Charter School 5 Mile Radius Bill Gets Vote In Delaware Senate Today

The very controversial HS1 for House Bill 85 gets a full Senate vote today.  This is one of the thorniest education bills in the Delaware General Assembly this session.  It would remove the 5 mile radius enrollment preference for charter schools but there is a loophole.  For the Christina School District, which has a non-continguous section in Wilmington, those students would not get a preference to get into Newark Charter School.  That is Delaware’s largest charter school.

It was released from the Senate Education Committee two weeks ago but not without controversy.  In the House, it prompted a long debate over the issue last month.  Those who opposed the bill alleged it would cause even more de facto segregation of Wilmington students.

7 thoughts on “Charter School 5 Mile Radius Bill Gets Vote In Delaware Senate Today

  1. Unless you eliminate all school feeder patterns, attacking the 5 mile radius guidelines is nothing more than an effort to diminish one school’s effort to be community based.

    Deal with other district issues like consolidation and compliance with currently passed laws. The 5 mile radius debate is a red herring.


  2. Respectfully, the problem is the border of Christina district, not NCS’s compliance with the Law:
    Wilmington Desegregation story:

    “It didn’t work. It’s sad, but it’s true,” said Bebe Coker, a Wilmington activist who fought in the city’s battles for civil rights. “If all you do is sit white kids and black kids together like a checkerboard and think that’s going to help anything, you’re missing the point.”

    Coker is one of many who believe desegregation attacked a complicated social problem with a one-dimensional, heavy-handed approach. As long as housing was segregated and blacks faced, and continue to face, economic and social disparities, simply moving children around to meet a quota was never going to fix the root issues.

    Coker and others argue busing students away from their neighborhoods tore up close-knit communities by the roots, creating a system where parents and students didn’t feel invested in their schools.

    “When you had that Howard High School school marching band coming down the street, you had to get there an hour early just to get a good spot,” Coker said. “If a school needed books, you just had to ask the community to step up. We don’t have that anymore. That’s gone.”

    Until some ridiculous law is written that mandates any student, from any area can attend any school, anywhere AND that that school must provide transportation to and from, the current constitutional LAW is the LAW of the state. This 5 mile radius opposition is a ruse for the radical effort to redistribute educational and financial resources. It is an effort to take away the rights of one community and arbitrarily give it to another.

    There is no logic, fairness, or reasonable rationale for attempting to coerce schools, especially independent schools to adopt ridiculous criteria.

    Charter schools were not established for resource redistribution. They were established to improve academic achievement. The latter is an educational goal rather than the former which is a social goal. Schools are supposed to be educational not social/ political tools. Do not conflate the two.


    • Haha! I’m not the one who makes them social/political tools. I believe Senator Sokola has done that on many occasions. If not by what he says, than based on the laws he writes. Or the amendments he tacks on bills. If charters are meant to improve academic achievement while Sokola claims they were meant to serve the neighborhood they reside in, I find your statement and Sokola’s to directly oppose each other. I agree, charters should have been used for the purposes of making schools better. It was also written into the law that districts should emulate these high-achieving charter schools. But how can Christina do that when not all of its students can even go to NCS?


    • ” It is an effort to take away the rights of one community and arbitrarily give it to another. ” WOW! Whose rights are being taken away here? Really? You want to gather all the Christina Wilmington students and their families and say that to their face? Let me know how that works out for you!


      • Much delayed, but here are the facts.

        KO:”But how can Christina do that when not all of its students can even go to NCS?”
        Do you really not know that the answer is: that CSD should be providing the educational opportunities in house? NCS has no authority over CSD. It is entirely CSD’s responsibility to provide the education that residents want. How is it NCS’s responsibility to provide academic improvement in CSD’s schools? Are you advocating for NCS’s administration to take over CSD’s schools? Has CSD investigated or spent any time understanding how to adopt NCS educational practices?

        Wilmingtonian students rights are not being taken away. Community schools have a direct correlation to academic achievement. Transporting kids to remote locations has not improved academic performance.
        1. NCS is not a Christina District school nor chartered by Christina school district per Christina’s rejection of the Charter request years ago.
        2. The Wilmington portion of the district is outside the criteria of Neighborhood schools act and NCS was chartered specifically to comply with the Neighborhood schools act. If the NSA is unconstitutional or deemed illegal, then legislators need to rescind the law. Failure to comply or uphold a legally passed law is anarchy.
        3. NCS as an independent public charter school, is not responsible for the quality or availability of quality instruction in Christina district’s schools. If residents have a problem with the quality of CSD’s instruction and availability of alternatives, that responsibility falls directly on the district and the administration of the district. If Wilmington residents are unhappy with the offerings provided by the district, then the residents should be addressing those concerns directly with the district.

        To attempt to force a non-district school to fix or address a “district’s” school challenges is neither reasonable nor rational. And I would tell Wilmington residents in CSD, to their face, that they should demand CSD address their residents’ educational demands. CSD should be allowed to improve behavior and education in its schools. That does not mean CSD should have the authority to ‘take’ what an independent school has, and distribute to another group within the district. CSD can adopt any methodology or educational program it so chooses. If those programs or methodologies come from NCS, I would say NCS would be glad to offer whatever advice or educational support they can to help CSD. Please ask your contacts at CSD to request a conference with NCS if they feel it would be beneficial.


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