WDDE 91.1 FM trumps NJ Jimmy Olsen’s charter school enrollment fiasco! Copeland tries to rescue! J. Young poking eyes @dedeptofed @destateboarded #netde #edude ed_in_de

Some new Delaware charter schools face enrollment challenges By Larry Nagengast / WDDE 91.1 FM April 25, 2014

Two charter schools due to open in Wilmington for the 2014-15 academic year face significant enrollment shortfalls that jeopardize their chances of opening on schedule.

One of the schools, Academia Antonia Alonso, could see its charter revoked without ever opening because it has already used up the one-year delay in its scheduled launch that is permitted under state law.

I am sure they have a topnotch lawyer with some political pull to bail them out.

According to Jennifer Nagourney, director of the Charter Schools Office in the State Department of Education, the state board has three options: impose remedial measures on the schools, revoke their charters, or allow them to open as planned

Forgot number four, do what Governor Markell directs you to do! 

As of April 1, Academia Antonia Alonso reported an enrollment of 85 students, only 28.3 percent of its authorized enrollment of 300 students for kindergarten and first grade, while Delaware MET reported an enrollment of 84 students, or 31.8 percent of its authorized enrollment of 264 students for grades 9 and 10. The state’s charter school law requires that charters have, as of April 1, a confirmed enrollment of at least 80 percent of its authorized enrollment for the upcoming school year

85 students ???? WTF? What is the preference, DNA match to the Queen of England ?  MET 84 ? You got to be kidding! Don’t tell me the Charter Schools Network was heading up recruitment marketing! Maybe so of the poor parents couldn’t make the connection between student to customers on the ad lit. 

Another charter school scheduled to open in Wilmington, the Design-Lab High School, was listed on last week’s state board meeting as a candidate for being placed on formal review. Before the meeting, however, the school’s leaders requested permission to delay its opening until the 2015-16 school year.

Enrollments were also a concern for Design-Lab, which had 80 students registered as of April 1, well short of its target of 300.

That’s the ticket, stick you tail up your ass and run for a cover!

A charter school already operating in Wilmington that has already experienced enrollment woes, the New Moyer Academy, did receive approval last week from the state board to reduce its enrollment targets for next year from 455 students to 265

Of course Moyer got accommodated! Gotta keep the lid on that mess until Markell is out of office! Did you hear about Moyer’s Spec Ed investigation? Under-seal!  

Charlie Copeland, chairman of the board of the Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security, a charter school in New Castle and a longtime advocate for charters, attributes the schools’ enrollment shortfalls to weaknesses in their marketing campaigns.

No charlie ! Pure failure of board leadership! Somebody needs to trim the uni-brow and wake-up and stop playing musical $$$ charter schools! Damn Charlie isn’t there a good printing company out there that can help with recruitment ad distribution?

Copeland said he knew from his experiences with the public safety charter, which opened in 2011, that “the number one issue would be student recruitment.” He recalled that the school originally planned to open with 800 students, then lowered that target to 480 and asked the state for permission to delay its scheduled opening from 2010 to 2011. Even with the reduced target and delayed opening, the school did not meet its enrollment projections in its first year.

“Nobody knows your name, you have no track record, and most likely the educator you have put in charge doesn’t know a lot about marketing,” he said.

And it helps having the First National Bank of Kin-Folk providing in-house loans 😉 “Board action: A motion was made and duly seconded to approve a private loan to the school to function as a Line of Credit of up to $200,000. The interest rate is at the federal government mandated minimum interest rate. The note expires 6/2013 and needs to be repaid during the 2013-2014 fiscal school year.” Name note even revealed in “Audit for FY2013 Note J RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS In November 2012, the School entered into a grid note payable to a related party. The loan is payable in full on June 30, 2014, plus accrued interest at a rate of 5.00%. At June 30, 2013, the outstanding balance due was $200,000. Accrued interest at June 30, 2013, was $2,813″.

Unfortunately, Copeland said, operators of new charters “still haven’t learned the lesson” of the importance of marketing and recruiting. 

And perhaps running to the Kin-folks for $$$ relief. I wonder, is the 5% interest taxed as normal income or a non-profit contributions.   

Charlie none of the traditional school district have their superintendent or CFO appointed “chair” of the legally required Citizen Budget Oversight Committee! Where is the firewall? I think your CBOC report minutes should indicate titles next to members names. I see many of the names listed who are also school employees. “Oversight committees shall have representation from parents, educators, and taxpayers residing in each of the public school districts, provided that in the case of charter schools membership on oversight committees shall consist of parents of students enrolled in the charter school, educators at the charter school, and representatives of the Delaware Department of Education”. My bad I see DE DOE is required to have a representative at the table! I feel more comfortable! Charlie, just a suggesting here, perhaps Rep Hudson might like to sit on your school’s CBOC. She’s not doing much down legislative hall. 

John Young, a member of the Christina Board of Education, pointed to another factor that may be contributing to the low enrollments. “The recent failure of two charters has created an aura of instability that has impacted the ability of other charters to attract new students,” he said.

Come on Young! Copeland a longtime advocate for charters knows his stuff 😉

The new charters, Young said, “will bear the burden of that legacy. Now there’s some fear in the marketplace.” 

Yep the other charters competitiveness promotes a dog eat dog world! But with Debbie in Dover and Charlie hosing down his money with poly (1,1,2,2-tetrafluoroethylene), their finger prints don’t stick.

Kendall Massett, executive director of the Delaware Charter Schools Network, an advocacy group for charters, said the network promotes sharing among its members but it is up to individual schools to decide whether they will offer information about students on waiting lists to operators of schools that have vacancies.

And here lies the big problem, Baldwin’s Frankenstein! She couldn’t book a hotel to capacity and certainly that translate to wrong person trying to help fill seats in new charter schools. There is you marketing breakdown Charlie! Better fix it soon! 

So where is Publius? Head buried in the sand somewhere? 

9 responses to “WDDE 91.1 FM trumps NJ Jimmy Olsen’s charter school enrollment fiasco! Copeland tries to rescue! J. Young poking eyes @dedeptofed @destateboarded #netde #edude ed_in_de

  1. As you can see Mr. Copeland and I agree 100% about marketing impact. I am merely pointing to the reason the marketing may be failing.


    • kilroysdelaware

      Yep! Marketing! Delaware Charter Schools Network is doing a piss poor job! I doubt she physically went to the neighborhoods, community meetings and church meetings. Then there is the knife she put in Reach’s back! But Don’t let Copeland full you, he has a crutch to lean on! Yep other charters have lessons to learn! Copeland school is shaping up but he’s not the change agent! Again. the big blunder in the Charter Schools Network! Doing Reach dirty harmed “children” and parents didn’t like to see one of the school vendors coming out and doing that aka trashing Reach in the media!


    • You can market poop all you like, but no one is going to buy it… unless they are there in the market for poop….

      Charter Schools hurt kids. No parent wants to send their child to a charter school.


  2. Pretty sure both of those schools (Academia and MET) have Innovative Schools as their management company thus it seems that perhaps Innovative is not doing their contracted duty in advertisement. Don’t think it’s the network’s job to promote enrollment at individual schools that should be their board and management company.


  3. MHS – I don’t think IS is a management company… more of a marketing firm devised to guide them through the DOE security checkpoints. Regardless, you are right – doesn’t look like IS did their job.


    • They used to just do that type of work as well as manage financial back office stuff for schools but about a year ago they transitioned to a full charter management organization. They even got over a million dollar grant from the Feds last year to help with charter start up and expansion. These two schools would be the first to open in DE with innovative schools as their CMO.


    • kilroysdelaware

      yep Innovative Schools is a management company and The Charter Schools Network of Delaware is more on the marketing end. But it all comes back to the charter board of directors!


  4. Marketing/schmarketing – a a charter has to do is hang a shingle and people flock to your doors!!!!! Duh


    • Maybe Publius would like to adjust his theory that parents are demanding charters?

      A charter that anyone can get into just doesn’t have the same snob appeal – which appears to be necessary for a charter’s “success.”

      I think these smaller charters are learning a hard lesson: the state’s funding largesse opened by HB 165 was intended only for the existing premium charters.