Hilo: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Hawaii is the only state with a single, unified statewide school system, comprised of seven districts, one of which is the Hawaii District, which covers the island of Hawaii. An elected board of education formulates educational policy and supervises the public school system. Ten members are elected from Oahu and a total of three from all other islands. One non-voting student member is appointed.

The following is a summary of data regarding Hilo's public schools as of the 2003–2004 school year.

Total enrollment: 26,221 (2002)

Number of facilities elementary schools: 8 junior high/middle schools: 2 senior high schools: 2 other: 3 charter schools

Student/teacher ratio: elementary and secondary, 16.8:1 (statewide average)

Teacher salaries (statewide average) minimum: $29,000 maximum: $58,000

Funding per pupil: $7,455 (statewide average 2002-2003)

There are seven private schools in Hilo. They are Emakaala School; Haili Christian School; Hale Aloha Nazarene School; Kamehamaha Schools; Mauna Loa School; and St. Joseph's Elementary and Junior/Senior high school.

Colleges and Universities

The city of Hilo is the home of three universities. University of Hawaii at Hilo offers two- and four-year programs in areas such as agriculture, arts and sciences, and vocational and technical training. It also currently offers five master's degrees and will offer two doctoral programs in the mid-2000s. Hawaii Community College has career, technical and academic programs. Akamai University is an alternative graduate school designed for mid-career adult students.

Libraries and Research Centers

The Hilo Public Library, part of the Hawaii State Public Library System, contains books, periodicals, videotapes, sound recordings, and provides internet access to its patrons. It is the largest public library on the island and the second busiest in circulation statewide. Other libraries in the city include the Hilo Hospital Medical Library, which features consumer health materials; the State Supreme Court Third Circuit Court Law Library; and the University of Hawaii at Hilo Libraries, whose sytem holds more than 250,000 volumes, 1,650 periodical subscriptions, and 225,000 microfiche titles.

University Park of Science and Technology on the campus of the University of Hawaii at Hilo (UH-Hilo) is home to six U.S. and international observing facilities. They include the British-Canada-Netherlands Joint Astronomy Centre, Gemini North Telescope, Caltech Submillimeter Observatory, Subaru National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, and Smithsonian Submillimeter Array. The Mauna Kea Astronomy Education Center is a new state-of-the-art interpretive and research center and planetarium, located in University Park. The Beaumont Agricultural Research Center engages in research on agronomy, animal breeding and nutrition, horticulture, plant pathology, and soil chemistry with particular reference to island crops and plants. The U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is located at the rim of Kilauea, 30 miles from Hilo; Kilauea is said to be the most studied volcano in the world.

Public Library Information: Hilo Public Library, 300 Waianuenue Avenue, PO Box 647, Hilo, HI 96720; telephone (808)933-4650