Last July, the News Journal reported thatDelaware Charter Schools Network was one of the top five lobbyists in Delaware. Yet, when the Public Integrity Commission was contacted and when the January 2016 lobbyist report was reviewed, Delaware Charter Schools Network, Executive Director Kendall Massett and Board President Chuck Taylor were not registered lobbyists. They both are members of the Department of Education Charter School Accountability Committee which makes recommendations as to whether a charter school will open, expand, close, go on formal review or be modified. They both are seen regularly in Dover speaking with Senators, Representatives, members of the Department of Education, and the State Board of Education. They are soliciting support for certain educational bills and then lobbying hard against other educational bills. They wrote Senate Bill 171 (Sen. Sokola’s replacement bill for my Audit Bill) and they were in Dover on June 30th to campaign…
Three of the five charters that submitted major modification requests to the Charter School Office at the Delaware Department of Education got the green light today. The Charter School Accountability Committee held their final meetings with the three schools today. All three received a recommendation of approval from the committee. The State Board of Education will make the final decision at their March meeting.
Two other schools that submitted major mods have meetings tomorrow with the CSAC. Prestige Academy has their last meeting and Academia Antonia Alonso has their first. Another school, Odyssey Charter School, submitted a minor modification for enrollment changes but Secretary of Education Godowsky exercised his authority to give them the CSAC treatment. They also meet with the CSAC tomorrow.
Should the State Board approve all these modifications, many students will be in flux next year. First State Montessori will increase their enrollment significantly. Two other charters submitted minor modifications for up to 15% increases: Great Oaks and Kuumba Academy. They only need Secretary approval and not the State Board. Prestige, Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security, and Delaware Design-Lab will decrease their enrollment. Academia Antonia Alonso will actually move their location from the Community Education Building. This is on top of Delaware Met closing in January and Delaware College Prep closing at the end of this school year. In December, Red Clay’s board approved a modification for Delaware Military Academy to start increasing their enrollment in the 2017-2018 school year. Who needs a freeze on new charter applications when the Delaware DOE becomes Grand Central Station for Wilmington charter school students?
The two maps shown below both have much of the same area in them. The area around Newark Charter School. More specifically, their five-mile radius. They use that map as a base for their student enrollment. As you can see, Delaware’s 8th Senate District uses much of this same area.
Delaware Senator David Sokola is the current Senator from the 8th District. Since 1990. 26 years. Too long. We need a change.
Newark Charter School was very careful in selecting their five-mile radius. It touches upon some of the more affluent areas of New Castle County. Notice how more than a third of that radius doesn’t even exist since it is in other states? So their circle of love is more a circle of influence. Senator Sokola, who helped develop Newark Charter School and served on their board, has certainly benefited from this map. Once again, we need a change. If you live in the 8th Senate District, please consider running and making a much-needed change. 26 years is far too much.