General regulations

  • Accreditation and licensing of private schools is encouraged but not required in the state of Hawaii.

  • Every school must obtain a charter and an excise tax license from the state.

  • The Hawaii Department of Education has assembled a page of detailed requirements for private schools.

  • The US Office of Innovation & Improvement has assembled a summary of regulations for private schools operating in Hawaii.

  • Hawaii requires that parents are fully responsible for their child’s total education and must submit an annual progress report.

  • The Hawaii DOE has no published requirements for school insurance -- consult a professional for guidance in this area.

Education regulations and resources for starting a private school in the state of Hawaii

State funding sources & support

Hawaii does not provide funding for private education.

Curriculum requirements

Hawaii requires that private school students receive instruction in reading, writing, speech, mathematics, social studies, science, art, music, and health and physical education.

Teacher certification & hiring

Teacher certification is optional for nonpublic schools, but schools must be able to show that teachers are qualified for their positions through degrees, experience, certifications, etc.

Looking for more?

Our comprehensive Starting a Private School guide includes great information for funding, curriculum, hiring & much more that applies no matter where you’re opening your school.

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Food services / school lunch

In Hawaii, school lunch requirements, including funding for schools offering the National School Lunch Program, are managed by the Department of Education.

Length of school year

In order to meet the state’s compulsory school attendance law, students must attend 880 hours of school each year.

Recordkeeping and reports

Schools must annually report student enrollment.

Health and safety requirements

Students must be immunized and undergo a physical exam before enrolling in school.


Transportation in vehicles other than school vehicles must be approved by the Department of Transportation.  


No state policy exists.

State and regional associations

  • Hawaii Association of Private Schools: Hawaii Association of Independent Schools (HAIS) advocates on behalf of independent education in Hawaii, provides services that strengthen our individual schools and engages them to achieve educational quality and excellence for all students.

Starting a Private School

Want to know more about opening a school? We’ve assembled a complete guide to starting a private school, with considerations for everything from planning and finance to branding, hiring, curriculum, facilities, and more!

Read the Guide


We've done our best to pull together current and accurate information. Even so, there may be omissions or mistakes or content that needs to be updated. If you have recommendations for any resources or corrections, we appreciate your input so we can continue to improve this guide for everyone. 

Nothing in this guide should be construed as legal, business, or tax advice. It is important that you engage qualified professionals who can advise you on such matters, and please visit the Department of Education pages for your state to verify you are in compliance with all regulations.

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