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Template:US stateāina o HawaiTemplate:Okinai |
Flag = Flag of Hawaii.svg |
Flaglink = Flag of Hawaii |
Seal = Hawaii state seal.png |
Map = Hi-locator.png |
Nickname = The Aloha State |
Capital = Honolulu |
LargestCity = Honolulu |
OfficialLang = Hawaiian and English |
Governor = Linda Lingle (R)|
Senators = Daniel Inouye (D)

Daniel Akaka (D) |

Representatives = Neil Abercrombie (D)| Ed Case (D) |
PostalAbbreviation = HI |
AreaRank = 43rd |
TotalArea = 28,337 |
LandArea = 16,649 |
WaterArea = 11,672 |
PCWater = 41.2 |
PopRank = 42nd |
2000Pop = 1,211,537 |
DensityRank = 13th |
2000Density = 42.75 |
AdmittanceOrder = 50th |
AdmittanceDate = August 21, 1959 |
TimeZone = Hawaii: UTC-10/ (no daylight saving time) |
Longitude = 154°40'W to 162°W |
Latitude = 18°55'N to 29°N |
Width = n/a |
Length = 2,450 |
HighestElev = 4,207 |
MeanElev = 925 |
LowestElev = 0 |
ISOCode = US-HI |
Website = www.hawaii.gov/

}}Hawaii (Hawaiian/Hawaiian English: HawaiTemplate:Okinai, with the [[Okina|Template:Okinaokina]]; also, historically, the Sandwich Islands) is located in the archipelago of the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean, Template:Coor dms. Admitted on August 21, 1959, HawaiTemplate:Okinai constitutes the 50th state of the United States and is situated 2300 miles from the mainland.




Hawaii is the only U.S. state that is surrounded by water. It is one of two states that do not share a border with another U.S. state (Alaska being the other). It is the southernmost part of the United States.

In addition to possessing the southernmost point in the United States, it is the only state that lies completely in the tropics. One of two states outside the contiguous United States, it is the only state without territory on the mainland of any continent. It is also the only state that continues to grow in area because of active lava flows, most notably from Kīlauea. Because it has more endangered species per square mile than anywhere else, HawaiTemplate:Okinai is considered the endangered species capital of the world Template:Fact.

The Hawaiian Archipelago comprises nineteen islands and atolls extending across a distance of 1,500 miles (2,400 km). The main islands are the eight high islands at the southeastern end of the island chain. These islands are, in order from the northwest to southeast, NiTemplate:Okinaihau, KauaTemplate:Okinai, OTemplate:Okinaahu, MolokaTemplate:Okinai, LānaTemplate:Okinai, KahoTemplate:Okinaolawe, Maui and the Island of HawaiTemplate:Okinai. Template:Ussm

All of the Hawaiian Islands were formed by volcanoes arising from the sea floor through a vent described in geological theory as a hotspot. The theory maintains that as the tectonic plate beneath much of the Pacific Ocean moves in a northwesterly direction, the hot spot remains stationary, slowly creating new volcanoes. This explains why only volcanoes on the southern half of the Island of HawaiTemplate:Okinai are presently active.

The last volcanic eruption outside the Island of HawaiTemplate:Okinai happened at Haleakalā on Maui in the late 18th century. The newest volcano to form is [[Loihi Seamount|LōTemplate:Okinaihi]], deep below the waters off the southern coast of the Island of HawaiTemplate:Okinai.

The isolation of the Hawaiian Islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and the wide range of environments to be found on high islands located in and near the tropics, has resulted in a vast array of endemic flora and fauna. The volcanic activity and subsequent erosion created impressive geological features. Those conditions make [[Mount Waialeale|Mount WaiTemplate:OkinaaleTemplate:Okinaale]] the third wettest place on earth; it averages 460 inches (11.7 m) of rain annually.

Areas under the control and protection of the National Parks Service include:


Main article: Hawaiian Islands

Image:Hawaii Sunset.jpg The climate of HawaiTemplate:Okinai is atypical for a tropical area and regarded as more subtropical than the latitude would suggest because of the moderating effect of the surrounding ocean. Temperatures and humidity tend to be less extreme, with summer high temperatures seldom reaching above the upper 80's (°F) and winter temperatures (at low elevation) seldom dipping below the mid-60's. Snow, although not usually associated with tropics, falls at high elevations on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island in some winter months. Snow only rarely falls on Maui's Haleakala.

Local climates vary considerably on each island, grossly divisible into windward (koTemplate:Okinaolau) and leeward (Template:Okinaewa) areas based upon location relative to the higher mountains. Windward sides face the Northeast Trades and receive much more rainfall; leeward sides are drier: less rain and less cloud cover. This fact is utilized by a tourist industry setting resorts on sunny leeward coasts.


Main article: History of Hawai'i

Hawaiian antiquity

Main article: [[Ancient Hawaii|Ancient HawaiTemplate:Okinai]], Hawaiian mythology, Polynesian mythology

Anthropologists believe that Polynesians from the Marquesas and Society Islands first populated the Hawaiian Islands in approximately 300 AD, followed by Tahitian settlers in approximately 1300 AD who conquered and eliminated the original inhabitants of the islands. These Tahitian conquerors preserved memories of their migrations orally through genealogies and folk tales, like the stories of [[Hawaiiloa|HawaiTemplate:Okinailoa]] and [[Pa'ao|PaTemplate:Okinaao]]. Relations with other Polynesian groups were sporadic during the early migratory periods, and HawaiTemplate:Okinai grew from small settlements to a complex society in near isolation.

Voyaging between Hawai'i and the South Pacific apparently ceased with no explanation several centuries before the arrival of the Europeans. Local chiefs, called [[alii|aliTemplate:Okinai]], ruled their settlements and fought to extend their sway and defend their communities from predatory rivals. Warfare was endemic. The general trend was toward chiefdoms of increasing size, even encompassing whole islands.

Vague reports by various European explorers suggest that HawaiTemplate:Okinai was visited by foreigners well before the 1778 arrival of British explorer Captain James Cook. Historians credited Cook with the discovery after he was the first to plot and publish the geographical coordinates of the Hawaiian Islands. Cook named his discovery the Sandwich Islands in honor of one of his sponsors, John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich.

Hawaiian kingdom

Main article: [[Kingdom of Hawaii|Kingdom of HawaiTemplate:Okinai]]

After a series of battles that ended in 1795 and peaceful cession of the island of KauaTemplate:Okinai in 1810, the Hawaiian Islands were united for the first time under a single ruler who would become known as King Kamehameha the Great. He established the House of Kamehameha, a dynasty that ruled over the kingdom until 1872. One of the most important events during those years was the suppression of the Hawaii Catholic Church.

That led to the Edict of Toleration that established religious freedom in the Hawaiian Islands. The death of the bachelor King Kamehameha V—who did not name an heir—resulted in the election of King Lunalilo. After him, governance was passed on to the House of Kalākaua.

In 1887, citing maladministration, a group of American and European businessmen already involved in Hawaiian government forced King Kalākaua to sign the Bayonet Constitution which not only stripped the king of administrative authority but eliminated voting rights for Asians and set minimum income and property requirements for American, European and native Hawaiian voters, essentially limiting the electorate to wealthy elite Americans, Europeans and native Hawaiians. King Kalākaua reigned until his death in 1891.

His sister, [[Liliuokalani|LiliTemplate:Okinauokalani]], succeeded him to the throne and ruled until her dethronement in 1893. Her overthrow, by a coup d'état orchestrated by American and European businessmen, was sparked by the queen's threat to abrogate the constitution. Even though she backed down at the last moment, members of the expatriate community formed a Committee of Safety which mounted a nearly bloodless coup and established a provisional government. On May 30, 1894 a constitutional convention drafted a constitution for a Republic of Hawaii. The Republic was declared on July 4, 1894.

The overthrow of the monarchy was a cataclysmic event in Hawaiian history and is still the subject of much controversy. For further discussion, see Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

During the kingdom era and subsequent republican regime, [[Iolani Palace|Template:OkinaIolani Palace]] — the only official royal residence in the United States today — served as the capitol buildings.

Hawaiian territory

Main article: [[Territory of Hawaii|Territory of HawaiTemplate:Okinai]]

When William McKinley won the presidential election in November of 1896, the question of Hawaii's annexation to the U.S. was again opened. The previous president, Grover Cleveland, was a friend of Queen Liliuokalani. He had remained opposed to annexation until the end of his term, but McKinley was open to persuasion by U. S. expansionists and by annexationists from Hawaii. He agreed to meet with a committee of annexationists from Hawaii, Lorrin Thurston, Francis Hatch and William Kinney. After negotiations, in June of 1897, McKinley signed a treaty of annexation with these representatives of the Republic of Hawaii. The president then submitted the treaty to the U. S. Senate for approval.

Annexation of Hawai'i to the United States was protested by petition drives run by Hui Aloha ‘Aina and Hui Kalai‘aina, that gained nearly 22,000 signatures in opposition to annexation on one petition, and approximately 17,000 signatures in favor of reinstating the monarchy on another. Only the 22,000 signatures opposing annexation were presented to the U.S. in protest, and the other 17,000 claimed signatures have never been uncovered to this date. The validity of the petition that was submitted was criticized at the time by Lorrin Thurston in an analysis which indicated significant fraud.

Despite some opposition in the islands, the Newlands Resolution was passed by the House June 15, 1898, by a vote of 209 to 91, and by the Senate on July 6, 1898, by a vote of 42 to 21, formally annexing HawaiTemplate:Okinai as a U.S. territory in spite of opposition in the Congress [Schamel, Wynell and Charles E. Schamel, 1999][1][2]. Although its legality was questioned by some because it was a resolution, not a treaty, both houses of Congress carried the measure with two-thirds majorities, whereas a treaty would have only required two-thirds of the Senate vote (Article II, Sec 2, U.S. Constitution).

In 1900, it was granted self-governance and retained Template:OkinaIolani Palace as the territorial capitol building. Though several attempts were made to achieve statehood, HawaiTemplate:Okinai remained a territory for sixty years. Plantation owners, like those who comprised the so-called Big Five, found territorial status convenient, enabling them to continue importing cheap foreign labor; such immigration was prohibited in various other states of the Union.

The power of the plantation owners was finally broken by activist descendants of original immigrant laborers. Because they were born in a U.S. territory, they were legal U.S. citizens. Expecting to gain full voting rights, they actively campaigned for statehood for the Hawaiian Islands.

Hawaiian statehood


In March 1959, both houses of Congress passed the Admission Act and U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into law. (The act excluded Palmyra Atoll, part of the Kingdom and Territory of HawaiTemplate:Okinai, from the new state.) On June 27 of that year, a plebiscite was held asking residents of HawaiTemplate:Okinai to vote on accepting the statehood bill. HawaiTemplate:Okinai voted 17 to 1 to accept. On August 21, church bells throughout Honolulu were rung upon the proclamation that HawaiTemplate:Okinai was the 50th state of the Union.

After statehood, HawaiTemplate:Okinai quickly became a modern state with a construction boom and rapidly growing economy. The [[Hawaii Republican Party|HawaiTemplate:Okinai Republican Party]], which was strongly supported by the plantation owners, was voted out of office. In its place, the [[Democratic Party of Hawaii|Democratic Party of HawaiTemplate:Okinai ]] dominated state politics for forty years. The state also worked toward restoring the native Hawaiian culture. The [[1978 Hawaii State Constitutional Convention|HawaiTemplate:Okinai State Constitutional Convention of 1978]] heralded what some called a Hawaiian renaissance. Its delegates created programs that sought to revive the indigenous Hawaiian language and culture. In addition, they sought to promote native control over Hawaiian issues by creating the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.


Historical populations

1960 632,772
1970 768,561
1980 964,691
1990 1,108,229
2000 1,211,537

As of 2005, Hawaii has an estimated population of 1,275,194, which is an increase of 13,070, or 1.0%, from the prior year and an increase of 63,657, or 5.3%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 48,111 people (that is 96,028 births minus 47,917 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 16,956 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 30,068 people, and migration within the country produced a net loss of 13,112 people.

HawaiTemplate:Okinai has a de facto population of over 1.3 million due to military presence and tourists. [[Oahu|OTemplate:Okinaahu]] is the most populous island, with a resident population of just under one million.

Ethnically, HawaiTemplate:Okinai is the only state that has a majority group that is non-white (and one of only four in which non-Hispanic whites do not form a majority) and has the largest percentage of Asian Americans.

Hawaii was the first majority-minority state in the United States since the 20th century. According to the 2000 Census, 6.6% of HawaiTemplate:Okinai's population identified themselves as Native Hawaiian, 24.3% were White or Caucasian, including Portuguese and 41.6% were Asian, including 0.1% Asian Indian, 4.7% Chinese, 14.1% Filipino, 16.7% Japanese, 1.9% Korean and 0.6% Vietnamese. 1.3% were other Pacific Islander, which includes Samoan, Tongan, Tahitian, Māori and Micronesian, and 21.4% described themselves as mixed (two or more races/ethnic groups). 1.8% were Black or African American and 0.3% were Native American and Alaska Native.

Image:Hawaii population map.png The second group of foreigners to arrive upon HawaiTemplate:Okinai's shores, after the Europeans, were the Chinese. Chinese employees serving on Western trading ships disembarked and settled starting in 1789. In 1820 the first American missionaries arrived in HawaiTemplate:Okinai to preach Christianity and teach the Hawaiians what the missionaries considered "civilized" ways. A large proportion of HawaiTemplate:Okinai's population has become a people of Asian ancestry (especially Chinese, Japanese and Filipino), many of whom are descendants from those waves of early foreign immigrants brought to the islands in the nineteenth century, beginning in the 1850's, to work on the sugar plantations. The first 153 Japanese immigrants arrived in HawaiTemplate:Okinai on June 19, 1868. They were not "legally" approved by the Japanese government established after the Meiji Restoration because the contract was between a broker and the by then terminated Tokugawa shogunate. The first Japanese government-approved immigrants arrived in HawaiTemplate:Okinai on February 9, 1885 after Kalākaua's petition to Emperor Meiji when Kalākaua visited Japan in 1881)

As of 2000, 73.4% of HawaiTemplate:Okinai residents age 5 and older speak English at home and 7.9% speak Pacific Island languages. Tagalog is the third most spoken language at 5.4%, followed by Japanese at 5.0% and Chinese at 2.6%. The official languages are Hawaiian and Hawaiian English. Hawaiian Pidgin is an unofficial language.


Main articles: Hawaiian language, Hawaiian English

The state of HawaiTemplate:Okinai has two official languages as prescribed by the [[Constitution of Hawaii|Constitution of HawaiTemplate:Okinai]] adopted at the 1978 constitutional convention: Hawaiian and English. Article XV, Section 4 requires the use of Hawaiian in official state business such as public acts, documents, laws and transactions. Standard Hawaiian English, a subset of American English, is also commonly used for other formal business. Hawaiian is legally acceptable in all legal documents, from depositions to legislative bills. The third and fourth most spoken languages are Tagalog and Japanese, respectively.


Before the arrival of Captain James Cook, the Hawaiian language was purely a spoken language. The first written form of Hawaiian was developed by American Protestant missionaries in HawaiTemplate:Okinai during the early 19th century. The missionaries assigned letters from the English alphabet that roughly corresponded to the Hawaiian sounds. Later, additional characters were added to clarify pronunciation.

The [[okina|Template:Okinaokina]] indicates a glottal stop while the macron called kahakō signifies a long vowel sound. When a Hawaiian word is spelled without any necessary Template:Okinaokina and kahakō, it is impossible for someone who does not already know the word to guess at the proper pronunciation.

Omission of the Template:Okinaokina and kahakō in printed texts can even obscure the meaning of the word. For example, the word lanai means stiff-necked. However, when spelled as lānai it means veranda while LānaTemplate:Okinai refers to an island. This can be a problem in interpreting 19th century Hawaiian texts recorded in the older orthography. For these reasons, careful writers use the modern Hawaiian orthography.


As a result of the constitutional provision, interest in the Hawaiian language was revived in the late 20th century. Public and independent schools throughout the state began teaching Hawaiian language standards as part of the regular curricula, beginning with preschool. With the help of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, also created by the 1978 constitutional convention, specially designated Hawaiian language immersion schools were established where students would be taught in all subjects using Hawaiian. Also, the [[University of Hawaii System|University of HawaiTemplate:Okinai System]] developed the only Hawaiian language graduate studies program in the world. Municipal codes were altered in favor of Hawaiian place and street names for new civic developments.


Over the course of Hawaiian history, a third language was developed that is in common use throughout the state today. Originally considered a dialect of Hawaiian English, cultural anthropologists have recently reached consensus that Hawaiian Pidgin is a distinct language on its own. Hawaiian Pidgin finds its origins in the sugarcane and pineapple plantations as laborers from different cultures were forced to find their own ways of communicating and understanding each other. Laborer emigrants from different countries — China, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Portugal — began composing their own words and phrases based on their own language traditions, which merged with Hawaiian and Hawaiian English.


A somewhat divisive political issue that has arisen since the Constitution of HawaiTemplate:Okinai adopted Hawaiian as an official state language is the exact spelling of the state's name. As prescribed in the Admission of Hawai'i Act that granted Hawaiian statehood, the federal government recognizes Hawaii to be the official state name. However, many state and municipal entities and officials have recognized HawaiTemplate:Okinai to be the correct state name.

Official government publications, as well as department and office titles, use the traditional Hawaiian spelling. Private entities, including local mass media, also have shown a preference for the use of the Template:Okinaokina. While in local Hawaiian society the spelling and pronunciation of HawaiTemplate:Okinai is preferred in nearly all cases, even by standard English speakers, the federal spelling is used for purposes of interpolitical relations between other states and foreign governments.

The nuances in the Hawaiian language debate are often not obvious or well-appreciated outside HawaiTemplate:Okinai. The issue has often been a source of friction in situations where correct naming conventions are mandated, as people frequently disagree over which spelling is correct or incorrect, and where it is correctly or incorrectly applied.

See also Hawaiian alphabet


Image:Wiki hawaii.jpg The history of HawaiTemplate:Okinai can be traced through a succession of dominating industries: sandalwood, whaling, sugarcane, pineapple, military, tourism, and education. Since statehood was achieved in 1959, tourism has been the largest industry in HawaiTemplate:Okinai, contributing 24.3% of the Gross State Product (GSP) in 1997. New efforts are underway to diversify the economy. The total gross output for the state in 2003 was US$47 billion; per capita income for HawaiTemplate:Okinai residents was US$30,441.

Industrial exports from HawaiTemplate:Okinai include food processing and apparel. These industries play a small role in the HawaiTemplate:Okinai economy, however, due to the considerable shipping distance to markets on the west coast of the United States and ports of Japan. The main agricultural exports are nursery stock and flowers, coffee, macadamia nuts, pineapple, livestock, and sugar cane. Agricultural sales for 2002, according to the HawaiTemplate:Okinai Agricultural Statistics Service, were US$370.9 million from diversified agriculture, US$100.6 million from pineapple, and US$64.3 million from sugarcane.

HawaiTemplate:Okinai is known for its relatively high per capita state tax burden. In the years 2002 and 2003, HawaiTemplate:Okinai residents had the highest state tax per capita at US$2,757 and US$2,838, respectively. This rate can be explained partly by the fact that services such as education, health care and social services are all rendered at the state level — as opposed to the municipal level as all other states.

Millions of tourists contribute to the collection figure by paying the general excise tax and hotel room tax; thus not all the taxes collected come directly from residents. Business leaders, however, have often considered the state's tax burden as being too high, contributing to both higher prices and the perception of an unfriendly business climate [3]. See the [[Category:Business in Hawaii|list of businesses in HawaiTemplate:Okinai]] for more information on commerce in the state.

Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. that controls gasoline prices through a Gas Cap Law. This law is not intended to guarantee lower prices at the pump and the government acknowledges that prices have gone up since the gas cap was instituted. The law is currently under heated debate with businesses claiming severe impact under the price restrictions. Hawaii legislature is considering removing or altering the price caps.

Law and government

The state government of HawaiTemplate:Okinai is modeled after the federal government with adaptations originating from the kingdom era of Hawaiian history. As codified in the [[Constitution of Hawaii|Constitution of HawaiTemplate:Okinai]], there are three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial.

The executive branch is led by the [[Governor of Hawaii|Governor of HawaiTemplate:Okinai]] and assisted by the [[Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii|Lieutenant Governor of HawaiTemplate:Okinai]], both elected on the same ticket. The governor, in residence at Washington Place, is the only public official elected for the state government in a statewide race; all other administrators and judges are appointed by the governor. The lieutenant governor is concurrently the Secretary of State of HawaiTemplate:Okinai. Both the governor and lieutenant governor administer their duties from the [[Hawaii State Capitol|HawaiTemplate:Okinai State Capitol]]. The governor and lieutenant governor oversee the major agencies and departments of the executive of which there are twenty.

The legislative branch consists of the [[Hawaii State Legislature|HawaiTemplate:Okinai State Legislature]] — the twenty-five members of the [[Hawaii State Senate|HawaiTemplate:Okinai State Senate]] led by the President of the Senate and the fifty-one members of the [[Hawaii State House of Representatives|HawaiTemplate:Okinai State House of Representatives]] led by the Speaker of the House. They also govern from the HawaiTemplate:Okinai State Capitol. The judicial branch is led by the highest state court, the [[Hawaii State Supreme Court|HawaiTemplate:Okinai State Supreme Court]], which uses [[Aliiolani Hale|AliTemplate:Okinaiolani Hale]] as its chambers. Lower courts are organized as the [[Hawaii State Judiciary|HawaiTemplate:Okinai State Judiciary]].

The state is represented in the Congress of the United States by a delegation of four members. They are the senior and junior United States Senators, the representative of the [[First Congressional District of Hawaii|First Congressional District of HawaiTemplate:Okinai]] and the representative of the [[Second Congressional District of Hawaii|Second Congressional District of HawaiTemplate:Okinai]]. Many HawaiTemplate:Okinai residents have been appointed to administer other agencies and departments of the federal government by the President of the United States. All federal officers of HawaiTemplate:Okinai administer their duties locally from the Prince Kuhio Federal Building near the Aloha Tower and Honolulu Harbor.

Hawaii is primarily dominated by the Democratic Party and has supported Democrats in 10 of the 12 presidential elections in which it has participated. In 2004, John Kerry won the state's 4 electoral votes by a margin of 9 percentage points with 54% of the vote. Every county in the state supported the Democratic candidate.

The Prince Kuhio Federal Building also houses agencies of the federal government such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service and the United States Secret Service. The building is the site of the federal courts and the offices of the United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, principal law enforcement officer of the United States Department of Justice in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii.

Unique to HawaiTemplate:Okinai is the way it has organized its municipal governments. There are no incorporated cities in HawaiTemplate:Okinai except the City & County of Honolulu. All other municipal governments are administered at the county level. The county executives are the [[Mayor of Hawaii|Mayor of HawaiTemplate:Okinai]], Mayor of Honolulu, [[Mayor of Kauai|Mayor of KauaTemplate:Okinai]] and Mayor of Maui. All mayors in the state are elected in nonpartisan races.

The officers of the federal and state governments have been historically elected from the [[Democratic Party of Hawaii|Democratic Party of HawaiTemplate:Okinai]] and the [[Hawaii Republican Party|HawaiTemplate:Okinai Republican Party]]. Municipal charters in the state have declared all mayors to be elected in nonpartisan races.

Important cities and towns

The movement of the Hawaiian royal family from the Island of HawaiTemplate:Okinai to Maui and subsequently to OTemplate:Okinaahu explains why certain population centers exist where they do today. The largest city, Honolulu, was the one chosen by King Kamehameha III as the capital of his kingdom because of the natural harbor there, the present-day Honolulu Harbor.

The largest city is the capital, Honolulu, located along the southeast coast of the island of OTemplate:Okinaahu. Other populous cities include Hilo, [[Kaneohe, Hawaii|KāneTemplate:Okinaohe]], Kailua, Pearl City, Kahului, Kailua-Kona, and [[Lihue, Hawaii|LīhuTemplate:Okinae]].


Main article: [[Hawaii State Department of Education|HawaiTemplate:Okinai State Department of Education]]

HawaiTemplate:Okinai is currently the only state in the union with a unified school system statewide. It is also the oldest public education system west of the Mississippi River. Policy decisions are made by the fourteen-member state Board of Education, with thirteen members elected for four-year terms and one non-voting student member. The Board of Education sets statewide educational policy and hires the state superintendent of schools, who oversees the operations of the state Department of Education. The Department of Education is also divided into seven districts, four on OTemplate:Okinaahu and one for each of the other counties.

The structure of the state Department of Education has been a subject of discussion and controversy in recent years. The main rationale for the current centralized model is equity in school funding and distribution of resources: leveling out inequalities that would exist between highly populated OTemplate:Okinaahu and the more rural Neighbor Islands, and between lower-income and more affluent areas of the state. This system of school funding differs from many localities in the United States where schools are funded from local property taxes.

However, policy initiatives have been made in recent years toward decentralization. Current Governor Linda Lingle is a proponent of replacing the current statewide board with seven elected district boards. The Democrat-controlled state legislature opposed her proposal, instead favoring expansion of decision-making power to the schools and giving schools more discretion over budgeting. Political debate of structural reform is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

Schools and academies

HawaiTemplate:Okinai has the distinction of educating more students in independent institutions of secondary education than any other state in the United States. It also has four of the largest independent schools: Mid-Pacific Institute, [[Iolani School|Template:OkinaIolani School]], Kamehameha Schools and Punahou School.

Other popular independent schools include: [[Hawaii Baptist Academy|HawaiTemplate:Okinai Baptist Academy]], [[Hawaii Preparatory Academy|HawaiTemplate:Okinai Preparatory Academy]], Maryknoll School, St. Andrew's Priory, and Saint Louis School. A highly rated public high school often cited as comparable to the state's independent schools is Moanalua High School.

Both independent and charter schools can select their students, while the regular public schools must take all students in their district. For a comprehensive list of independent schools, see the [[Category:Private education in Hawaii|list of independent schools in HawaiTemplate:Okinai]]. For a comprehensive list of public schools, see the [[Category:Public education in Hawaii|list of public schools in HawaiTemplate:Okinai]].

Colleges and universities

Graduates of institutions of secondary learning in HawaiTemplate:Okinai often either enter directly into the work force or attend colleges and universities. While many choose to attend colleges and universities on the mainland or elsewhere, most choose to attend one of many institutions of higher learning in HawaiTemplate:Okinai.

The largest of these institutions is the [[University of Hawaii|University of HawaiTemplate:Okinai System]]. Its main campuses are in Hilo, Manoa and [[University of Hawaii-West Oahu|West OTemplate:Okinaahu]]. Students choosing private education attend [[Brigham Young University Hawaii|Brigham Young University HawaiTemplate:Okinai]], Chaminade University of Honolulu, [[Hawaii Pacific University|HawaiTemplate:Okinai Pacific University]] and University of the Nations.

The Saint Stephen Diocesan Center is a seminary of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu. For a comprehensive list of colleges and universities, see the [[Category:Universities and colleges in Hawaii|list of colleges and universities in HawaiTemplate:Okinai]].


Public schools in HawaiTemplate:Okinai have to deal with large populations of children of non-native English speaking immigrants and a culture that is different in many ways from mainland U.S., from whence most of the course materials come and where most of the standards for schools are set.

The public elementary, middle, and high school scores in HawaiTemplate:Okinai tend to be below average on national tests as mandated under the No Child Left Behind Act. Some of this can be attributed to the HawaiTemplate:Okinai State Board of Education requiring all eligible students to take these tests and reporting all student test scores unlike, for example, Texas and Michigan. Results reported in August 2005 indicate that two-thirds of HawaiTemplate:Okinai's schools failed to reach federal minimum performance standards in math and reading (of 282 schools across the state, 185 failed [4]).

On the other hand, results of the ACT college placement tests show that HawaiTemplate:Okinai class of 2005 seniors scored slightly above the national average (21.9 compared with 20.9) (Honolulu Advertiser, Aug. 17, 2005, p. B1). It should be noted that fewer students take the ACT examination than take the more widely accepted SAT examination. On the SAT HawaiTemplate:Okinai's college bound seniors tend to score below the national average in all categories except math.

HawaiTemplate:Okinai, like all other states in the United States, is struggling to provide educational services in its public schools with shrinking budgets.

Miscellaneous topics


The state constitution and various other measures of the HawaiTemplate:Okinai State Legislature established official symbols meant to embody the distinctive culture and heritage of HawaiTemplate:Okinai. These include a state bird, state flower, state gem, state mammal, and state tree. The humuhumunukunukuāpua'a or reef triggerfish was the state fish, but in 2006, the authorizing legislation was found to have expired.

Included are the two statues representing HawaiTemplate:Okinai in the United States Capitol; those of King Kamehameha I and Father Damien.

The primary symbol is the state flag, [[Flag of Hawaii|Ka Hae HawaiTemplate:Okinai]], influenced by the British Union Flag and features eight horizontal stripes representing the eight major Hawaiian Islands. The constitution declares the state motto to be Ua Mau ke Ea o ka Template:OkinaĀina i ka Pono, a pronouncement of King Kamehameha III meaning, "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness." It was also the motto of the kingdom, republic and territory. The state song is [[Hawai'i pono'ī|HawaiTemplate:Okinai ponoTemplate:Okinaī]], written by King Kalākaua and composed by Henri Berger. [[Hawaii Aloha|HawaiTemplate:Okinai Aloha]] is the unofficial state song, often sung in official state events.



Two major competing Honolulu-based newspapers serve all of HawaiTemplate:Okinai. The Honolulu Advertiser is owned by Gannett Pacific Corporation while the Honolulu Star-Bulletin is owned by Black Press of British Columbia in Canada. Both are among the largest newspapers in the United States in terms of circulation. Other locally published newspapers are available to residents of the various islands.

The HawaiTemplate:Okinai business community is served by the Pacific Business News and [[Hawaii Business Magazine|HawaiTemplate:Okinai Business Magazine]]. The largest religious community in HawaiTemplate:Okinai is served by the [[Hawaii Catholic Herald|HawaiTemplate:Okinai Catholic Herald]]. Honolulu Magazine is a popular magazine that offers local interest news and feature articles.

Apart from the mainstream press, the state also enjoys a vibrant ethnic publication presence with newspapers for the Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean and Native Hawaiian communities. In addition, there is an alternative weekly, the Honolulu Weekly.


All the major television networks are represented in HawaiTemplate:Okinai through KFVE (WB network affiliate), KGMB (CBS network affiliate), KHET (PBS network affiliate), KHNL (NBC network affiliate), KHON (Fox network affiliate), KIKU (UPN network affiliate) and KITV (ABC network affiliate), among others. From Honolulu, programming at these stations is rebroadcast to the various other islands via networks of satellite transmitters. Until the advent of satellite, most network programming was broadcast a week behind mainland scheduling.

The various production companies that work with the major networks have produced television series and other projects in HawaiTemplate:Okinai. Most notable were police dramas like Magnum P.I. and Hawaii Five-O. Currently, the hit TV show Lost is filmed in the Hawaiian Islands. A comprehensive list of such projects can be seen at the [[Hawaii Film Office|list of HawaiTemplate:Okinai television series]].


HawaiTemplate:Okinai has a growing film industry administered by the state through the [[Hawaii Film Office|HawaiTemplate:Okinai Film Office]]. Several television shows, movies and various other media projects were produced in the Hawaiian Islands taking advantage of the natural scenic landscapes as backdrops. Notable films produced in HawaiTemplate:Okinai or were inspired by HawaiTemplate:Okinai include Hawaii, Blue Hawaii, From Here to Eternity, South Pacific, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, Outbreak, Waterworld, Six Days Seven Nights, George of the Jungle, 50 First Dates, Pearl Harbor, Blue Crush, and Lilo and Stitch. HawaiTemplate:Okinai is home to a prominent film festival known as the Hawaii International Film Festival.


Main article: [[Culture of Hawaii|Culture of HawaiTemplate:Okinai]]

The aboriginal culture of HawaiTemplate:Okinai is Polynesian. HawaiTemplate:Okinai represents the northernmost extension of the vast Polynesian triangle of the south and central Pacific Ocean. While traditional Hawaiian culture remains only as vestiges influencing modern Hawaiian society, there are reenactments of ancient ceremonies and traditions throughout the islands. Some of these cultural influences are strong enough to have affected the culture of the United States at large, including the popularity (in greatly modified form) of [[luau|luTemplate:Okinaau]]s and hula.

Sister states

HawaiTemplate:Okinai has an active sister state program, which includes ties to:

Famous people from HawaiTemplate:Okinai

The [[list of famous people from Hawaii|list of famous people from HawaiTemplate:Okinai]] is a comprehensive, alphabetized list of persons who have achieved fame that presently or at one time claimed HawaiTemplate:Okinai as their home. Separate registers of members of the Hawaiian royal family and [[List of Hawaii politicians|HawaiTemplate:Okinai politicians]] are also available.


  • Schamel, Wynell and Charles E. Schamel. "The 1897 Petition Against the Annexation of Hawaii." Social Education 63, 7 (November/December 1999): 402-408.

See also

External links


Image:Flag of Hawaii.svg State of [[Hawaii|HawaiTemplate:Okinai]]

Cities | Geography | History | Landmarks

State capital: Honolulu
Largest communities: Hilo - Honolulu - Kahului - Waipahu - [[Lihue, Hawaii|LīhuTemplate:Okinae]]
Islands: [[Hawaii (island)|HawaiTemplate:Okinai]] - [[Kahoolawe|KahoTemplate:Okinaolawe]] - [[Kauai|KauaTemplate:Okinai]] - [[Lanai|LānaTemplate:Okinai]] - Maui - [[Molokai|MolokaTemplate:Okinai]] - [[Niihau|NiTemplate:Okinaihau]] - Northwestern Hawaiian Islands - [[Oahu|OTemplate:Okinaahu]]
Counties: [[Hawaii County, Hawaii|HawaiTemplate:Okinai]] - Honolulu - Kalawao - [[Kauai County, Hawaii|KauaTemplate:Okinai]] - Maui
Languages: Hawaiian - English - Pidgin

Template:Hawaii history Template:Pacific Islands Template:Polynesia

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