How does this impact my tax bill?
The average homeowner will see varying amounts on their bills as the bonds are paid off over 20 years. As existing bonds (from 2003) are paid off, taxpayers will see a decrease in their taxes. With the sale of new bonds for the proposed referendum, tax bills will peak in year 4 with an average increase of $44.10 and by year 20 will decrease $71.47
In 10 more year the bond issued as a result of the last successful Red Clay capital referendum approved by the voters March 6, 2002 will be paid in full. So for the next 10 years Red Clay taxpayers will be carrying two bonds.
How will the district monitor construction and keep the public informed on progress?
Capital expenditures will be reviewed by the district Community Financial Review Committee, which is now in its fourth year of existence. Monthly reports will be posted on the CFRC website. The Facilities Committee will also monitor construction and give quarterly reports to the board and public. District publications will include updates
Capital improvements or not Red Clay does put contract bid notice and approvals on line as part school board agendas. Also, during capital improvements underway Red Clay also post change orders with details to reasons
What happens if the new school question on the ballot does not
The district will be forced to consider other options to address overcrowding at elementary schools, such as adjusting feeder patterns at elementary schools, reconsidering BSS as a K-8 school, removing programs at city schools (Pre-K, Parent Centers, Boost Up, and Small
Code for more portable classroom for the suburban schools and less programs for the city schools. To me this district comment seems like telling the city taxpayers if you don’t vote yes for a new school we’ll get you back. As you see no reference to busing suburban Red Clay students into the empty seats in Wilmington. Yea fire the BSS parents up with that comment! Another way to trump city voters.
Why aren’t you building a bigger school?
Projections show that a 600 seat school will ease overcrowding in the area and accommodate future growth. The land owned by the district, roughly 14 acres, would not support a school much larger than 600 seats. Also, research shows that a 600 student elementary school is ideal.
“The school, which would serve kindergarteners through eighth-graders, would be built off Graves Road if funding is approved through a referendum.”
See this Red Clay backpedaling on new K-8 school, now PreK-5 ? Originally Red Clay wanted the Graves Road school to be K-8 / 90000 sq ft. then backpedaled when it was pointed-out another middle school for the suburbs and still none for the city. So now it’s K-5 at 70,000 sq ft. What the land support is all about smoke and mirrors.
And what about the seats that will come available as a result of this More on the demise Red Clay’s Lewis schools dual-language program
Back in 2007 the Red Clay community was at an all time low in the trust factor of the district re: financial meltdown. The taxpayers had to step-up with a “operational” referendum and bailout the financial mismanagement of the district. However the community reshaped the school board and former super retired. Taxpayers shouldn’t be in the business of wiping the asses of failed leadership.
We need to maintain our existing schools and though they are aging the fact remains since build each school have received repairs, expansion and upgrades along the way. Proper preventative maintenance helps stretch the life of equipment such as boilers. I doubt we’ll ever agree to knock existing buildings down and rebuild but we must agree to maintain what we have. As far as a new additional school, I question this move. We forget though this capital referendum wants to build a new school on Graves Road we are forgetting the “operational” financial pressure that will be needed to support that school, just as with Brandywine and North Star Elementary. From an operational perspective Red Clay is moving towards deficit spending which had increased do to Markell’s state budget cuts. If this new school is built it means an “operational” referendum will be sooner than later. Sorry if students must be bused in to Wilmington elementary schools but city middle and high school resident students have been bused for years. Perhaps the best solution for the Hockessin / Pike Creek area is a charter school. This gives them a community school and takes pressure off of Red Clay who appears to lack capacity to manage school Choice and building capacities.
Historically Red Clay referendums don’t pass the first round. With Brandywine Springs it actually failed twice and was never approved by the voters. The district got “creative” in funding Brandywine Springs and you see how Red Clay creativity caused a financial meltdown. North Star took two votes after a bitter battle within the community. In the end it’s always the more involved affluent people who win and more power to them. Every community rich and poor can have equal voice if they use it! The civil rights movement wasn’t started by the affluent and those who think equality has arrived need to get a reality check. Building Camelot schools for some and keeping others on the bus wasn’t part of the promise. Perhaps its time to cut Wilmington four school districts into two or one school district for New Castle County with Choice transportation for all students
If Red Clay were to go with a referendum addressing the capital needs of existing schools without the Trojan Horse (Graves Road School) it might be in a better position. So if the referendum fails twice perhaps lets blame the district administration. If they care about kids perhaps they should have used better logic when asking for more funds. Many in the community are hurting and let’s not forget businesses pay school taxes and renters pay school taxes through their rent. Did Red Clay administrators get wage increases at the same time mangers in business were laid of or forced to take a 10% pay cut?
Perhaps let’s think of what we have to prevent greater cost. I glad the vote is a two part question. Maybe don’t destroy what we have but question what we might not need right yet.
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