Not a good year for charter schools in Delaware! Yep another one! H.B.# 357

147th General Assembly
House Bill # 357

Primary Sponsor:



Reps. Bolden, J. Johnson, Keeley

Introduced on :


Long Title:


Synopsis of Orginal Bill:

(without Amendments)

This bill requires that all charter school applications are first submitted to the local school board. If the school board denies the application, the applicant may then request that the Department of Education consider its application.

Current Status:

House Education Committee   On   05/29/2014

Full text of Legislation: 

(in HTML format)


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Looking back at the 2014 school year, I think it’s safe to say the Charter Schools Network of Delaware has been a hindrance in starting new charter schools. Three charter schools set to open fall 2014 couldn’t even mustard 30% of approved enrollment. This might be good for those outright opposing charter schools but no good for that Choice options parents demand. Actually the inability of these three charter schools not being able to fills seat may have an underlying message. Perhaps the demand is artificial. The Charter Schools Network of Delaware’s cheap shot a Reach Academy demonstrates weak organizational structure. Charter schools aren’t motels and parents aren’t guest! Parents are “owners” of their public schools. The are not to be businesses like motels! They are public service organizations!

No matter how we cut it, there are impacts on local school district and duplication of programs via charter schools is counter productive and harmful to Delaware’s “public school” system.

Publius, when are we going to hear some recordings of charter school board meetings like the amazing one from Christina School District? Dude, the charter queen needs to be dethroned!     

7 responses to “Not a good year for charter schools in Delaware! Yep another one! H.B.# 357

  1. This is very interesting. I assume it wouldn’t start until the 2015-2016 year, if the bill even passes. This would change the playing field quite a bit. The DOE would have to start a whole new department to go over all those applications.


  2. La Academia currently has 265 students enrolled.


  3. Mage, not necessarily. Their current Charter School posse would go over the ones a district passed onward…

    But since Charter schools disrupt an entire district, it makes sense that a district gets first dibs on yea or nay…

    If one can’t get his charter supported by a local district, it is a good thing for all people that it does not go forward.

    This just means that instead of applying to the state directly, one applies to the district first, and the district forwards it to the state. It is no different than a Human Resource Manager performing the initial interview then passing the ones who passed, up to the company’s head…

    That way a district can tie future referendums with potential charter schools, instead of the current method, where a district is surprised by a new charter and then has to scramble to make surprise cuts, and then offer a surprise referendum….

    It is common sense to plan ahead and this bill is a no-brainer…….


  4. Steven Fackenthall

    Why would the bill allow an option for it to go to DOE if it doesn’t pass at the local? If it doesn’t pass, isn’t there a message being sent so DOE can overrule the local just like it does with everything else?


    • kilroysdelaware

      Steve, currently the only way traditional school district can weigh-in is through the “public meeting” process of a charter school application process. The district concerns which are in writing are dumped in with public comments. I think the intent of this law is to add the district’s rejection of a charter application as “negative impact” to the district. The charter school application process needs to change to add serious review on impact on local school district whereas duplication of things like STEM isn’t innovated enough to justify a charter school. Once the discriminatory aspects of the charter school legislation aka “specific interest” cherry picking BS is eliminated charter schools will better mirror diversity and needs of students of traditional public schools! But yep! You are correct, DE DOE can overrule local districts. Just makes sense to add a real impact study to current application process.


    • Kilroy,
      SB209 is establishing a formal use and review of impact. This bill would counteract that effort which was in my opinion a positive step forward.
      This bill riddled with so many inconsistencies and contradictions with requirements for reviewing charters and if reviewed with all of the other requirements and language in law should have been flagged by any competent attorney as unable to be truly enforced as it’s written. Rep. Kowalko should have done his homework more if he really wanted to make such a change work and be enforceable but apparently he was less concerned with making a bill actually actionable and more concerned with getting it filed.


  5. Should we be talking about what’s best for the children?