The saga of the 5-mile radius legislation beats on in Delaware! Today, State Rep. John Kowalko introduced an amendment to the bill which would remove the language concerning the Wilmington students in the Christina School District not a part of the enrollment preference for charter schools within the non-Wilmington portion of the district.
Yesterday, at the House Education Committee meeting, legislators and speakers alike shared concerns with that portion of the bill. House Substitute 1 for House Bill #85 would remove any 5-mile radius enrollment preferences in Delaware charter schools. At present, only two charters have the 5-mile radius, Newark Charter School and First State Montessori Academy. But Newark Charter School exists in a district where the Wilmington part of their district is not land-locked and is actually an island in the middle of the city. One State Representative, Joe Miro, said he will not vote yes for the bill if it has the amendment on it.
4 thoughts on “Kowalko Amendment Would Remove Newark Charter School Boon In House Bill 85”
BFD. If the bill passes with Kowalko’s amendment, kids in Wilmington could enter a lottery for the opportunity to have their parent or guardian (most likely low-income) drive them 20 miles each way to and from school each day.
I appreciate the non-discriminatory intent of the amendment, but its impact, if enacted, would be minuscule. Legislators supportive of Newark Charter’s discriminatory preferences might as well let this amendment pass because, as a practical matter, it will accomplish nothing other than removing an overt indicator of a discriminatory practice.
Charter schools have bus transportation for all enrolled students, so Wilm. children who “won” the NCS lottery would have bus transportation–same as Wilm. students who attend Christina SD high schools, all of which are in Newark. I don’t know whether there is any limitation on charter busing distances–I think kids willing to trek up from Dover would get bus transport (at significant cost to NCS), but I could be wrong there. Maybe it is limited to the school’s county?
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I believe it is limited to the schools charter. If they serve all of delaware, then they have to provide transportation for the whole state. If only a 5 mile radius, then only that radius.
It is time to end the nonsense. Your public school should be located within 5 miles of your residence, if not closer. Wilmington needs a District, not piggybacked on any Suburban District. That community needs to address fundamental education with all the aid the State can provide, close to home.
The “public” Charter schools need to join the District with all of its rules, or just lose Public tax money for their fiefdom!