The scandal continues! Sometimes the biggest source of information for articles on here can be found within my search button on this very blog. On Friday, I posted about the Memorandum of Understanding that screwed over Brandywine School District taxpayers and the district themselves. One of the key players in this is Jason Hale, the Chief Financial Officer for Brandywine School District.
Hale and Brandywine Superintendent Dr. Mark Holodick wrote a newsletter to residents of the district on June 22nd, 2018. This was eight days before Hale’s name appeared on the MOU with Buccini-Pollin. He urged the citizens of the district to speak out against the profit scheme for Buccini-Pollin
Residents of Brandywine School District:
Please take a moment to see the note below from the district Chief Financial Officer, Dr. Jason Hale. HB454, if passed, this would have a SIGNIFICANT impact on the BSD tax payers – and especially at schools which are already at capacity like Hanby Elementary, Springer Middle School and Concord High School.
When developers build communities, they have a responsibility to invest in the communities in which they build and to ensure the communities in which they build remain stable.
Our schools are at capacity, additional development will greatly push the limits of our district. As a District we are working on long range plans to address the capacity issue but need the full funding from the VSA in every development now and in the future.
Our legislators should be concerned with protecting communities and taxpayers not lining the already deep pockets of wealthy developers.
Okay Mr. Hale. So what made you cave a week later to the attorneys over at Buccini-Pollin? Were certain threats made? Why did Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting sign this when she knew how many were against it? Who has the kind of power to make sure big business gets their payday? Yeah, we all know who that is. None other than Delaware Governor John Carney. It wouldn’t be the first time Carney flexed his political muscles to get something done for big business in Delaware.
As for the sponsors of HB435, it is apparent who is lining their pockets. On State Rep. Deb Heffernan’s campaign finance report, Buccini-Pollin was a frequent donator to her campaign. On the 8-Day general report, they donated twice- as a construction company and as a real estate company. Both were for the amount of $600.00 each. Why donate to a campaign that was certain to go Heffernan’s way based on the high number of registered Democrats in that district? I looked at all the campaign contributions, whether it was the Primary or the General Election. I was curious who else could be beholden to Buccini-Pollin. This is what I found:.
State Rep. Nnamdi Chukwuocha: $600, 30 day General Election 2018 BPG Real Estate; 8 day Primary 2018, Robert Buccini: $600
State Rep. Stephanie Bolden: $600, 30 day General Election 2018 ,Robert & Elizabeth Buccini; $1200, 8 day Primary 2018, BPG Construction AND BPG Real Estate
State Rep. Valerie Longhurst: $600, 30 day General Election 2018, Robert Buccini
State Senator Darius Brown: $1,200, 30 day Primary 2018, Robert Buccini, Beth Buccini
Three of them are legislators in downtown Wilmington. Longhurst is the House Majority Leader. Take from this what you will…
Last, but certainly not least, there is the matter of the education funding lawsuit. The one against the State of Delaware for not providing adequate funding to students from low-income status and ELL students. Carney’s office knew that was coming. Anyone involved in education politics knew it wasn’t a question of if, but when. How does it look when the State of Delaware is brokering deals to line the pockets of big business at the expense of funding for students? I’m sure this isn’t the first time this has happened. But given the optics of the current reality, it sure doesn’t look good. Or is this the goal here? To rely more on the local side of funding through increased property assessments so the state doesn’t have to pay as much? Which puts the burden solely on the backs of local taxpayers. I’ve always felt this lawsuit was more about that than the actual lack of funds for students.
I would love to see what happens the next time Brandywine goes out for a referendum. When they say they absolutely need those funds “for the kids”. I hope every single taxpayer in that district remembers they gave away $1.7 million dollars to a company instead of assuring those funds went into the classroom. For a company that holds $5 billion dollars in assets, $1.7 million is a drop in the bucket. But they are so greedy you just gave it to them. When your district is in future need of funding don’t ask the residents to pay for it! Maybe you can get a loan from Buccini-Pollin.