Markell’s Office Plays Spin City On Housing Discounts For Charter Teachers While Other Teachers Fume

On Sunday, I wrote about how Governor Markell’s Downtown Development District is offering “below market value” discounts to charter school teachers at Market Street Village.  This was verified by both the Delaware News Journal and The New York Times in articles about this revitalization of Wilmington’s downtown housing district.  Meanwhile, Governor Markell’s office puts their spin on the story.

Delaware State Senator Bryan Townsend, upon hearing the news, reached out to Governor Markell’s office.  They responded this was miscommunication on the reporter’s part.  They didn’t specify if this was the NY Times or The News Journal reporter or both.  They said the discounts for charter school teachers are just an “example” of the types of discounts offered.  Apparently this is offered through the Delaware Talent Cooperative.  This program allows for teachers to transfer to inner-city high needs schools and are given incentives to do so.  The only problem with this is that this program is not offered to public school district teachers in Newcastle County.

The Governor’s staff has confirmed with the developer, and updated me, that many other groups are eligible for the discounts. It seems someone (the reporter, or whoever provided the info) should have listed “charter teachers” as an example of who is eligible for the discount, not that they’re the sole group eligible.

When asked if this program includes other teachers out there, Townsend responded with this:

As I understand it, to be eligible one has to be employed and meet certain federal reqs. I do not have more details than that right now, but I’ve been told that the “charter teacher” reference was only meant to be an example of someone who would qualify (and perhaps be interested, with a short walk from home to work). I don’t think “charter school teachers” is any kind of defined group for eligibility purposes.

As for Governor Markell, it would be very hard to think he did not read the article in the New York Times.  After all, he linked to it on his Twitter and Facebook Accounts:

In case you missed it: The New York Times profiled some of the exciting developments happening in Wilmington to attract “a new generation of young professionals who want to live and play in the communities where they work.” Wilmington has its challenges, but also growing employers, new housing investments, and great cultural assets on which we can build.

As well, both newspaper articles mentioned one specific building where charter school teachers would receive this discount, where 77 units are being offered, at Market Street Village.  There might be other discounts at other buildings, but this particular building was named.

Reaction from public school district teachers and other members of the community are unified in disgust:

I was hoping for good things from Gov. Jack Markell’s Downtown Development District. Now to read that his plan will offer discounted mortgages to ONLY charter school teachers? Wow. Wow. Wow. I really don’t know what to say.

 I read about discounted apt. rentals downtown for Charter teachers. I had the same reaction — why not ALL teachers? Or Firefighters, OR Police officers. Very odd!

Not surprised! It’s all part of his master plan….destroy public education/educators. Sad state of affairs!

I’m going to apply at Wilmington Charter since it’s like that 🙈🙉🙊😎

It’s time to have a sit down with all of the candidates for Governor is 2016. We endorsed Markell twice, did we not? Why are we endorsing, and advising our members to vote for these clowns?

This is disgusting. I have no words!

It really is disgusting at this point.

I am wondering why Markell thinks this is okay?

FUBAR beyond belief

Seriously, how is anyone here surprised, or shocked, or outraged? This is what happens when people go along to get along with policymakers who are controlled rigidly by ideology. They do not listen to us, and do only what they want to do. Until we stop giving them our time, our data, and our inability to mobilize and depose them, they will not stop.

I thought it was going to be geared to AmeriCorps people…so Vistas, Public Allies, as well as TFAers. That would’ve been somewhat fine with me – most of those folks make peanuts…to make it charter only is an extremely awkward, unfortunate choice.

Jack the Jerk

sadly, you guys bought the charlatan’s wares

This is shocking. Please remember these subsidies when anyone argues that charter schools operate less expensively than district schools. Teacher housing subsidies are part of their cost, it seems.

It’s another slap in the face to public school teachers.

What a tool…..

This is DoE Gone Wild, plain and simple. LEAs said three years ago that the Delaware Talent Cooperative was a sham program not steeped in research and that it could have a divisive effect in our schools. RCEA soundly rejected DoE’s Talent Coop and our District and Board respected our wishes to stay out of this toxic incentive program.  So this is DoE’s roundabout way of keeping this DOA program chugging along.  They are truly pathetic.

Mr. Markell suffers from Union animus plain and simple

Glad I didn’t help put him in office!

These types of housing programs for teachers are usually in areas where even a modest rental can’t be obtained by them. Is this the case in Wilmington? I seriously doubt it unless Wilmington is the new Boston or Princeton and I’m just clueless!

amazing. i worked incredibly hard as a public school teacher for over 20 years. I stuck it out even though it was not easy. Incredibly rewarding though. This is a shocking move by Markell.

 

Some Michigan Special Education History: A Lesson for All States by Marcie Lipsitt

This was posted on Nancy Bailey’s Education Website today.  This blog covers many special education issues.  When I read what has been going on in Michigan,  I was shocked.  This kind of activity, in any state, needs to be stopped immediately.  Special education is not a money game.  It is not something to be perverted or corrupted.  These are our children.  These are 15-20% of our children if current trends continue.

By Marcie Lipsitt

Michigan once had a proud heritage of believing in the educational rights of our students with disabilities.

But what has transpired over the past 39 years is not worthy of our history books or a wondrous fairy tale of children’s dreams come true. For Michigan’s 200,000 students with an Individualized Education Programs (IEP), it has been a long, treacherous, and disappointing road to what we call a “Free Appropriate Pubic Education.”

One shining moment in this dark and disillusioning history took place on December 11, 2014, but this is just one victory in a sea of losses, and Michigan parents, along with local, state and federal, special education, disability and civil rights organizations, must prepare themselves for what’s to come in 2015 and ahead.

To read more, please go to http://nancyebailey.com/2015/01/22/some-michigan-special-education-history-a-lesson-for-all-states/#comment-256194