**UPDATED BELOW WITH NEW INFORMATION ABOUT ONE DISTRICT**
Two years ago, letters went out to five charter schools from State Auditor Tom Wagner letting them know they were in violation of Delaware’s Budget and Accounting Manual (BAM). For the purposes of this article, I looked to see how many districts and charters violated BAM in one area. That was where they write checks from petty cash accounts for more than $500.00. That is a big no-no according to BAM. I looked in both FY2017 and FY2018 up until May 31st. There were many offenders, including two who were included in the 2016 letters! The reason I started with FY2017 was to give the benefit of the doubt just in case districts and charters were not clear of the rule before that fiscal year. This isn’t just a few districts and charter schools. Continue reading Delaware School Districts & Charter Schools That Are Serial Abusers Of Petty Cash Laws
Unbelievable. So much for “shared sacrifice”. Why are Delaware charter schools keeping their Transportation Slush Fund? Are you kidding me with this? According to commenter Connie over at Delaware Liberal, it is still in there.
Also- epilogue language- the transportation fund for Charters– STILL THERE! Also- $7 million for Charters. All this while forcing districts to use the match tax.
And El Som over there said:
Meaning, while JFC gouges public education and flatlines grants-in-aid, charters are held harmless.
I really shouldn’t be surprised. In these days of financial doom and gloom should I even be shocked that charter schools are not asked to sacrifice their golden goose? They are essentially allowed to do whatever they want with that money as long as it fits in the box of educational purposes. Which means they can’t go out and get a foot massage with the money. One of Senator David Sokola’s biggest arguments about the five mile radius bill being removed but not giving a preference for Christina’s Wilmington students was the cost of transportation to his beloved Newark Charter School.
I am NOT against charter schools. I am against bullshit like this. And as long as we have sycophants like Rep. Melanie Smith who wants HER daughter to go to Newark Charter School, she will do the charter school’s bidding. If that isn’t a conflict of interest, I don’t know what is. But Governor Carney DOES NOT CARE. The majority of our legislators DO NOT CARE. They don’t care if the elderly have less than they have now as long as charters get what they want. I don’t blame the charter schools themselves. I blame the policy-makers who do this. If someone gave me what is essentially free money and I were in the charters’ position, I doubt I would object.
I expect one hell of a battle tomorrow night at Legislative Hall. Meanwhile, in response to the Republicans resolution to continue funding the state if the budget doesn’t pass, State Rep. Sean Lynn introduced House Bill 290 today with sponsors including Pete Schwartzkopf, Valerie Longhurst, and John Viola. Kicking the can down the road, Delaware style.
Delaware citizens deserve better than this. We have known about this huge budget deficit for months. Why are they waiting until the last minute to get it done? I am losing faith in the left and the right. And the budget hasn’t even been released because they are STILL writing it. If only Sean Goward had been elected Governor…
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!
The Wilmington Education Improvement Commission will hold their next meeting on Tuesday, February 28th. On the agenda is an appearance by none other than Delaware Governor John Carney and Delaware Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting. This will be interesting!
This week, Carney gutted a proposed weighted funding formula for the FY2018 state budget stating there is no money for it. WEIC doesn’t work at all if the money isn’t in that budget either. The state is facing a $350-$400 million dollar budget deficit. In November, WEIC Chair Tony Allen publicly announced that if WEIC doesn’t go through he can foresee some type of legal action against the State of Delaware. Interestingly enough, WEIC member Meredith Griffin filed today to run for the Christina School District Board of Education for the election in May. That sets up that election for a four-person race with still another week to file for potential candidates. This week, issues of race and due process came up in Red Clay stemming from an incident at a basketball game between A.I. DuPont High School and Delaware Military Academy. Carney and Bunting are getting an hour to talk. That is actually a long time. I can’t say if I’ve ever heard Carney talk about education that long. I don’t know if all of these issues will come up at the meeting, but this meeting comes at a very interesting time. This will also be a big moment for Secretary Bunting as she is new in office and will be tasked with restricting the Delaware Dept. of Education.
WEIC and it’s earlier incarnation, WEAC, have been around for two and a half years. Eventually, WEIC presented a plan to send Christina Wilmington students to Red Clay along with several other initiatives throughout the state to improve education for high-needs students. After a long and drawn-out battle with the State Board of Education, WEIC’s plan turned into legislation. That legislation failed to pass in the Delaware Senate. New legislation extended the planning period for another year. But with this year’s budget deficit looking dismal, will WEIC get the bypass again? If it does, what will folks like Tony Allen and Jea Street’s next move be?
This could be a crowded meeting. Get there early. And what is up with five minutes of public comment? They may want to stretch that out!