As reported on Transparent Christina, the Christina School District Board of Education has voted not to renew four contracts in their district office. While I am not at liberty to give names yet, these are four VERY big names. The ripple effects of these non-renewals will affect the district in major ways. I expect there could be some type of legal response to at least one of these non-renewals. The names are out there and people are talking, but I will not be releasing those names “officially” until it is public. Two of them I am very happy about. They have been sources of controversy for years and have done more harm to the district than anyone else. So with Superintendent Richard Gregg announcing his resignation as of June 2020, look for Christina to look very different in the 2020-2021 school year.
I expected there to be some fireworks over at Glasgow High School today. There were. District officials came rushing over at 8am and met with Principal Harold “Butch” Ingram. Ingram then held a staff meeting to let folks know what was going on. Cue some Spin Doctors music here readers! I sent an email to Butch to let him know he is more than welcome to come on here and let the fine people of Delaware know what happened. I sent this to Ingram, Superintendent Richard Gregg, and the entire Christina Board of Education minutes ago. Continue reading
In the oddest move I’ve ever seen in Delaware education, Katie Hegedus was sworn in as a board member of the Christina School District Board of Education last night at their monthly board meeting and resigned minutes later.
Hegedus beat incumbent John Young two months ago in the school board election. Her platform was basically that she would resign once she is sworn in. This would force the current board to hand-pick a replacement. They announced at their board meeting last night they would begin this task.
This ridiculous stunt was concocted by the Friends of Christina, a small but connected group of parents in the district who basically hated the fact John Young would call out the district on, well, anything. Whether it was right or wrong. Their mantra of go along to get along brought forth this latest oddity in Delaware school board race history. One for the record books, that’s for sure! This election meant so much to their de facto leader that she is currently trying to sell her house and move out of state.
While Young is no longer on the Christina Board of Education, he has come back and relaunched his blog as Transparent Christina 2.0. I fully expect Young, who is now no longer beholden to certain bylaws of being a board member, to come out swinging on his blog! While this very sad attempt at silencing Young may appear to be a win in some circles, I fear all they have done is awoken an already alert dragon. With a tagline of “Because sometimes Exceptional needs some help“, Young has written several articles of late. Speaking for Exceptional, I welcome any help in the Delaware education blogosphere! Unless it is some urgent sounding blog…wink wink!
The board re-elected former President Meredith Griffith to another one-year term as President while Keeley Powell was elected to Vice-President of the board.
Ah, it must be summer in the Christina School District. The days when district leadership make changes to how the district operates without board approval. In the latest round of “how can we make the district look bad”, the district has now changed start and end times for the schools in the district. Some are good and some are bad but the fact it was a unilateral decision by the Superintendent (Richard Gregg, who the board hired) is a smack in the face to the governing authority of the district (the board).
How this district leadership can be so infantile in its arrogant way of thinking is beyond me. I guess they don’t have to care how these changes could affect the schedules of working parents, teachers, and extracurricular activities students might do outside of school. And I guess they still haven’t gotten the memo that 7:05 is way too early for teenagers to go to school in the morning!!!! Tsk, tsk…
A school board campaign in Delaware could be breaking the law and they are turning what should be a fair election into a disgrace. And how could a member of this campaign benefit should her ghost candidate win? And which legislator is foolishly endorsing a candidate that won’t serve if elected? Continue reading
Autism Delaware released a fact sheet today on the debacle involving the Delaware Department of Education, Christina School District, the Office of Management and Budget, and Governor Carney’s office. This should answer many questions folks are having based on the Delaware Public Media article as well as my own last night.
If this is how it was supposed to happen, someone dropped the ball big time. A lot of fingers can be pointed at Christina Superintendent Richard Gregg for failing to notify the district’s Board of Education (which is the governing body for the district and hired him in the first place). As well, Governor Carney’s administration goofed big time by not putting certain funding for training personnel in their FY2020 budget proposal. A lot of this comes down to communication. We live in the 21st Century where communication is instant. This kind of stuff shouldn’t happen!
State Rep. Kim Williams wrote the following on Facebook today:
OMB, Controller’s Office and DOE are setting up a meeting with Christina next week. The schools are not changing anything, they will still report to their current district. Teachers and staff will not be affected by any of this. They need to hire the two specialists and those specialists need to report to someone. They need to hire someone to oversee the specialists and the statewide program. The meeting this week will work all those details out.
Thanks to Autism Delaware for getting some facts out on this matter!
I see this with charter schools quite a bit but postponing a regular board meeting for a school district? That is highly unusual! Today, the Christina School District postponed their regular January Board of Education meeting scheduled for tonight at Bayard Middle School. Is this a fluke or is there a specific reason the meeting was postponed? Continue reading
You might want to Super Size this article. Continue reading
At the end of the Christina School District Board of Education meeting last week, State Representative Paul Baumbach spoke before the board. He thanked the board and the district for the changes they implemented in the past year and “strongly encouraged” them to keep doing it. There was a specific reason Baumbach did this. He admitted the General Assembly doesn’t help. Continue reading
I put up the new Christina MOU the other day. Since then I have heard nothing but outrage from Christina teachers. Everything from pay to a change in seniority. Veteran Christina teachers in the ‘burbs certainly don’t like the fact they could get rif’d over newer teachers in the city who sign a commitment letter.
The Christina Board will vote on this mess Tuesday night. I would lay odds the board will vote in the affirmative on it. But the members of the Christina Education Association will vote to ratify this a couple days later. If they vote no on the MOU it is back to the drawing board. What will that mean for the whole consolidation of the Christina Wilmington schools?
It has almost been a year since Delaware Governor John Carney announced his intention to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Christina Wilmington Schools. This partnership between his office, the Christina School District, the Christina Board of Education, and the Delaware Department of Education has been missing one key ingredient. Until today. The Christina Education Association came up with a new MOU which was publicly released today. If this passes, the stage is set for the consolidation of the Christina Wilmington schools. Continue reading
I’m hearing from multiple sources the Wilmington Christina schools are having problems of epic proportions. Teachers are leaving these schools in epic numbers. Continue reading
Something is up in the Christina School District involving Superintendent Richard Gregg. The following appears on Board Docs for their next Board of Education meeting on July 10th: Continue reading
A new board policy under review for the Christina Board of Education would give their Board President an overwhelming amount of power and weaken their board considerably. Continue reading
Last night the Christina Board of Education, in front of a packed house, passed the Memorandum of Understanding between the district, the Delaware Department of Education and Governor John Carney’s office with a 4-2-1 vote. Board members John Young and Elizabeth Paige voted no while member Angela Mitchell abstained. The tense meeting, which lasted over three hours, had Carney sitting in the audience the entire time. While the News Journal, WHYY, and WDEL all came to the meeting, many parts of the meeting were not covered in their articles. Continue reading
Governor Carney and the Delaware Department of Education almost had us. They were THIS close. In another 24 hours or so they could have gotten away with it. Their plan to completely evaporate the Christina School District Wilmington student population will depend on the vote at the Christina Board meeting tomorrow night. But they NEVER told us about the loophole. Does a Memorandum of Understanding give a state Governor the power to “waive” a law? I think not! Continue reading
The Christina Board of Education will finally vote on the Memorandum of Understanding between Governor Carney’s office, the Delaware Department of education, the district and the Board of Education on Tuesday night at Sarah Pyle Academy. Their regular Board of Education meeting begins at 7pm. What’s at stake? Schools closing and consolidating into two schools. Governor Carney’s reputation. The Christina School District Wilmington students in Kindergarten to 8th grade.
Even if you don’t live in Christina, this will be something to watch. It isn’t every day a Governor proposes this kind of action. Some say it is needed while others say it is too much. Some say the Board should vote yes while others say mixing these student populations from different areas of the city is a powder keg waiting to explode. Some say forget the past and keep an open mind while others say Carney’s office doesn’t have the first clue as to what these kids need. We will find out what the Christina Board votes on Tuesday evening.
The below pictures were released by the Christina School District:
If I were Christina, I would want to see a big fat check hand-delivered by John Carney before I put ink to this. They are putting a lot of trust in a state that has continually targeted this one particular district if they vote yes. Sorry, I don’t trust Carney. He has yet to prove he can be trusted.
Last evening, the Christina School District Board of Education held their second board meeting of the month. There were only two items on the agenda: a recommendation to approve the Memorandum of Understanding between the district and Governor Carney’s office and approval of their final Fiscal Year 2018 budget.
The board punted on the MOU vote again, choosing to table a vote until their February 6th board meeting. All five board members in attendance voted yes on tabling the vote. They were George Evans, Fred Polaski, Meredith Griffin, Harrie Ellen Minnehan, and John Young. Board members Elizabeth Paige and Angela Mitchell did not attend the meeting. The board has voted to table this vote several times now which must assuredly be frustrating Carney’s office. When it came time to vote on their final budget for this fiscal year, all board members in attendance voted yes with the exception of Young. The board voted on the same recommendation last week, but that failed with a 3-2 vote.
Governor John Carney’s office mentioned the proposed MOU in Carney’s proposed Annual Appropriations bill yesterday. They have 15 million in capital funds earmarked for the district and 1.5 million in opportunity grants. The capital funds would be used for construction costs for some of their Wilmington schools as the MOU calls for consolidation of Christina’s Wilmington schools from five to two. Carney also mentioned Christina in his State of the State address last week.
The next day I posted a bold prediction for Christina. I received no response from Carney’s office or Christina School District about those predictions. I heard this information from various sources in Delaware. The odd part is NO ONE has been talking about it aside from some messages I received from some curious and very worried district teachers. I was not able to reveal my sources to those individuals.
As the district in Delaware that sends the most in local payments to Delaware charter schools, they face a potential financial hit with Carney recommending another 2% goes to charters in FY2019 due to “inflation”.
Last night, the Christina School District Board of Education voted again to table a vote on the Memorandum of Understanding between the district, the Delaware Dept. of Education, and Governor Carney’s office. From the sounds of it, Carney is getting very impatient with Christina. Board member John Young included a quote from Carney and his response to it on a Facebook post today.
“I’m disappointed that the board did not act tonight to address the serious challenges facing students in these Wilmington schools. We have made it a priority to work in collaboration with Christina to do right by these students. We have offered significant new resources to support educators and students in Wilmington. We can’t afford to wait and delay on this issue any longer.” – John Carney
Well, we do share an emotion: It’s so disappointing to have a partner at the table use this situation for political gain. Not surprising, just disappointing. The MOU currently on the table is the Governor’s version. It makes barely a fraction of the commitment necessary to help our students, is the furthest thing from “significant resources”, and seems to be hyper-focused on only getting one thing done: a dual-generation center. This leaves all our K-8 students in the rain holding a wet bag of nothing, Governor John Carney. Your charged declaration proves what I have sadly suspected: this plan isn’t about helping our students at all. The board, while tabling this terribly lopsided version, ardently pledged to stay at the table and work. I know that’s what I’m committed to doing. I’d really rather not spend much effort like this responding to divisive nonsense like your declaration; however, I will not sit idly by as you disparage the process and hard work of all partners, including your own staff. Let’s get to work instead of name calling and finger pointing, Governor.
As always, I’m right here.
Young gave his cell phone number after the last sentence but I do not feel comfortable providing that on a blog. When Young addressed him as Governor John Carney, that was linked to his Facebook profile.
I think things are about to get very interesting in Christina. As I’ve written before, Carney does NOT like anyone challenging him. He takes that very seriously. Will Carney try to pull some type of “priority schools” stunt on Christina if they do not act on the MOU? I would be willing to bet he will. Something will happen. I have no idea what that is.
As well, the Christina board voted NO on their final Fiscal Year 2018 budget. While this does not mean the state will stop disbursing funds to the district, it could affect their local payments. It certainly did not make Christina Chief Financial Officer Robert Silber or Superintendent Richard Gregg have a good night. Things are getting interesting up there.