Referendum. Many school districts in Delaware fear this word. It can make or break a district. No where has this been more evident than the Christina School District. After two failed referendums last year, the district has been forced to make painful cuts to their schools and services. Now the virus has infected Milford School District. Like Christina, they experienced two referendums that did not pass. In the midst of this, their Superintendent Phyllis Kohel announced her retirement at the end of the 2015-2016 school year.
According to the Milford Beacon, Kohel announced her intention to retire at the Milford School District board meeting Monday night.
“This is my 32nd year and it’s a very difficult position,” she said. “I like to think that I have, but I don’t know if I’ve ever worked so hard in my life as I have with this position.
“It’s very demanding and can be very disappointing at times, particularly when you’re in referendum mode as we’ve been in for the past two years.”
Mike Finney, the writer of the article, explained how Kohel served the school district for the past 31 years, and has been Superintendent since 2012. As the second district this school year facing Superintendent and referendum woes, this could be a sign of things to come with Delaware’s antiquated funding system. Meanwhile, in Wilmington, a commission of 23 will attempt to tackle this issue head-on and devise a new way of funding our schools. This school year will be one of massive change in Delaware, between a new Secretary, Smarter Balanced results, parent opt-out, redistricting, WEIC, and an upcoming budget battle in the General Assembly that promises to be controversial.