Controversial 5 Mile Radius Bill To Be Heard In Senate Education Committee On Wednesday

House Substitute 1 for House Bill 85 is on the agenda for the Sokola Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, June 7th at 3:30pm.  State Senator David Sokola has stuffed the agenda with six bills, but in a half-hour time span.  Most of the other bills shouldn’t raise too many eyebrows though.  The House Education Committee canceled their meeting on Wednesday.  Even though most people have their eye on the budget, it is always a good idea to see what else is going on.  Between this bill, the Coastal Zone Act reorganization, legal marijuana, death penalty, and Lord knows what else will come up, we need eyes and ears more than ever down at Legislative Hall!

I will say upfront I oppose this bill because of the House Substitute that removes the Christina School District Wilmington students from this.  This added language (which was insisted on by Senator Sokola) only serves to benefit one school: Newark Charter School.

To see what is on tap for ALL the committee meetings, this week, please go here: http://legis.delaware.gov/CommitteeMeetings

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2 thoughts on “Controversial 5 Mile Radius Bill To Be Heard In Senate Education Committee On Wednesday

  1. Mary Jane,
    Not sure from your post, if you are in favor of or opposed to a 5 mile radius but there already are radius type borders for each school. They are called “FEEDER PATTERNS” and most are smaller than 5 miles. They are in place to make the school provide services to their local residents/ students. The Neighborhood Schools Act LAW further attempted to insure the schools were efficient, addressed the local need and allowed parents the ‘liberty’ to have their children educated in the community where they live.

    It has been the twisted effort to transplant, bus, and ‘choice’ students into other schools for an assortment of individual reasons that have created the conflict. NCS’s 5 mile radius was instituted very simply, to make it a neighborhood school. To make any other effort to circumvent the wishes of parents and where they choose to live is patently an overreach of government. Frankly, this witch hunt and effort to undermine the Neighborhood schools act is the real controversy.

    Kevin, identifies the radius as a controversy but the Christina district border is more of the controversy. A non-contiguous district has never been fair or reasonable to the district, parents, or students. Address the district border issue rather than attempt to bend school feeder laws into pretzels. However, as we’ve seen with the WEIC, the will AND means to deal with it, is lacking. Instead we get false accusations of; phantom racism and phantom discrimination by those who disapprove of letting parents decide where they feel comfortable with their children.

    Make no mistake, the controversy is the district border, not the 5 mile radius. NCS and its community are very diverse but the school’s demographics do not match local schools because it is a ‘choice’ school. Furthermore, it is a choice school that focuses on a very demanding level of academics and it demands students adhere to behavior standards that may not be for everyone. Not every parent/ student wants to go to NCS. Not every parent/ student wants to go to DMA. Not every parent / student wants to be home schooled. This is the inconvenient fact about why the demographics don’t match. Everyone has to attend school, NOT everyone has to attend a specific interest school.

    I wish all schools were empowered to and provided for the same level of academics and behavior. They are not. Amy Joyner’s tragic death stands in stark contrast to what most parents want out of their educational system. How do we get all schools to provide a high level of education if the schools don’t have the ability, will or empowerment to deal with individuals like Joyner’s attackers? How do we get control of students who are incompatible with a school environment? How do we get schools to provide better academics than 30% pass rates on standardized tests? Answer that question and the 5 mile radius issue goes away.

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