The District-Charter Funding War of 2016 has officially been declared over.
While this topic will assuredly come up again, Delaware Secretary of Education Dr. Steven Godowsky sent a letter to the Delaware House of Representatives and the Delaware Senate stating no changes will be made to choice and charter school funding this year. This includes any changes in exclusions. The Delaware Dept. of Education is putting a “hold” on what the exclusions had previously been until this blew up a couple of weeks ago in the public eye.
Please note how Godowsky frames the origin of this as “district to district” concerns. That is an absolute lie. We all know exactly where this originated from- Newark Charter School. We also know the Delaware DOE was willing to stab school districts in the back in order to please the charters by circumventing state code any way they possibly could. What they didn’t count on was the public openly revolting against them. As I’ve been telling people, if you make enough noise, things will change. We need to take this momentum and do more with it. Markell, for all intents and purposes, is a lame-duck. Godowsky will be gone in the next six months. The DOE, at least their leadership, looks more like incompetent buffoons by the day. This was a big mistake on their part. Very big. It would have been one thing if they made this a public matter. Another if they clued the districts into it instead of all this cloak and dagger drama.
While this “resolution” doesn’t completely finish the job, the non-transparency role of this saga will end. Any meetings going forward on this will be in the presence of the House and Senate Education Committees. There is still one guy at the DOE who I believe has a lot to answer for. I’m talking to you Mr. David Blowman.
After six days of will they or won’t they, the Delaware Department of Education is not moving forward on any changes in the school district per pupil cost sent to charter schools out of their local unrestricted funding allocations. Perhaps now we can all take a deep breath and spend the next year changing the date on this so schools aren’t stressing out over budgets the first week of school.
Christina School District Board of Education President Elizabeth Paige informed me the district Chief Financial Officer, Bob Silber, was officially notified of this decision by the Delaware DOE earlier this afternoon.
I am pleased that the charter funding allocation will not change for this year; however, I know that we can’t expect this not to come up again and come up often. We must continue to fight for equity and not equality when it comes to funding public education in the state.
Well said President Paige! Even though there is a calm in the storm for now, this is definitely an issue I plan on doing extensive research on so when it does come up again it won’t be a shock to everyone, including myself. I still have many unanswered questions surrounding the transparency on the charter schools and the Delaware DOE with this issue. I will get those answers.