Which Charters are Suing Christina and the Delaware DOE?

Yes, a group of Delaware charters are trying to strike gold over the charter funding issue.  Which charters?  Newark Charter School, Las Americas ASPIRA Academy, Academia Antonia Alonso, Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security, EastSide Charter School, Family Foundations Academy, First State Montessori Academy, Freire Charter School of Wilmington, Gateway Charter School, Great Oaks, Kuumba Academy, MOT Charter School, Odyssey Charter School, Providence Creek Academy, and Thomas Edison Charter School.  As well, there are a handful of parents suing on behalf of their minor children.  Below are the complaints filed against Christina and the Delaware DOE.  There is also a motion to expedite proceedings.  I have not had time to fully read these, but I will after the ESSA Discussion Group meeting tonight.  This is going to turn Delaware education on its ear!

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “Which Charters are Suing Christina and the Delaware DOE?

  1. I actually think this is useful. The charters really believe CSD owes them money, and the district really believes that it doesn’t. The whole funding system is a mess, thanks to DDOE and byzantine legislation. I don’t think the issue can be resolved satisfactorily out of court. I’ll be sorry if Christina ends up losing money (and am hopeful that it won’t), but no other decision is going to be binding or final. The DOE should have sorted this out ages ago.

    Like

  2. The complaint conveniently glosses over the fact that the “Category 5 exclusions” are defined as “any other local expenditures deemed by the Secretary of Education to be inappropriate for inclusion for the purpose of this chapter.”

    Also, for all their supposed “equal protection” claim, they conveniently ignore Title 14, § 509(m), establishing the “charter school performance fund,” a slush fund only available to charter schools.

    I guess whatever attorney wrote the complaint is also unaware of the Delaware Constitution, in particular, Article X, § 6, which states, “No property tax receipts received by a public school district as a result of a property tax levied for a particular purpose shall be used for any other purpose except upon the favorable vote of a majority of the eligible voters in the district voting on the question.” If the referendum included a particular purpose, then it has to be used for that purpose. The referendum stated specific programs in the Christina School District for which the money would be spent.

    Further, the charter schools should probably be careful if they want to go to court over funding. The Delaware Constitution states that funding for schools by the state can only go to “free public schools.” While the General Assembly attempted to call charter schools “public” despite their status as private, corporate entities under Title 14, § 504, the Washington State Supreme Court determined that the same attempt in Washington was invalid because charter schools are not subject to local control, which is required for a school to be “public” in Washington State due to precedent in School District No. 20 v. Bryan. Does Delaware have similar court precedent defining the requirements for a school to be “public”? Seems like Christina may need to countersue.

    Like

    1. I’m a bit confused as to whether kids who attend charter schools benefit from passed referendums in their district of residence or not. Rep. Kowalko, can you explain?

      There’s this:
      “I guess whatever attorney wrote the complaint is also unaware of the Delaware Constitution, in particular, Article X, § 6, which states, ‘No property tax receipts received by a public school district as a result of a property tax levied for a particular purpose shall be used for any other purpose except upon the favorable vote of a majority of the eligible voters in the district voting on the question.’ If the referendum included a particular purpose, then it has to be used for that purpose. The referendum stated specific programs in the Christina School District for which the money would be spent.” ~John Kowalko III – 10/05/16

      And then there’s this:
      “I cannot stress enough how important passage of this referendum is to the children of all schools in the district, BOTH TRADITIONAL AND CHARTER.” ~ John Kowalko III – March 21, 2016

      “If you have friends and neighbors with CHILDREN IN CHARTER SCHOOLS (or whose kids choice to other districts), please make sure they understand that their school’s local tax revenue comes through Christina–SO A SUCCESSFUL REFERENDUM AIDS THEIR CHILDREN.” ~ Friends of Christina School District March 2016

      Priceless…just priceless.

      Like

      1. First off, John Kowalko III is not State Rep. John Kowalko. It is his son, with his own mind. Second, it doesn’t mean ALL local revenue follows the per student district-charter funding formula. Might want to read up on what the law specifically states.

        Like

        1. I’ve never heard a district school make that distinction when they are pleading for votes on a referendum. Good to know for the future.

          Like

      2. John Doe, I believe it depends on how the ref. request is phrased on the ballot. The recent refs. attempted (and, most recently, passed) by Christina district were for general operating funds. As far as I recall they did not reference specific programs or expenses (unlike, say, Brandywine’s recent ref. to fund turf for their football field)–so the money follows all resident children to their public school of choice. Thus the spring 2016 appeals for charter parent support that you cite above are accurate; the money raised will affect children similarly whether they attend district or charter schools, in my understanding.

        Some CSD referendums (from years past) have been for specific programs or other stipulated expenses, and much of the current controversy revolves around whether those funds, approved by voters based on more narrowly worded ballot requests, can now be sent to non-district schools. This is sufficiently murky that court guidance may be the only resolution–unfortunately, since CSD residents will be funding lawyers on both sides, to the detriment of a slew of publicly funded schools & their students. We should be able to depend for clarity on the state DOE and our elected legislators, but they have not fulfilled their responsibilities adequately.

        Like

    2. I’m a bit confused as to whether kids who attend charter schools benefit from passed referendums in their district of residence or not. Rep. Kowalko, can you explain?

      There’s this:
      “I guess whatever attorney wrote the complaint is also unaware of the Delaware Constitution, in particular, Article X, § 6, which states, ‘No property tax receipts received by a public school district as a result of a property tax levied for a particular purpose shall be used for any other purpose except upon the favorable vote of a majority of the eligible voters in the district voting on the question.’ If the referendum included a particular purpose, then it has to be used for that purpose. The referendum stated specific programs in the Christina School District for which the money would be spent.” ~John Kowalko III – 10/05/16

      And then there’s this:
      “I cannot stress enough how important passage of this referendum is to the children of all schools in the district, BOTH TRADITIONAL AND CHARTER.” ~ John Kowalko III – March 21, 2016

      “If you have friends and neighbors with CHILDREN IN CHARTER SCHOOLS (or whose kids choice to other districts), please make sure they understand that their school’s local tax revenue comes through Christina–SO A SUCCESSFUL REFERENDUM AIDS THEIR CHILDREN.” ~ Friends of Christina School District March 2016

      Priceless…just priceless.

      Like

  3. Thank goodness… We finally got a lawsuit… I would like to thank Greg Meece for putting this up since it appears that districts, students, teachers, and parents of Delaware Public Schools were too disinterested to field a suit of their own against this state’s charter organizations for stealing money from public schools for the sole purpose of continuing “separate and unequal” after Federal Courts had struck that down as being unconstitutional. … But, a lawsuit is what we needed to bypass the blood-clot of Markell’s control of the General Assembly, and we’ll take it, however we get it…. This is awesome news…

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s