which the schools were established, how can we now require the schools to abolish the preference?
Consider this point from your own perspective. If you sign a will or trust agreement that is legal and valid under our laws, would you want your will or trust (or portions of those documents) disregarded because it wasn't legal under the laws of a country that had sent its military to invade the United States? Would it be proper, for example, for the perpetrators of an attack upon the United States to tell you that your will or trust is partly or entirely unenforceable, because it was illegal under the laws of their country or their beliefs? We should not impose this same injustice upon the princess and her legacy. It wouldn't be fair, it wouldn't be right, and frankly, it wouldn't be very American.
To ignore the historical consequences of the overthrow would be setting a dangerous precedent. Specifically, it would establish that we as a country can intentionally overthrow the government of any nation, including one that we recognize as sovereign and friendly, without good reason so long as we suppress the leadership, culture and people of that country to the point that they no longer have sufficient political clout to respond or defend themselves under our legal system. It would mean that we can also effectively disregard what the leaders of that country did to benefit their own people, simply because those actions are not consistent with what we believe is right. Certainly, this is not what the people who wrote our Constitution intended.
Perhaps the greatest lesson that we can learn from the princess' will is that if we truly believe that education is important, something can be done about it. The princess no doubt realized that as the world advanced, education would be one of the keys for her people to be able to survive and prosper. Knowing that she could leave her lands and other assets to anyone, the princess chose instead to devote the bulk of her estate to establishing Kamehameha Schools to help those of Hawaiian ancestry.
If we are serious about wanting better educational opportunities for our keiki, the solution is not legal action to force Kamehameha Schools to help solve our public education problems. Rather, it would be more productive to urge our legislators to be equally passionate about education, and to work toward improving and maintaining the quality of our public school system.
If Kamehameha Schools is forced to abolish its admissions preference, our country would in effect be forcing its values and beliefs upon the princess and the schools, even though what the princess did was perfectly legal and enforceable under the laws of her country, and even though our government illegally overthrew her kingdom. Essentially, this would be the same mistake that was made by those who overthrew the Kingdom of Hawaii, and who imposed their values and beliefs upon Queen Lili'uokalani and the Hawaiian people in 1893.
Please, let us learn from history, and let us not again deprive those of Hawaiian ancestry of rights that have been and always will be rightfully theirs.
Dwight K. Muraoka is a trust attorney who lives on Maui.
Preserving the independence of private schools is beneficial to everyone
By Robert M. Witt
We believe that education is prominent among forces for good and that 29,000 private schools educating more than six million students in our country are contributing significantly to the health of communities and the betterment of people's lives.
For these benefits to continue, the independence of these schools must be preserved and strengthened, and the contributions these schools make in our democratic society must be better understood and recognized. Private schools are good for students, good for families and good for America.
Central to private education is the prominence of the relationship between the unique mission of the school and its policies governing student admission. The alignment of mission and admissions is a key independent school value: When school culture and student learning needs are attuned, high achievement becomes an attainable standard.
The upcoming legal challenge to the admission policies of Kamehameha Schools must not be viewed as a single challenge to a single school. It must be viewed in its broader context -- a challenge to Kamehameha's independence, and, as such, a challenge to the independence of every private school in Hawaii.
Both public and private schools prepare youth to become responsible and contributing members of society. Private schools approach this social responsibility with an added value proposition. We provide choice.
Private schools increase diversity within the educational marketplace, endowing parents with the ability to choose programs that best fit their children's needs. Distinctive missions and educational philosophies are the hallmarks of private schools.
In Hawaii, 138 private, independent schools provide high-quality learning to more than 38,000 K-12 students. Some enroll those students who have demonstrated a high level of academic success. Others serve the gifted, or those who show academic promise. Still others offer programs for students who have encountered difficulty in previous learning situations.
Private schools are at their best when their missions address issues of equity and justice in our society. That is, when a school with a unique purpose serves a population of students that are not otherwise well served, everyone benefits.
Kamehameha is such a school. It stands alone, as a private school dedicated to providing urgently needed educational remedies for native Hawaiians, a disadvantaged people struggling to achieve social and economic parity.
The Hawaiian community continues to experience poor socioeconomic and health conditions that need to be addressed. The expectations of No Child Left Behind are more likely to be realized if the good work of Kamehameha Schools continues and expands.
Kamehameha spends more than $200 million annually on educational programs designed to correct this imbalance, and in the process mitigates the overwhelming social and legal obligations to develop similar remedies that would otherwise be placed on our public schools.
Private schools provide educational programs to more than 15 percent of Hawaii's school-aged children -- services that the state would otherwise need to provide. Informal estimates put savings to the state well above $300 million annually.
Kamehameha Schools funds its own operating expenses and employs a workforce numbering in the thousands, providing both direct educational services while also engaging in research.
On the capital investment side, a recent article in Honolulu magazine, estimates current construction investment by Kamehameha Schools to be $580 million.
The contribution of private schools to the public good must be sustained and strengthened. The best strategy for doing so is to protect their independence, and to encourage their individualized approaches to building and sustaining a healthy community here in Hawaii.
The case in point here, Kamehameha Schools, is all the more important because of its bearing on issues of equity and justice. Campus programs are uniquely designed and are best suited to meet the needs of those Hawaiian students contemplated in the school's mission. Admission policies are crafted to select those students most likely to achieve maximum benefit from such programs.
In his ruling upholding Kamehameha's admission preference last November, federal Judge Alan Kay emphasized that the school is a private institution, endowed by the legacy of a Hawaiian monarch, which neither seeks nor accepts federal money.
Private schools are dedicated to the betterment of humankind and contribute to the economic health of communities. Social justice is served by the good work of these schools, none more noteworthy than Kamehameha Schools. Preserving the independence of these schools is a noble cause and must prevail in our efforts to build a better world.
Robert M. Witt is executive director of the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools/Hawaii Council of Private Schools
Honolulu Advertiser, Posted on: Monday, November 1, 2004
School rallies to defend policy
By Dan Nakaso
Kamehameha Schools students, alumni and supporters yesterday marked the 121st anniversary of the signing of the will that created their schools by rallying the faithful against a court challenge this week against Kamehameha admissions policies favoring Hawaiian children.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this morning will review a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of government programs that benefit only Native Hawaiians. On Thursday, the same panel will review a lawsuit challenging Kamehameha's Hawaiian-preference admission policy.
Yesterday, students quoted from Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop's will, which designated preferences for Hawaiians. Alumnus Adrian Kamali'i, who helped organize the commemoration, urged those gathered to "stand to protect this place."
The hourlong gathering at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Memorial Chapel at the school's Kapalama Heights campus was equal parts church service, political pep rally and homage to Bishop.
"We owe our fondest gratitude ... to her generosity, to her foresight," said Kamali'i, who graduated in 2000. " ... The accomplishments of many of us in the chapel are due to the stroke of a pen 121 years ago."
Yesterday's anniversary, Kamali'i said, occurred during a "pivotal place in history."
More than 100 people came out in the rain yesterday to remember the signing of the princess's will. Dozens placed lei beneath her portrait.
The will resulted in Kamehameha Schools educations for Mervina Cash-Ka'eo, class of 1979, and her daughter, Kylie Ka'eo, a 13-year-old Kamehameha Schools eighth-grader.
They came to yesterday's service, Kylie said, because "we want to give back to Pauahi and what she gave us. It's the least we can do. Maybe if we join in the prayer service justice will be served."
Although the service included prayer and song, the larger legal issues were never far away.
"Her will should be administered just the way she wanted," said Alberta Brown, a 1966 graduate.
On Thursday, school officials are organizing a prayer service from 7 to 8 a.m. at the University of Hawai'i's Stan Sheriff Center to coincide with the review by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Honolulu Advertiser, Monday, November 1, 2004
Kamehameha admissions don't offend our civil rights
By Eric Yamamoto,Susan Kiyomi Serrano and Eva Paterson
On Thursday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in one of the most important Native Hawaiian rights cases ever.
In Doe v. Kamehameha Schools, the court, sitting in Hawai'i, will be asked to decide whether this private school dedicated to the education of indigenous Hawaiians "discriminates" against non-Hawaiians in violation of federal civil-rights law.
As non-Hawaiian people of color (Asian-American, Latina and African-American), we write to say definitively that the Kamehameha Schools admissions policy favoring Hawaiian children does not transgress our civil rights. As civil-rights lawyers and scholars, we have seen the harsh reality of racism for people of color and have fought hard for equal justice under law. African-Americans suffered slavery, segregation and present-day discrimination in jobs and housing. Asian-Americans and Latinos faced racialized immigration exclusion, alien land and anti-miscegenation laws, the internment and current treatment as perpetual foreigners. We know the pain of civil-rights violations. And we can say strongly that the Kamehameha Schools case is not about civil rights.
It certainly is not about a program, as outlandishly described by Doe's attorney, that is comparable to Jim Crow segregation in the South. Rather, the case is about a misguided effort to tear apart a successful educational program by Hawaiians for Hawaiians that aims to repair the continuing harms of American colonialism — or, in the words of U.S. District Judge Alan Kay, "the influx of Western civilization."
The Kamehameha Schools were created in 1883, 15 years before the United States annexed Hawai'i, by the private trust of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last direct descendant of Hawai'i's first king. The princess created the trust to uplift Hawaiian children through education because the forces of Western encroachment had nearly decimated the Hawaiian people and foreshadowed the American takeover of the Hawaiian government. The princess sought not to exclude others by labeling them inferior or unworthy (a classic civil-rights violation) but rather to rebuild her own people (an act of restoration and self-determination).
As the U.S. District Court in Hawai'i recognized, the Kamehameha Schools admissions policy is about justice for Hawai'i's first people — a private effort (now also supported by government efforts) to redress the continuing economic and cultural harms to Hawaiians. It is not about violating civil rights by treating one group as superior. It is about combined private and public efforts to restore to Native Hawaiians that which American colonialism in the late 19th century nearly destroyed: Hawaiian education, culture and a measure of self-governance. The school's admission policy is about restorative justice and does not violate our, or anyone else's, civil rights.
At the ground level, the Kamehameha Schools case is about the education of Hawaiian children and Hawaiian self-governance. In the big picture, it is also about how Hawai'i's history should be told, and therefore, the legitimacy of Hawaiian justice claims.
Four years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Rice v. Cayetano, banned the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs' Hawaiians-only voting limitation. In doing so, it badly mischaracterized Hawai'i's history and thereby undermined Hawaiian justice claims. The same pattern could be replicated in the Kamehameha Schools case unless the schools' advocates convince the appeals court to tell the real story of Hawaiian justice claims.
To do this would mean correcting the historical distortions in Rice. Nowhere in its Rice opinion did the court mention U.S. colonialism in 1898 in Hawai'i, the Philippines and Puerto Rico. Nor did it acknowledge the destruction of Hawaiian culture through the banning of the Hawaiian language or the present effects of homelands dispossession, including poverty, poor levels of education and health, and high levels of homelessness and incarceration. Nor did the main opinion recognize that colonial powers often used race to legitimate conquest, denigrating in racial terms those colonized.
The court's selective historical account also ignored the crucial differences between indigenous people who were involuntarily made American through colonization and those who chose U.S. citizenship through immigration. Instead, it said that Hawaiians had a rough go of it, as did immigrant groups, but the playing field now is pretty much leveled — all racial groups are treated equally. Westernization left no permanent scars; therefore, "privileges" for Hawaiians are not only undemocratic, they are illegal. What emerged from the court's selective historical framing is a simple story of racial discrimination against non-Hawaiians, a story that wrote out of existence the heart of present-day Hawaiian claims to justice.
This, however, is not the history our Hawaiian friends and neighbors tell. Hawaiians are not seeking privileges or handouts. Nor are they seeking "racial preferences" or "racial segregation in education," as Doe's attorneys argued. Rather, Hawaiians are asserting human rights — not simply the right to be equal but to self-determination; not a right to entitlements but to reparations; not a right to special treatment but to reconnect spiritually with land and culture; not a right to equality but a form of self-education and governance.
The threshold battle in the appeals court argument Thursday, then, will be over Hawai'i's history and the legitimacy of Hawaiian justice claims. Winning that battle will make clear that Princess Pauahi's Kamehameha Schools violate no one's civil rights. Indeed, it will show that the schools are part of private and public efforts aimed at restorative justice, to repair the harm to Hawai'i's first people for the benefit of us all.
Eric K. Yamamoto is a professor at the University of Hawai'i's William S. Richardson School of Law. Susan Kiyomi Serrano is research director and attorney at the Equal Justice Society in San Francisco, and a graduate of the UH law school. Eva Paterson is the president of the Equal Justice Society. They wrote this article for The Advertiser.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Monday, November 1, 2004
Kamehameha sit-in addresses legal challenge
Supporters vow to protect the school's Hawaiian-preference admission policy
By Mary Vorsino
Kamehameha Schools graduates and supporters gathered yesterday to commemorate Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop and pool strength for an upcoming legal challenge to the schools' admission policy.
"We come together to begin a historical and challenging week," Adrian Kamalii, the event's co-organizer, told about 75 attendees yesterday at Kamehameha's Kapalama campus chapel. "This day, 121 years ago, began Pauahi's legacy. ... We are at a pivotal point in history that could change this legacy."
On Thursday the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will begin hearing oral arguments by attorneys of a non-Hawaiian student who is seeking to overturn the school's admission policy, which gives preference to those of native Hawaiian ancestry.
Some say an adverse ruling in the case would jeopardize the mission of the $6 billion charitable trust, which was founded by Bishop's will.
But Kamehameha Schools leaders have said they are optimistic the 9th Circuit will uphold the U.S. District Court's November 2003 ruling that the Hawaiian-preference policy serves to remedy past and present ills suffered by native Hawaiians as a result of Western contact.
Many at yesterday's service were also confident the policy would win out, saying Bishop made the admission preference clear in her will.
"They always tell you to make a will for your family. If they continue to ask you to do that, why is that her will is being contested in court?" asked Ellie Keola, a 1980 Kamehameha Schools graduate.
"They should be able to admit who they want," said Ruth Yong, who is not native Hawaiian. "I don't feel it's discrimination." Yong said her husband, who is native Hawaiian, and oldest son are graduates of Kamehameha, and her daughter is now a junior at the Kapalama campus high school.
"I am optimistic," she added. "Sometimes, you know what's right."
Graduate alumni office assistant Gerry Johansen said she and her family would not be as well off as they are today without Kamehameha Schools.
"I'm here to protect the legacy of Pauahi, which is to carry on her mission," said Johansen, who graduated from Kamehameha along with her husband and two children. "I have a lot of faith and would think that what is right will prevail."
She also said the case, along with a similar challenge seeking to abolish the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, have brought native Hawaiians together.
"It shows that we are on the same page," she said, "and what we feel in our hearts."
The hour-long service yesterday included hymns in Hawaiian and a reading of parts of Bishop's will. There will be a similar prayer session on Thursday at the Stan Sheriff Center from 7 to 8 a.m. The case starts at 9 a.m., and Kamalii said there are 22 first-come, first-served seats open to the public.
Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, November 5, 2004
Kamehameha Schools awaits ruling
By Vicki Viotti
Those who have watched legal challenges to the Kamehameha Schools' Hawaiian-preference admission policy have begun the wait, probably for several months, to see whether courts see it as discrimination or a practice justified by the need to correct a historic wrong against a native people.
The key lawsuit, called Doe v. Kamehameha, was heard yesterday by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which today will finish a week of hearing cases in Hawai'i.
Yesterday's hearing was treated by Kamehameha Schools and its supporters as a sober occasion, drawing a crowd of officials and students to the downtown courtroom.
The plaintiff in the case, an unnamed, non-Hawaiian student, filed an appeal after a ruling last year by U.S. District Judge Alan Kay. The school's admission policy is legal, Kay ruled, largely because it serves a "remedial" purpose by advancing the education of a Native Hawaiian population that became marginalized after its monarchy was overthrown in 1893.
Kamehameha Schools was established as a beneficiary of the estate of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, a princess of the Hawaiian kingdom who inherited the lands owned by the Kamehameha royal dynasty.
The question before the panel of judges is whether the policy should be judged within this historical context. Eric Grant, the plaintiff's attorney, yesterday argued that "there is no exception for Native Hawaiians."
The panel consists of Judges Robert Beezer, Susan Graber and Jay Bybee.
Admissions policy: pro and con
Here are the main points in a legal battle over Kamehameha Schools' admissions policy, which gives preference to Hawaiians.
• Plaintiffs: Any policy that gives preference to one racial or ethnic group is discriminatory. Federal civil rights law ensures that public and private institutions will be prohibited from discriminating.
• Defendants: The federal law in question does not apply to institutions such as Kamehameha Schools because its admissions policy specifically seeks to address cultural and socioeconomic disadvantages that have beset Hawaiians since the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.
Beezer and Graber both asked whether their legal analysis should consider the fact that the school is private and funded by a trust established with holdings of the Hawaiian monarchy.
Grant cited previous rulings suggesting that the federal civil rights law at the heart of his lawsuit has applied to public and private institutions, adding that the source of the school's funding is irrelevant.
"The court has said that regardless of the origin of the funds the regular rules apply," Grant said. He was referring to a case challenging an all-white academy in Pennsylvania.
However, Graber said she saw a distinction between Kamehameha Schools and the Pennsylvania school: "There wasn't a king of Pennsylvania that I know of," she said.
Attorney Kathleen Sullivan, representing Kamehameha Schools, said the federal law in question never meant to remove remedial institutions such as Kamehameha.
Grant rebutted by saying the term "remedial" is being misused here. "Certain remedial programs are permitted, but those are programs that remediate discrimination within the institutions being challenged," he said.
Sullivan also said that the school receives no federal money and was established to serve a native population.
"Context is important," she said. "This is an education case. It matters that this is an indigenous group that has no other homeland on the face of the earth."
Sullivan also said the admission policy serves a "transitional" purpose, aimed at bringing Hawaiians to educational parity. The schools are "nowhere near that time" when the mission will be complete, she said.
She pointed to Kamehameha Schools' programs beyond the schools' three campuses that are open to non-Hawaiians and said the policy shouldn't be viewed too narrowly.
"It's not absolute, and it's not permanent," Sullivan said. "It's transitional. It's successful."
Some observers said characterizing the policy as temporary might represent an astute legal strategy but it won't sit well with some school supporters.
"I think Hawaiians have a different feeling," said Williamson Chang, a native rights specialist and professor at the University of Hawai'i law school. "They feel that (the school) is something that should always be for us, the only thing we have left."
Chang and a group of law students watched the proceedings via a live video feed transmitted to the campus. Because seating in the gallery was so limited, most observers watched either the UH campus feed or one sent to another courtroom at bankruptcy court.
Chang said he heard some evidence that the judges were sympathetic to the school. The fact that it is privately funded was mentioned repeatedly, he said, also noting that Beezer drew a distinction between the actual language of the will and the way the bequest is being executed. Beezer asked whether Grant was finding fault with the will or only with the actions of trustees who have interpreted it over the years.
This distinction is important, Chang said, because it suggests a desire to stop short of invalidating the entire foundation of the school.
"To strike down the will would have been devastating," he said.
After the hearing, Grant expressed some surprise that the judges were asking questions about the status of a movement establishing Hawaiians as a federally recognized political group, adding that both he and Sullivan agree that the Kamehameha Schools case does not hinge on the sovereignty issue.
Some observers thought the school's legal team was wise to restrict the arguments to issues of education and civil rights law.
"They really have a strong case based on the precedent of Judge Kay," said Amy Ono, a graduate of both the law school and Kamehameha Schools who now advises 'Ahahui o Hawai'i, a law students' group with a focus on native issues.
The school marked the occasion yesterday with campus prayer services and one at Kawaiaha'o Church. A group of about 200 Kamehameha students and supporters then marched through 'Iolani Palace grounds to the court, stopping first outside the Bishop Street tower where it's housed and sounding the pu, or conch shells.
Randie Fong, the school's director of performing arts, led the group in a chant and singing a school song, "Imua Kamehameha."
Many watched from the overflow courtroom in the lobby, but a small group of students was admitted to the sixth-floor gallery to hear the case. One, senior Namahana Tolentino, said the mood of the students is subdued.
"It's almost a sterile disregard for emotion," she said.
"We're trying to preserve our energy for achieving the equality that we aim to."
Outside, as the supporters gathered in Fort Street Mall, the atmosphere was more cheerful. Dee Jay Mailer, the school chief executive officer, and trustees addressed the crowd.
"They (the judges) could see the pride and success of Kamehameha Schools," Mailer said.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, November 5, 2004
KAMEHAMEHA POLICY TESTED
Appeals court’s queries leave trustee hopeful
The panel of three judges delves into the school's history and its source of funds
By Rick Daysog
A Kamehameha Schools trustee said he has a "gut feeling" that a federal appeals court is looking for ways to uphold the school's century-old Hawaiian-preference admissions policy.
Kamehameha Schools trustee Douglas Ing said questions by the three-judge 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel yesterday were being asked in a way to "help them reach a decision that can support us."
"They were looking for ways within that body of civil rights and constitutional law to support us, and they asked questions along those lines. ... It's just my gut feeling about the way the questions went," said Ing, an attorney.
"What you could sense very clearly from the judges was that emotionally they really liked Kamehameha Schools."
Yesterday, the panel -- judges Robert Beezer, Jay Bybee and Susan Graber -- heard arguments to an appeal filed by an unnamed, non-Hawaiian student who sued to overturn the school's admission policy.
That suit was dismissed last year by U.S. District Judge Alan Kay, who ruled that the policy served "a legitimate remedial purpose of improving native Hawaiians' socioeconomic and educational disadvantages."
The student's lawyer, Eric Grant of Sacramento, Calif., argued that the policy amounts to "racial exclusion," which is prohibited under federal civil-rights laws.
Attorneys for the school have argued that the Hawaiian-preference policy is permissible under federal laws because it involves a private institution that receives no federal funding whose admissions policy aims to fix social, economic and educational inequalities suffered by Hawaiians.
During yesterday's hour-long hearing, the panel asked myriad questions regarding civil-rights law, the political standing of native Hawaiians and the estate's status as a nonprofit trust founded by Hawaiian royalty.
Senior Judge Beezer questioned whether private organizations, such as the Kamehameha Schools, must follow the same strict civil-rights standards required of public entities.
Graber, the presiding judge, asked whether the Kamehameha Schools' admissions policy should be given "special attention" since the lands that were bequeathed to the school under the 1884 will of Bernice Pauahi Bishop originated from a sovereign entity.
Grant argued that the origins of the funds don't matter and cited a case involving a challenge to the admission policy of an all-white school in Pennsylvania.
Graber said she saw a difference between the two schools, saying, "There wasn't a king of Pennsylvania that I know of."
The estate's attorney, Stanford Law School Professor Kathleen Sullivan, said it's "odious" to compare Kamehameha Schools' Hawaiian-preference policy to a whites-only admission policy.
Sullivan said the school's admissions policy, which was recognized by Congress in legislation like the National Hawaiian Education Act of 2002, aims to address the "near-annihilation of the Hawaiian people."
Its remedies are for a people whose language was banned and whose culture was "nearly abolished," she said.
The 9th Circuit is not expected to rule on the appeal for several months, and the losing party can ask the full 9th Circuit to review the appeal. From there, the case could go to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Yesterday's hearing, which was held at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court downtown, was attended by the school's Chief Executive Officer Dee Jay Mailer, headmaster Michael Chun and all five members of its board of trustees.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, November 5, 2004
School supporters pray for a favorable ruling
By Leila Fujimori
Supporters and students filled Kawaiahao Church yesterday morning, praying in unison and listening to a message of unity in support of Kamehameha Schools' Hawaiians-preference admissions policy.
Later in the morning, a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel heard arguments on an appeal by an unnamed, non-Hawaiian student whose lawsuit to overturn the school's admission policy was dismissed.
Nainoa Thompson, chairman of the school's board of trustees, stood in the aisle between pews, delivering an impassioned speech emphasizing the need to unite to "defend the gift" of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the school's benefactor.
He reminded the audience of Kamehameha Schools' mission to fulfill her wishes of educating native Hawaiian children. "We need to be pono. We need to be strong. We need to be together."
Audience members agreed.
"I'm not Hawaiian, but I stand with the purpose of the school to educate Hawaiian children, and that should not be changed," said Brenda Wong. "It's not an issue of civil rights, but it's an issue of justice for all Hawaiian children."
Jonathan Osorio, director of the Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaii, said, "Kamehameha is clearly devoted to the mission of educating Hawaiian children first.
"We at Kamakakuokalani (the Center for Hawaiian Studies) support that mission, and we will fight and we will do everything in our power to maintain this institution and our sense of identity."
Kamehameha Schools freshman Aaron Tuifagu said: "I feel that we should honor Pauahi's legacy and her will to educate people of Hawaiian ancestry.
"In her lifetime, she saw the decline of people in education and Hawaiians dying out, becoming a minority in their own homeland," said Tuifagu, who is 15 percent native Hawaiian. "It was her will that we be educated and become industrious men and women.
"I think if they take away the preference policy, we're taking away her dream and this school would be different."
ORAL ARGUMENTS BEFORE THE THREE-JUDGE PANEL WERE HELD ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2004.
THE ORAL ARGUMENTS WERE TAPED, AND THE AUDIO FILE WAS LATER MADE AVAILABLE ON THE WEBSITE OF THE 9TH CIRCUIT COURT.
Audio tapes of 9th Circuit oral arguments are available.
The general procedure that will work for any case (since they started saving audio files) is:
Click here to reach the 9th Circuit web site
Select the "Audio Files" button at the top left, and then enter the case number when the search box appears.
For Doe v. Kamehameha:
Case # 04-15044 and download is 8.52MB. Dialup internet users should think twice before trying to download such a large file.
It appears the following is the URL for downloading this file directly by clicking here (but it still requires a lengthy download time)
Honolulu Advertiser, Sunday, November 7, 2004
Kamehameha must look for a 'Plan B'
It is all but certain the legal challenge to the constitutionality of Kamehameha School's Hawaiians-only "preference" policy will work its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Supporters of Kamehameha found some solace in relatively sympathetic questions posed by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals during a hearing on the lawsuit last week in Honolulu.
But that's just a small slice of a much larger picture. First, many judges force themselves to pursue the best defense of the argument they ultimately intend to reject.
And even if the Ninth sides with Kamehameha, the inevitable appeal to the Supreme Court would be doubly difficult. The court has already ruled "against" Hawaiians in a somewhat related case involving the former Hawaiians-only requirement in voting for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
While that ruling was narrowly rooted in voting rights law, the court used language that suggested it was doubtful any preference for Hawaiians in any program or endeavor would stand constitutional muster.
And that point of view is likely to become even stronger if President Bush, as expected, has the opportunity to name additional conservative Supreme Court justices in the year or two ahead.
So, while Kamehameha pursues its legal defense of its admissions policy, it should also be working on a "Plan B" for the school that would allow it to live up to its mission under new legal constraints.
We have long felt that Kamehameha serves Hawaiians and the community at large well, and we support its "remedial" mission of providing quality educational opportunities to a group of people who had been denied opportunities and equal access to the benefits of society.
That was, after all, the point of Pauahi Bishop when she wrote her will and bequeathed her estate to the school.
But if the legal system looks at this complex situation purely as a matter of race, there are other alternatives for Kamehameha that would preserve its core mission.
In fact, a shift in that direction has already begun to take place under enlightened policies adopted by the current board of trustees and school administration.
Kamehameha has broadened its approach in a variety of ways. It supports preschools and other early education opportunities in areas that are heavily, but not exclusively, Hawaiian. It is using some of its money to provide scholarships to children of Hawaiian ancestry that could be used at other campuses, an approach that may be less offensive to those who object to race-based admission policies.
And it offers its resources and skills to schools in need where Hawaiians as well as non-Hawaiians equally benefit.
This may be the future for Kamehameha if the legal battle is not resolved in its favor. The school has a vast fortune that can be used in numerous and creative ways to benefit the entire community while continuing to ensure Hawaiians their rightful place in society.
** In May, 2005 the 9th Cicruit Court of Appeals still had not reached a decision on the lawsuit over the Kamehameha Schools racially exclusionary admissions policy. However, the Schools’ fiscal year 2004 filing with the Internal Revenue Service was made public. The figure of $4.8 Billion for net assets seems quite low, and is probably using creative bookkeeping including low valuations on land holdings based on land values from date of acquisition, as long as 120 years ago. **
Honolulu Advertiser, Thursday, May 19, 2005
Kamehameha richer by $600M
By Rick Daysog
The Kamehameha Schools saw its net assets increase more than 12 percent to $4.8 billion during its 2004 fiscal year as the charitable trust spent more than $171 million on its educational programs, according to the estate's recent filing with the Internal Revenue Service.
The filing also shows that the Kamehameha Schools paid its top investment officer, Kirk Belsby, more than $523,000 during the 2004 fiscal year, which ended June 30. Belsby, the trust's vice president of endowment, received $375,000 in base compensation, $14,669 in employee benefits and $134,187 in expenses and other allowances.
The estate's chief executive officer, Dee Jay Mailer, who joined the estate near the middle of the fiscal year, received $204,403 in base salary and other allowances. Her annual pay is about $350,000.
Kamehameha Schools' total revenues soared to $483.5 million from $338.6 million in fiscal 2003. Net assets during the year rose to $4.8 billion from $4.2 billion.
"I don't think you'll find that the compensation levels are out of line with organizations of this size," said Kekoa Paulsen, the estate's spokesman.
The estate's annual filing with the IRS also disclosed pay figures for other top executives and educators, including:
• Colleen Wong, the trust's vice president for legal affairs, $240,744;
• Finance and administrative vice president Michael Loo, $230,414;
• Kapalama campus Headmaster Michael Chun, $215,413;
• Susan Todani, the estate's director of Mainland investments, $211,595.
Trustee Nainoa Thompson earned $118,000 and fellow board member Constance Lau was paid $113,500. Trustees Robert Kihune and Diane Plotts received $105,000 and $103,500, respectively, while trustee Douglas Ing earned $100,500. Trustee pay is based in part on the number of hours worked.
The trust also made hefty payments to its outside consultants, such as JP Morgan Research, which received $2.8 million for investment management services and Group 70 International, which earned $1.5 million for architectural services.
Legal costs for the school's lengthy defense of its Hawaiian-preference admission policy continued to mount last year. The Washington, D.C., law firm of Miller & Chevalier billed the trust nearly $1.7 million while the Cades Schutte law firm of Honolulu earned $1.3 million.
The estate said it spent a total of $171 million on educational and other programs, which compares with $172.5 million in the year-earlier period.
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