The Red Clay school board voted unanimously to submit its choice-based Neighborhood Schools Act plan to the state Board of Education with the apparent expectation that it will require General Assembly support to implement. The earliest it could go into effect is September, 2003.
Another provison calls for “state-funded transportation” for ‘choice’ students. The state’s public school choice law presently requires that students not attending the school to which they are assigned using traditional attendance zones must provide their own transportation. Red Clay pays for some, but not all, such transportation with local funds.
Board president William Manning said a choice program is “meaningless” without a transportation component because, as a practical matter, poorer students are unable to take advantage of it.
I’ll repeat my contention that to reduce de facto segregation in Red Clay our legislators must provide Choice transportation funding for Wilmington Red Clay students to level the equity field. Also, give Red Clay city middle and high school students first choice of suburban middle and high schools student over in-district suburban students and siblings with accommodating transportation.
And the Don goes on to say;
Manning said he finds it ironic that people are objecting to the district’s choice arrangement on the grounds that it will foster racial resegregation. Inability to attend schools where they wanted their children to go was the underlying motive for black parents to file the suits which led to both the desegregation of Delaware public schools and the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, he noted.
“What surprises me is criticism which now said giving people a choice is a bad thing,” he said.
So now we’re at a point where Christina’s city schools are being “forced” on Red Clay. No court yet but at the hands of Governor Markell and city leaders who are creating their own stoical justice. For the record, there is no re-segregation of public schools in Delaware because of school Choice law even and the Neighborhood Schools Act. What we have is “de facto” segregation due to the inequities in Choice transportation. One must ask, why do Red Clay’s two magnet schools receive transportation funding if both those schools are “all choice”. meaning no feeder-pattern?
Fair warning to Red Clay school board, as you see our state legislators created Choice schools that left an equity divide and you can bet the farm Red Clay will be holding the $$$$$$$$$ bag on taking-over Christina city schools!