I said this in an E-mail to Red Clay’s school board on November 20, 2008
“I request this; At next months board meeting the board vote on a three year moratorium on no more charter schools chartered by Red Clay. Meaning the board will not review any new charter application. Three years will be plenty of time for the board to really sort out personal views and what is in the best interest of the Red Clay community in regards to charter schools”.
Notice I was requesting a three year moratorium on charter schools chartered by Red Clay and as to why!
So fast-forward 4 years from this E-mail. Is Red Clay school board competent enough to review charter school applications without bias pro or con to the issues of charter schools as it relates to social debated? I have my reservations! Should the emphasis be om what positive impact a new charter can bring to the “Red Clay” community? That’s where I am at!
Red Clay isn’t forthcoming on the conditions at Delaware College Preparatory Academy and their recent vote to put this charter on probation came without a public meeting within the guidelines of the state aka DE DOE follows. But I’ll admit DE DOE is in over it’s head. So I am saying Red Clay could have followed better protocol in due process allowing the public and parents of this school to weigh in during an open public process.
When Red Clay administration and board members can say we’re ready to explore more charter schools and leave our personal views pro and con at the door perhaps they may be ready.
Charter schools do have negative financial impact on Red Clay in two ways. One a direct loss of revenues as they follow the students to charters and two properties charters secure via purchase taxes are exempt from local school taxes taking more money out of the district and there is a third! School buildings must be heated and are impacted by other utilities cost no matter how many students are within. Revenues generated per student within have a cost factor in building operations. School under opacity have a greater cost operating. You get the point!
New Red Clay charter schools must give all Red Clay resident students total preference even to the extent of 100% Red Clay students. Also, no specific interest to the extent students must take an entrance type test! No peeking at grades or test scores of applicants. Schools need to adapt to the needs of all student, not students fitting the needs of the school. Five mile preference or more nothing less. Board of directors of other charters school in or out of Red Clay prohibited from serving on new Red Clay charter schools. Parent board representative on the board must be voted on by parents of students within. All public sessions of board of director meeting be recorded and put on the charter school’s webpage within 7 days of meeting (this rule needs to apply to existing Red Clay charter schools re: charter renewal). Am I being too harsh! Hell no! All Red Clay schools re: Choice, chartered by Red Clay or magnet schools should be required to give Red Clay residents first preference until filled to capacity and then to out of district students. Also, no sibling preferences to out of district families unless filled to capacity by Red Clay residents. Red Clay charter school charted by Red Clay must be about meeting the needs of Red Clay resident students first. Finally Red Clay administration and board not permitted on organization supportive of advancing charter schools or funding charter schools.