In a week of somber news around Delaware in the wake of pending teacher and educator layoffs, districts are scrambling to figure out their budgets for next year. Through this blog and other social media sources, citizens of the state are growing concerned about teachers losing their jobs and classrooms becoming more bloated than they already are. In response to this public outcry, Red Clay Consolidated Superintendent Dr. Mervin Daugherty wrote a letter to the community about what this means for the district and the community.
I’ve seen many Delawareans giving Governor John Carney a pass on this since he inherited most of this mess from former Governor Jack Markell. But his almost boneheaded solutions could make the situation much worse for citizens across the state. In the coming weeks, I will be going through last year’s budget as well as the proposed budget for FY2018. I will also recommend areas across districts and charter schools where funding should be cut or consolidated without losing teachers. I will present these recommendations and findings to the General Assembly and Governor Carney. I am sure it won’t be in any official capacity, but I will do so all the same. Any input or recommendations from the general public will be most welcome!
Red Clay Consolidated School District Superintendent Merv Daugherty released a statement this morning about the State Board of Education’s very odd vote on the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission’s redistricting plan last Thursday. I talked with Merv yesterday at the Pathways To Prosperity conference and he told me the exact same thing!
I want to take this opportunity to reiterate and explain Red Clay School District’s position on the State Board of Education’s conditional rejection of the WEIC plan. From the beginning of this process, we have been clear that a guarantee of the plan would be supported with adequate and sufficient funding has been a critical non-negotiable item for our District. This is no mere parochial concern- we believe that it is crucial for the success of this endeavor. The plan submitted to the State Board of Education reflected the collaborative efforts of many stakeholders. Regrettably, the State Board of Education, rather than approving the plan as submitted, has attached two new conditions to it. One of these, the replacement of the word “shall” with “may” in item #2 of the resolution within the plan, is unacceptable to Red Clay. The distinction is not one of mere semantics- “may” and “shall” simply do not mean the same thing. “Shall” secures the adequate and sufficient funding the successful implementation of the plan requires; “may” throws it into doubt. Our concern was explained to the State Board of Education at their recent meeting. Indeed, they were explicitly told that their proposal “could be a deal-breaker.” Unfortunately, they failed to heed this warning. The possibility that the plan’s implementation could continue absent adequate and sufficient funding poses an unacceptable risk to Red Clay and does a disservice to the families and students involved. For these reasons, Red Clay cannot support the change submitted by the State Board last week.
WEIC meets tonight to make some decisions about the State Board’s idiot vote. At the Christina Board meeting last night it was revealed State Board President Dr. Teri Quinn Gray and Delaware Secretary of Education will appear at the meeting. Well said Merv!