Are Delaware state legislators intruding on fair and equitable funding of traditional public schools as they give votech schools a free meal-ticket?

I’ve written about how Delaware voctech schools are funded via legislative action and how traditional public school are forced to hold referendums for local share. Keep in mind the state legislators set “local” school tax rates for votechs.   

Now before we get into the charter school argument let’s be clear. Traditional school districts are required to pass about 80% of operational local share of taxes to charter schools within the bounds of their district.  When local operational taxes go up via referendum charters get a $ bump. Charters do not receive major capital funding whereas, traditional school districts are required to go to referendum. The only charter school in the state of Delaware that receives capital funding is Charter School Of Wilmington. However, that capital funding is pass through in the modernization of Red Clay School District’s “Wilmington Campus” that houses Cab Calloway ( Red Clay magnet school) and Charter School of Wilmington ( a Red Clay chartered school). HOWEVER CSW is a Red Clay school whereas the Red Clay board has a say in things like admission preference. But we’ll end this conversation here. But charter schools are permitted to use operational funding for capital funding. 

Back to how votechs and traditional public schools are funded. The concerns with fair and equitable funding is, votechs have a free flow of funding that is meeting their needs whereas, school district are at the mercy of the local taxpayer’s vote.

We hear about all this courage needed for the sake of children but wouldn’t it show real courage if the legislators set local school tax rates like they do for votechs for traditional public schools?

The has come to address the real equality issues negatively impacting public education particularly our most vulnerable children, at-risk children. 

We hear all about need-based or weighed-funding of public schools but we kick the can down the road. We’ve seen more community meetings, task-forces and Rodel like kool-aid fests the needed. We’ve kicked the can so far down the road it finally hit a brick-wall and balanced off our heads.

My only problem moving forward to radically changing how we fund our public schools is Governor Jack Markell’s involvement. We need a leader or leaders who understand local control and the negative impact of federal and state overreaching intrusion. The bottom-line is, it’s time to put an end to the referendum process and demand our state legislators take action to what’s best for our children in a fair and equitable way.             


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