Washington Supreme Court Ruling On Charters Not Being Public Schools: Could This Happen In Delaware?

The news broke tonight and all over the country folks are having a collective gasp and bewilderment at the Washington Supreme Court ruling on charter schools being unconstitutional in Washington.  Could this happen in Delaware?  There are some very strong arguments for this.  Given the nature of referendums in Delaware, and how charter schools get local funding, it could if there was strong support for it.  Do we have that in Delaware?

State Rep. Kim Williams really drove it home on social media tonight:


I’ve always felt if charters want to be called public schools than they need to behave like public schools.  I’m not saying they all go against this grain, but enough of them do that it causes huge issues with feeder patterns.  I’m talking about you Charter School of Wilmington, Newark Charter School, Delaware Military Academy and Sussex Academy.  But even more than that, the funding issues with Delaware charters cause more problems than they are worth.  Christina School District is definitely feeling the brunt of this right now, but what happens once the charter moratorium is lifted and more begin to open up across the state?  I just heard today that First State Montessori is looking to open a second charter in Sussex County.  And what about when schools like Family Foundations Academy get modifications approved to increase their enrollment?  MOT Charter School just opened a high school in Middletown/Odessa and that will surely affect enrollment in the Appoquinimink School District.

The way charters are funded in Delaware just doesn’t work.  There is only so much money to spread around, and funds getting squeezed out of the traditional school districts isn’t working.  It is creating chaos, and this will only increase.  Vo-techs are funded by line item on the budget.  Why aren’t we doing this with charter schools?

The political capital to do away with charters as public schools does not exist in Delaware right now.  There is far too much public support for them.  Some key differences between Washington and Delaware spotlight this.  Washington just began their journey with charters in the past few years.  Delaware’s began twenty years ago.  Teachers are allowed to strike in Washington (as they are doing in Seattle right now) and Delaware’s can not.  Despite Bill Gates coming from Washington, this state sure knows how to challenge the reformers in Education.  Between high opt-out numbers, dropping out of Common Core, and now this, they are the state to watch!

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Kevin Ohlandt

I am a proud parent of a son with Tourette's Syndrome and several other co-morbidities. I write on this blog to educate other parents so they know a bit more about not only special education, but all the really bad things that are happening with public schools in Delaware and the USA. We are all in this together, and if our children aren't able to advocate for themselves it's up to us parents! We need to stop letting companies run our schools, and demand our children get a proper education. Our Departments of Education in our states have become weak with fear from the bullying US DOE, and we need to take back our schools!

7 thoughts on “Washington Supreme Court Ruling On Charters Not Being Public Schools: Could This Happen In Delaware?”

  1. I’ve said it before: The WEIC redistricting won’t work and shouldn’t happen without radical charter reform, reform that is not currently contemplated. You can’t have a charter law that allows anyone who can complete an application to just plop down a charter anywhere. The WEIC plan is supposed to include a statewide strategic plan for siting school capacity, but let’s see the legislation first before we redraw the districts.


  2. I’ve said it before. No good will come until charters are gone…. It is just impossible to short fund your top students by sending them to charters, and short-fund the other 80% by taking money from them and giving it to charter….

    You hurt everyone and expect education to improve? Hasn’t happened anywhere it’s been tried…..


  3. Actually I’d challenge your premise that charters are entrenched in Delaware. They were allowed 20 years ago as you said, but except for two, Wilm Charter, and Cab Calloway, most of the originals are gone.. Across those 20 years almost all the charters which were tried, failed. The Charter movement was effectively dead until HB165 was passed in 2014 which basically says: open a charter. the state will reimburse you all your expenses and cover any loss….

    The real charter movement here is just now getting off the ground. And it is much easier to catch ducks on the ground and clip their wings, than try catching them in mid flight…


    1. I’m basing this on the, unfortunate, strong support for them down in Legislative Hall. When EVERY Republican voted NO on Kim Williams excellent HB186 (charter school audit bill), and the DE Charter Schools Network and the Donna Johnson Lobbying Network (aka State Board of Education), Rodel, DE Business Roundtable, etc. are fully behind them and have some muscle, it would be hard to get rid of them.


      1. Beyond education, charters are part of the Republican (and corporate Democrat) opposition to unions in general. Establishment support for charters is strong for reasons that have nothing to do with education. They think that they are union-busting by supporting charters.

        If you want to end establishment support for charters, unionize them.


      2. Right you are… My interjection was to point out that what Republicans think in the General Assembly, is less important than what that same garden slug on my trash container thinks of me every time I wheel it to the curb…. (Like I’m going to pick it off with my bare hands.) I’m sure it thinks something, and in the slug world that might be pretty important.. but since even I matter little in this overall great wide world… what those slugs in the General Assembly might think in theirs, matters only in theirs…

        The reason Kim’s bill did not get voted on positively by Republicans is because no attempt was made to woo them over. There was no battle made for their allegiance,,, You do know, who the defacto head of their party is, right?

        And if no cost is made apparent to them, for voting against the establishment, everyone is naturally going to vote with the establishment… simply because whenever you vote against the establishment, it comes with a cost…



  4. Charters, charters, charters……Their boards are a mother f#$%ing joke. Self appointed, like minded friends of friends. Mostly liars, thieves and attorneys. Moreover, they are governing Delaware tax dollars and some of the members of charter school boards are not even Delaware residents. How f#$%ed up is that???

    If someone wants to be on a public school district school board, they must live in that school district. How in the hell can these God damn attorneys keep appointing other attorney friends to these boards, and appoint other like minded friends who do not even live in Delaware.

    I know a local teacher who has brought this same concept up to a state rep on the house education committee, but that teacher is petrified to come out publicly due to their fear of being let go. There is no union protection, therefore if this person were to speak to this subject openly, he/she may be let go. In this day in age when charter salaries are already lower than district back
    I want these teachers to come out, but they are scared. They are defenseless without the support of an association/union. The mere mention of organizing will be grounds for dismissal.

    And don’t get me started on the TFA and Relay leadership bullshit. These clowns teach for a year or two and then all of the sudden become leaders. Get the hell outta here. Work in the god damn classrooms for 10 years, earn your stripes and don’t forget were you came from.

    But hey, what the hell do I know? If I had all of the answers, I wouldn’t be bitching about charters and eating a bag of Reeses Pieces. However, since I am a taxpayer in the State of Delaware, I feel I have every right to bitch on!


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