Delaware DOE Screws Over Districts By Allowing Match Tax Funds To Go To Charters

This is exactly why I don’t trust the Delaware Department of Education.  Taking a nod from the Christina School District settlement with 15 charter schools last year, the Department has decided to let charters get match tax funds in a phased-out plan for district exclusions. 

This year, the districts will only be allowed to exclude 50% of their match tax funds, in 2018-2019 they can exclude 25%, and in 2019-2020 none of it can be excluded.  Don’t believe me?  The Delaware DOE confirms it in this email sent to district superintendents and chief financial officers…

From: Hughes Brook
Sent: Thursday, June 1, 2017 3:37 PM
To: Burrows Matthew L <Matthew.Burrows@appo.k12.de.us>; ‘Longfellow Chuck’ <Chuck.Longfellow@appo.k12.de.us>; Holodick Mark <Mark.Holodick@bsd.k12.de.us>; Hale Jason <jason.hale@bsd.k12.de.us>; Fitzgerald Kevin <kevin.fitzgerald@cr.k12.de.us>; Kessel Scott <Scott.Kessel@cr.k12.de.us>; Fulton Robert <Robert.Fulton@cape.k12.de.us>; Gumbs Oliver <Oliver.Gumbs@cape.k12.de.us>; GREGG RICHARD L <RICHARD.GREGG@CHRISTINA.K12.DE.US>; SILBER ROBERT <ROBERT.SILBER@christina.k12.de.us>; Blakey Dolan <Dolan.Blakey@colonial.k12.de.us>; Falcon Emily (Emily.Falcon@colonial.k12.de.us) < Emily.Falcon@colonial.k12.de.us>; Phillips Charity <charity.phillips@delmar.k12.de.us>; Puzzo Ada <Ada.Puzzo@delmar.k12.de.us>; Steele Mark <mark.steele@IRSD.k12.de.us>; Steele Jeannette <jeannette.steele@irsd.k12.de.us>; Larrimore Shawn <shawn.larrimore@laurel.k12.de.us>; Smith Monet <Monet.Smith@laurel.k12.de.us>; Dickerson, Kevin <KDickerson@msd.k12.de.us>; Croce, Sara <scroce@msd.k12.de.us>; Daugherty Mervin B <Mervin.Daugherty@redclay.k12.de.us>; Floore Jill (Jill.Floore@redclay.k12.de.us) <Jill.Floore@redclay.k12.de.us>; Perrington David <david.perrington@seaford.k12.de.us>; Carson Kevin E <kevin.carson@seaford.k12.de.us>; Wicks Deborah <Deborah.Wicks@smyrna.k12.de.us>; Gallagher Gerard (Gerard.Gallagher@smyrna.k12.de.us) <Gerard.Gallagher@smyrna.k12.de.us>; Chasanov Heath (Heath.Chasanov@wsd.k12.de.us) < Heath.Chasanov@wsd.k12.de.us>; ‘bgwynder@lf.k12.de.us’ <bgwynder@lf.k12.de.us>; ‘nicholas.johnson@lf.k12.de.us’ <nicholas.johnson@lf.k12.de.us>; Shelton Dan <dan.shelton@capital.k12.de.us>; Kuforiji Adewunmi <Adewunmi.Kuforiji@capital.k12.de.us>
Cc: Bunting Susan <Susan.Bunting@doe.k12.de.us>; Blowman David <david.blowman@DOE.K12.DE.US>; Wheatley Kimberly <Kimberly.Wheatley@doe.k12.de.us>

Subject: FY18 Local Expenditure Exclusion Review

First I want to thank each of you for providing the local fund information requested by the Department earlier this spring, which allowed us to perform a statewide analysis of the appropriations eligible for exclusion from choice and charter billing.  We have reviewed each of the requests and, in accordance with 14 Del. C. Section 408, we are recommending the following list of allowable exclusions for Fiscal Year 2018:

 

·         Tuition

·         Debt Service

·         MCI

·         Cafeteria Funds

·         Gate Receipts

·         E-Rate

·         Indirect Costs

·         CSCRP

·         Rentals

·         Stipends/Payroll Reimbursement

·         Fee Based Programs

·         Internal Accounts/Private Donations/Grants

·         Adult Education

·         Student Activities

·         Pass-thru Programs

 

Please note that due to the ongoing budget negotiations and the significant uncertainty surrounding the use of Match Tax in FY18, the Department is deferring a recommendation on the categorization of Match Tax expenditures. Once the FY18 budget is finalized and we have clarity on the role of the Match tax, the Department will communicate the recommended status for Match Tax expenditures.

 

Please also note that any local fund appropriations that do not fall into the categories identified above, will be included in the calculations for FY18.  We believe this action aligns us with the legislative intent and provides for a consistent and equitable application across the board. Moving forward, districts should work to establish appropriations in the traditionally excluded ranges (91XXX or 99XXX) beginning with FY18 activity. This will ensure consistency and simplify the review process in future fiscal years.

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.  Thank you,   

Brook A. Hughes

Education Associate, Charter School Finance

Delaware Department of Education

401 Federal Street, Suite #2

Dover, DE 19901-3639

302-735-4050(T)  302-739-7768(F)

brook.hughes@doe.k12.de.us

And then there was the email sent out on July 14th…

From: Hughes Brook
Sent: Friday, July 14, 2017 4:02 PM
To: Burrows Matthew L <Matthew.Burrows@appo.k12.de.us>; Longfellow Chuck <Chuck.Longfellow@appo.k12.de.us>; Holodick Mark <Mark.Holodick@bsd.k12.de.us>; Hale Jason <jason.hale@bsd.k12.de.us>; Fitzgerald Kevin <kevin.fitzgerald@cr.k12.de.us>; Kessel Scott <Scott.Kessel@cr.k12.de.us>; Fulton Robert <Robert.Fulton@cape.k12.de.us>; Gumbs Oliver <Oliver.Gumbs@cape.k12.de.us>; GREGG RICHARD L <RICHARD.GREGG@CHRISTINA.K12.DE.US>; SILBER ROBERT <ROBERT.SILBER@christina.k12.de.us>; Blakey Dolan <Dolan.Blakey@colonial.k12.de.us>; Falcon Emily <Emily.Falcon@colonial.k12.de.us>; Phillips Charity <charity.phillips@delmar.k12.de.us>; Puzzo Ada <Ada.Puzzo@delmar.k12.de.us>; Steele Mark <mark.steele@IRSD.k12.de.us>; Steele Jeannette <jeannette.steele@irsd.k12.de.us>; Larrimore Shawn <shawn.larrimore@laurel.k12.de.us>; Smith Monet <Monet.Smith@laurel.k12.de.us>; Dickerson, Kevin <KDickerson@msd.k12.de.us>; Croce, Sara <scroce@msd.k12.de.us>; Daugherty Mervin B <Mervin.Daugherty@redclay.k12.de.us>; Floore Jill <Jill.Floore@redclay.k12.de.us>; Perrington, David <David.Perrington@seaford.k12.de.us>; Carson, Kevin <kevin.carson@seaford.k12.de.us>; Wicks Deborah <Deborah.Wicks@smyrna.k12.de.us>; Gallagher Gerard <Gerard.Gallagher@smyrna.k12.de.us>; Chasanov Heath <Heath.Chasanov@wsd.k12.de.us>; bgwynder@lf.k12.de.us; nicholas.johnson@lf.k12.de.us; Shelton Dan <dan.shelton@capital.k12.de.us>; Kuforiji Adewunmi <Adewunmi.Kuforiji@capital.k12.de.us>
Cc: Bunting Susan <Susan.Bunting@doe.k12.de.us>; Blowman David <david.blowman@DOE.K12.DE.US>; Wheatley Kimberly <Kimberly.Wheatley@doe.k12.de.us>

Subject: RE: FY18 Local Expenditure Exclusion Review

Folks,

As noted last month, the Department deferred a decision on the Match Tax exclusion until the FY 2018 budget was finalized. Now that we have clarity on the role of Match Tax in FY 2018, we have made a decision regarding the exclusion status. For the current fiscal year, the Match Tax exclusion will be reduced to 50% of the annual expenditures and then phased out over the next two fiscal years. In FY 2019, 25% of the Match Tax expenditures will be excluded and 0% in FY 2020.

The Department continues to believe that non-MCI Match Tax expenditures are part of the districts’ general operating expenses and as such should not be excluded from the local cost per pupil calculations.  However, given the significant budget challenges faced by all our LEAs this fiscal year, the Department has developed a plan to lessen the immediate budgetary impact of this change and allow for a phased, predictable transition. 

Please contact me with any questions. Thank you,

Brook A. Hughes

Education Associate, Charter School Finance

Delaware Department of Education

302-735-4050(T)  302-739-7768(F)

brook.hughes@doe.k12.de.us

Thanks for opening this can of worms Christina Board members who voted yes on the settlement and no on rescinding the settlement.  You allowed the Delaware DOE to give even more money to charters!  Great job!  Bravo!  Being sarcastic here…

 

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Delaware DOE Screws Over Districts By Allowing Match Tax Funds To Go To Charters

  1. The interesting thing here is that I do not believe the settlement would have had any bearing on this “decision” from DDOE, this process was set in motion well before the lawsuit was filed and it has been lurking in the shadows for years. It’s just now brought out into the full view of the entire public.

    The core issue here is, in my opinion, the DDOE’s “authority” to make arbitrary spending decisions on behalf of the General Assembly (and in some cases, voters). While DDOE “believes” they are aligned with legislative intent, only 2 branches of government can determine if legislative intent is being followed, neither are named “executive” nor do they include the Department of Education. This will undoubtedly revert back to the General Assembly and most assuredly the court system.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hope it does wind up in the courts. DOE has been acting with this “legislative intent” for a long time now. An “intent” is NOT the same as actual legislation, passed by both Houses of the General Assembly, signed by the Governor, and enacted into law. Why is Secretary Bunting making these decisions? Did she sign off on this “legislative intent”?

      Like

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