Who Is On The School District Consolidation Task Force? Live From Legislative Hall

We got a full house here at Legislative Hall.  Seems a lot of suits showed up for this impromptu meeting.  But who is on the Delaware School District School District Consolidation Task Force?

Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting

Jon Sheehan (Education Policy Advisor for Governor Carney)

State Rep. Earl Jaques

State Rep. Joe Miro

Senator David Sokola

Senator Brian Pettyjohn

Woodbridge Superintendent Heath Chasanov

Caesar Rodney Superintendent Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald

Colonial Superintendent Dr. Dusty Blakey

Director of OMB Mike Jackson

DSEA Representative Jeff Taschner

DSBA Representative John Skrobot

GACEC Representative Robert Overmiller

Delaware PTA President Dr. Terri Hodges

New Castle Co. Parent Rep. Nacole Gardner

Kent Co. Parent Rep. Loretta Greig

Sussex Co. Parent Rep. Lauren Hudson

Vo-Tech School Districts Parent Rep. Mark Dufendach

Wilmington City Council Rep. Hanifa Shabazz

New Castle Co. Executive Matthew Meyer

Kent Co. Designee Michael Petit DeMange

Sussex Co. Designee Gina Jennings

 

State Rep. Earl Jaques ran introductions.  He said there will be a lot of hard work for this committee.  He is hopeful the report will be done by January but he doubts it.  Everyone, members and audience members, introduced themselves.  Jaques said there are 22 members on the task force, not 23.  He said this task force is not just about money.  If we aren’t putting children first none of that matters.  That’s because the Charter Schools Network rep. was voted out on June 30th since the charters didn’t want to be included in the conversation.  Dr. Bunting is giving a history of past attempts at district consolidation.  See the 2002 report (I will put a link up later).

Rep. Miro said there are districts across state lines that have a district with the same number of students as all of Delaware’s public school student count.  He mentioned Fairfax County in Virginia.  Miro is opening the floor for nominations for the Chair of the Task Force.  A motion for State Rep. Earl Jaques to be the chair.  Motion seconded.  Only nomination.  Jaques is the Chair.  I am shocked (not).

There will be four sub-committees of the group:

Structure, Transportation and Manpower: led by Dr. Kevin Carson and assisted by Jaques

Financial: led by Fred Sears (think Rodel) and assisted by Mike Jackson, will deal with property assessments

Academic and Children Needs: led by Dr. Bunting and assisted by Rep. Miro

Teachers And Staff: led by Dusty Blakey, assisted by Jeff Taschner

These sub-committees will meet between meetings.  Miro invited members of the public to sign up for the sub-committees as non-voting members.  I actually signed up for the money sub-committee.  Next meeting will be at Woodbridge High School at 6:30pm on September 18th.  This will be down in Sussex County so you might want to leave early if you live up north.  October 16th meeting at William Penn High School at 6:30pm.  November 16th meeting at Caesar Rodney High School.

Jaques said this committee is not going to decide on closing schools.  Their job is to figure out if it works or doesn’t work.  I gave public comment urging more transparency for the group to which Jaques said that was his fault.  I also urged the task force to make sure this is about students first and to have the State Auditor make sure they can properly audit funds that are already in play.  Woodbridge Board Member Walter Gilefski said he is adamantly against district consolidation.  Caesar Rodney teacher Natalie Ganc said she is here to check this out.  She said she has a daughter in Smyrna School District and thinks they are awesome despite what I write about them.

Meeting adjourned.

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7 thoughts on “Who Is On The School District Consolidation Task Force? Live From Legislative Hall

  1. Thanks Kevin! Glad to see Heath and Mark D. on there. I would say I have faith but, well, you know… I can get to Woodridge and CR.

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  2. For the record, “it doesn’t work”. NCC Schools have been compromised. Distractors abound and mixing learners of vast potential differences is not efficient past grade school.
    It is time to restructure. All schools should be public, not Charter in any way. Schools should be taught in three levels A,B and C. Very high performance and potential (A). Very good performance and interest (B). C level should take into account the student’s interests and limitations. Career disruptors should go to a C level or special schools. Get out of the way of students trying to make the most of their education. We, the tax payers, deserve an efficient system where best outcomes can take place in localized settings.

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  3. Those charter schools are run by dictators! They fire people at will all of the time because the teachers have no protection. And don’t get me started on those charter school boards led by some of THE DUMBEST mother fuckers on the planet! I could name a few, and one in particular.

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    1. Josiah:
      “They fire people at will all of the time because the teachers have no protection.”

      Unlike our traditional schools that are unable to relieve ineffective/ inappropriate teachers until the teacher has devolved into a sexual predator OR the teacher simply decides to go to another school where their history is unknown.
      How dare those scurvy m’effing Charter administrators try and insure the teachers in their school are appropriate and do their jobs well.

      Dead weight needs to be unloaded but the alternatives offered by traditional public schools are worse:

      http://nypost.com/2016/01/17/city-pays-exiled-teachers-to-snooze-as-rubber-rooms-return/

      “And don’t get me started on those charter school boards led by some of THE DUMBEST mother fuckers on the planet!”
      -Are you aware of some of the decisions made by our traditional school district boards? They don’t indicate the sharpest tools in the shed are at the helm.
      CSD’s Joe Wise’s decisions approved.:
      http://www.newarkpostonline.com/news/local/article_6bbc555e-8764-59ff-ad25-3eaeebdc558c.html

      CSD Board withheld funds legally entitled to charter students.
      http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/education/2016/11/30/christina-could-settle-charter-suit-tonight/94667462/

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  4. The ‘job’ is to identify where savings could be had with consolidation. The difficulty is in the political and educational departments efforts to thwart basic reform and cost efficiencies. They will discuss the ‘leveling up’, they will debate the costs to administrate the change, they will discuss the cost to “plan” a consolidation, they will discuss what to do with underpopulated school buildings, they will discuss everything they can muster to NOT consolidate but at the root of it is there are too many districts. It is rather rudimentary that if you go from ~ 18 districts to 3 or 4, you will reduce costs. Transportation Feeder patterns would become more efficient. Contracts for supplies and other services would be consolidated. Cost to provide services could be value engineered. Processing between districts/ state/ and feds could be streamlined.

    However, the players will distract and deflect to bury any effort to save money because the number of state employees will be reduced.

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