According to an article by Larry Nagengast with Delaware Public Media, the budget woes of Christina are really hitting home for many Delaware educators. The article states that the Christina School District laid off 78 teachers, 14 paraprofessionals and 7 secretaries after they failed to pass their 2nd referendum in May. Christina rehired a little over a quarter of those positions back, and surrounding districts are hiring as well, but some are still out of a job and are looking.
The scariest part about the article is that the district is still $5 million over budget, and one of the things that could be cut is their contract with the Delaware State Police and their placement of School Resource Officers in Christina schools. As a district that has some of the highest counts of bullying and fighting, this could make an already tense situation worse. School councilor functions could also be cut, which would give some of these students very few resources to get certain kinds of help when they need it most.
I think it is tragic what is going on with Christina, and the DOE and Governor Markell have essentially abandoned them. This is not how education should be in our state’s biggest city where schools need the most help, but I haven’t heard anyone from the state say “Let’s see what we can do.” All I’ve heard is “Let’s get the Wilmington schools out of that district and they can fend for themselves.”
I know some of the teachers who were quoted in this article, and while I’m glad they found new employment whether in the district or out, my heart bleeds for the ones who are now unemployed due to events beyond their control.