House Bill 269, sponsored by Delaware State Rep. Kim Williams, was introduced today and assigned to the House Education Committee. The legislation deals with school choice and offers some substantial changes to how Delaware deals with school choice. This bill is not expected to get a vote tonight and will most likely be looked at in January of 2018. While I have not fully read the bill, I did take a cursory glance and I like a lot of aspects to it.
The New Castle County Data Service Center compiled a report on school choice applications by the residing district for the Fiscal Year 2017 school year. These are applications parents sent out to choice schools for the school year that began this year. So these applications went out during the school choice calendar from November, 2015-January, 2016. At least the bulk of them. These are applications only, not actual acceptances in choice schools. A student could have applied to five different choice schools so that would count as five different applications. There are many districts that do not send this information through the system the Data Service Center provides. Most of them are in Sussex County, including their largest district, Indian River.
While this is missing a lot of information, especially in Southern Delaware, it does give a good indication of which districts have a lot of choice activity going on and where students are applying. This is very apparent in Christina.
Last week at the Strategic Plan for Specialized Educational Opportunities meeting at the Delaware DOE, Jeff Klein gave a presentation on this report. Senator David Sokola asked why the applications don’t address low-income or disabilities. I responded (as a member of the public) that wasn’t a good idea, especially since the Enrollment Preference Task Force (of which Sokola was on) recommended NOT having those items on choice applications.