Delaware Gets C+ In Report On Public School Privatization

The Network for Public Education and the Schott Foundation released a report this week on how all fifty states rate on the privatization of our public education system.  They measured how charters are run, the quality of the charter schools, and how the state handles voucher schools as examples.  Delaware received a C+ in this report.  Most of that was due to the fact Delaware came in 2nd out of all states in the voucher school category with a grade of A+.  Delaware does not support any type of voucher system in our public schools.  But we got an F for the number of charter schools in the state based on how they divert funds from traditional school districts.

Delaware School District & Charter School Special Education Ratings Are The Biggest Joke In The State!

How were the Delaware school districts and charter schools rated this year for special education?  Every single one is in here and the joke isn’t even funny anymore! Continue reading Delaware School District & Charter School Special Education Ratings Are The Biggest Joke In The State!

JFC Snuck In A Permanent Charter School Transportation Slush Fund Racket Into Budget Bill

The Delaware Joint Finance Committee did the unthinkable.  Every year since 2010, the Charter School Transportation Slush Fund has been a part of the epilogue language in the budget bill.  This is where Delaware charter schools get to keep whatever they don’t spend in their budgeted transportation amount.  As an example, if M. Smith Charter School budgets $200,000 for transportation and they only spend $150,000, they get to keep the rest of that money the state gave them.  School districts aren’t allowed to do this.

But now the JFC actually wrote a bill into the Epilogue Language of the FY2019 budget bill, Senate Bill 235.  In past years, it was just part of the budget bill but now they are inserting what should be a separate bill into the budget bill.  In other words, if you don’t vote yes for the budget bill, you are a traitor to all Delawareans.  So pass our charter school boon or risk being lambasted by the Democrat leadership.  This is what they are actually seeking to amend in the budget bill:

  1. b) Notwithstanding subsection a), a charter school may negotiate a contract (multi-year, if desired) for contractor payment for school transportation up to the maximum rate of 70% or the charter school may publicly bid the transportation routes. If the actual negotiated or bid costs are lower than the maximum rate, the charter school may keep the difference to provide services to low-income and/or English-Language Learners. If the charter school includes a fuel adjustment contract provision, the charter school shall be responsible for increased payments to the contractor or it may keep funds taken back from the contractor.

Anyone who follows end of June politics in Delaware knows that State Rep. John Kowalko fights this every single year.  This year is no exception but he is even more offended about them actually putting a bill in a bill.  He has his amendment ready to go:

AMEND Senate Bill No. 235 on page 233 by deleting “If the actual negotiated or bid costs are lower than the maximum rate, the charter school may keep the difference to provide services to low-income and/or English-Language Learners.

SYNOPSIS

This amendment to the budget bill removes a proposed addition to the Delaware Code contained in the epilogue language that would permanently allow charter schools to “keep the difference” for transportation funding that is not used to fund transportation costs.

The proposed addition to the Delaware Code would contradict the requirement in 14 Del. C. § 508(a) that the State reimburse charter schools only for actual transportation costs, which is also required for all other public schools pursuant to the Delaware Administrative Code.

Will the Delaware General Assembly finally stop this nonsense?  Who is pushing this besides the Delaware Charter Schools Network?  Could it be a departing co-chair of the Delaware JFC who pretty much had to resign so she could get her kid into Newark Charter School despite the improbability of getting in through their lottery and the HUGE waiting list?

Caesar Rodney’s Christine Alois Is The New Deputy Secretary Of Education In Delaware

The Deputy Secretary of Education job posting was up for a long time, going back to last Winter.  After a long search, the Delaware Department of Education announced Dr. Christine Alois, the Director of Instruction for the Caesar Rodney School District, will be the new Deputy Secretary of Education.  Caesar Rodney put the following on their district Facebook page today:

DR. CHRISTINE ALOIS NAMED DELAWARE DEPUTY SECRETARY OF EDUCATION

Caesar Rodney School District Director of Instruction Dr. Christine Alois has been named Delaware Deputy Secretary of Education by Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting.

Dr. Alois has worn many hats in her 24 years in the Caesar Rodney School District. Starting in 1994 as the district’s first latch key teacher, she quickly rose up the ranks becoming a 5th grade teacher, a 7th grade teacher, a district resource teacher, an assistant principal, principal, supervisor and ultimately a director.

Dr. Alois has been nothing but an asset to the district championing and spearheading key CR initiatives such as language immersion, instructional technology and environmental education.

Karen Field-Rogers was the former Deputy Secretary of Education and has been filling double duties down at the Townsend Building in Dover so this hiring will be welcome news for her!