Carney Raises Local Payments To Charters 2% In Budget Request Based On “Inflation”

Delaware Governor John Carney delivered his FY2019 Proposed Budget and it looks like Delaware charter schools will get some extra cash out of the deal if the General Assembly includes this in their final budget they must vote on by June 30th!

Is this even legal?  Does the Governor have the legal authority to arbitrarily raise a percentage amount for local payments from districts to charters based on “inflation”?  Sadly, he does.  It is written in Title 14.

So what do sections 408 and 509 of Title 14 say?

408:

(e) The district of residence shall, except as provided for in subsection (h) of this section, pay to the receiving district the lower local

cost per pupil expenditure of the 2 districts, adjusted by an inflation factor specified annually in the annual appropriations act, such

payment to be made by November 30 of each year.

509:

(d) The Department of Education shall annually calculate the local cost per student expended by each school district for each type of

student for the year immediately preceding based on the formula set forth in subsection (e) of this section, adjusted by a factor necessary

to fund the charter school on a basis reasonably equivalent to the current year local cost per student, which factor shall be established in

the annual Appropriations Act. The Department shall annually certify each local district’s local cost per student expenditure by September

1 of each year.

So does that mean Delaware school districts are getting 2% more based on “inflation”?  Absolutely not.  Everything goes up in price.  So saying “inflation” without any meaning behind it is just another way to give charter schools more money.  I do not blame the charters for this, I blame the power brokers that snuck this in there.  Of course it is absolutely legal because it is in state code.  But that certainly doesn’t make it right or moral.  Add the extra match tax funds charters will get this year and it is obvious charter lobbyists will squeeze as much juice out of the district fruit as they can!  Lest we forget, charters do get state funding.  They don’t live and die based on local student payments.  They get as much state funding (except for capital costs) that traditional school districts do.  They also have the charter school transportation slush fund

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8 thoughts on “Carney Raises Local Payments To Charters 2% In Budget Request Based On “Inflation”

  1. Mike Jackson (Director of OMB) presented Governor Carney’s proposed budget to us yesterday. He was asked if the Governor’s budget restores any or all of the $26 million in cuts made to public schools in last years budget. His answer was an unequivocal NO. This is not a good place to start claiming that we are headed to a balanced budget with no need to raise taxes or create a stable and sustainable tax bracket restructuring. $1 million for “Math” specialists in high needs schools and no proposed money for the more sorely needed “Reading” specialists in those schools. Lest you’ve forgotten, in 2009 Governor Markell cut funding for reading and math specialists (and other programs) by more than $30 million that was never restored. In fact Indian River School District (then under the tutelage of now Ed Secretary Bunting) had won a “Superstars in Education” award for its performance in reading achievements two years prior. Indian River (due to the cuts) was forced to furlough its 13 Reading specialists and the District (students) never again reached that level of success. Lots more damaging potential in this “balanced” budget with existing revenue expectations and “no taxes”.
    Representative John Kowalko

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rep. Kowalko, I don’t think any of us could ever forget the painful cuts to those specialists that Markell thrust on public education. It is my hope legislators will bring those cuts back as well as say no (finally) to the charter school transportation slush fund as well as this “inflation” boon to charters with local payments. And while they are at it, finally giving basic special education students in Kindergarten to 3rd grade the funding they deserve!

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  4. And still no oversight over how and where Education is using 2.6 billion annually.

    Are we to believe where every dollar is currently being used is more important than hiring reading specialist? Math specialist?

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Section 330: The Department of Education shall continue to work towards the collection of school-level financial data. To this end, when processing transactions in First State Financials, local school districts shall use a standard set of program codes as established by the Department of Education.” Sounds to me like the onus on this matter belongs to the Delaware DOE. They have been dropping the ball on this consistently, year after year. What say you Secretary Bunting?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. How does an independent organization set up a school inside a District, and expect the taxpayers of that District to pay them? We don’t get a vote on the management or their methods. Once again, the “landowners” are being used without referendum control. If the State wants to fund an experiment, it should do it without local taxes. Boston Tea Party rules, just say no!

    Liked by 1 person

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