On Wednesday evening, the Red Clay Consolidated Board of Education will decide on Wilmington Charter School’s charter renewal. While it is a certainty their charter will be renewed, an even bigger question is on the table.
Based on Delaware charter school law that passed in 2013, charter schools that perform well have the option of a five-year or ten-year renewal. To date, only one school has received a ten-year renewal: Sussex Academy. It is a given Newark Charter School will receive it on Thursday at the State Board of Education meeting. But Charter School of Wilmington might not when the Red Clay board makes their decision Wednesday.
Why? Because some members of Red Clay’s board feel the school has not done enough to increase diversity among their student population. The district gave the school certain conditions to meet in that aspect when their charter was renewed back in 2013. Many on the board feel they did not meet those conditions. For charter schools in Delaware, the school has the lowest populations of special education students and has always been very low with African-American and Hispanic students. Ironically, they have the highest Asian-American student population.
At their November board meeting, this was a big topic during the CSW renewal discussion. Red Clay board member grilled CSW President Sam Paoli about their recruitment efforts.
Meanwhile, parents at Charter School of Wilmington have been calling board members left and right. They feel their school should get the 10-year nod. The Delaware Charter Schools Network jumped into the game and is actively pushing for parents to continue to hound the district about the issue.
What say you? Should CSW get 10 years or 5 years?
Meanwhile in Red Clay, their board is also going to decide if they should go back out in their search for a Superintendent. Some feel the candidates should be internal to Red Clay while others feel the net should be cast wider. Red Clay Superintendent Mervin Daugherty resigned from the district early last month when he took a similar job in Virginia. The acting Superintendent for the district is Jill Floore.