US Representative John Carney from Delaware writes letter about Priority Schools

A little less than two months ago, members of the Delaware Parents and Teachers for Public Education started a petition concerning the Priority Schools in the Christina and Red Clay Consolidated School Districts.  The petition had well over 700 signatures of Delaware citizens against the priority schools initiative.  The petition was given to Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy and emailed to all of the Delaware State Representatives and Senators, Governor Markell, and members of the U.S. Congress from Delaware.  The original post can be found here: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/the-people-speak-on-the-priority-schools-petition-delivered-to-mark-murphy-today-emailed-to-governor-markell/

This response was sent to me last week by U.S. Representative John Carney from Delaware.

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                                                                           February 27th, 2015

Dear Mr. Ohlandt, 

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about Governor Markell’s priority schoolplan. I appreciate your input and concerns on this matter.

As the son of two educators, I  understand the importance of  good schools . During my time as Lieutenant Governor, I helped implement and fund a program called “Models of Excellence in Education,” which paired failing public schools with successful ones, in an effort to facilitate the sharing of best practices in teaching and learning. I championed this program because I believe the success of Delaware’s public schools is the key to fostering a strong economy in Delaware. “Models of Excellence in Education” worked because it put the focus on strong principals and made sure good teachers had the resources they needed to succeed. 

I understand your frustration with the lack of coordination among the education reform initiatives happening across the country over the past several years. In my view, we need to find an approach that works, and stick to it. As a m ember of  the U.S. House of Representatives, I do not have jurisdiction over Delaware’s  specific  education policies. However, the main beneficiaries of federal K-12 education funding are the disadvantaged schools you describe, and I will continue to fight to protect this important funding source. I completely agree that providing better opportunities and more resources to students in these low-income schools should be a high priority. I am  working at the federal level  to improve our education system, and I will continue to follow the situation in Delaware  closely. Additionally, if any legislation comes up on the federal level regarding this issue, I will make sure to keep your views in mind. 

Thank you again for contacting me and sharing you r concerns about education and the proposed priority schools plan . Please feel free to contact my office again if we can assist you in any way.

Sincerely,

John Carney
Member of Congress