Markell strikes a match to Red Clay as the super says nothing!

Wilmington school redistricting gets underway Matthew Albright, The News Journal

The redistricting of Wilmington’s schools is officially underway after Gov. Jack Markell signed two bills into law Tuesday morning.

One new law grants the State Board of Education the authority to re-draw district lines, removing the Christina and Colonial school districts from the city and giving their schools and students to the Red Clay School District.

The second law created the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission, a group of school, city and community leaders that will work out a plan for how to make the transition smoothly. The change won’t take place immediately, and the General Assembly must sign off on any redistricting plan before it happens.

Giving the politically appointed State Board of Education members such power is dangerous.

I am all for a solution to address the disparities in all high poverty schools. However, handing-over Wilmington’s poorest schools to Red Clay is an insult to poor minority children. I’d rather see a county-wide school district.

So now the Red Clay school board can play the Super’s card, “our hands are tied.” I just love the photo of this event! There they are, the Red Clay bigwigs  getting their mug in the picture.

Hear well, Red Clay will fold in upon itself! But on the bright side, The Red Clay Wilmington Campus will revert back to a rational school.  

Needs based funding is the real solution not another Markell plan!   


9 responses to “Markell strikes a match to Red Clay as the super says nothing!

  1. Moving deck chairs from the Titanic to the Lusitania…


  2. Publius e decere

    The state’s “education reputation” will turn on the outcome. We’ve already affected (infringed) that reputation by selectively removing the referendum (choice) of the people in this action. We already have scores of people who work here but chose to live in PA based in large part on education issues. How many more such defections will we have when this process concludes?

    Pyrrhic victories are just that.



    • “Needs based funding is the real solution ….”- No it is not. Sorry Kilroy.

      Would Red Clay residents have approved their referendum if they knew they would be footing the new transfer payments? Do not confuse this issue: the redistricting is not simply moving the chairs or the vessel but WHO is paying for the voyage. Therein is the problem, you can’t tax people into prosperity or superior education. Sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.

      Shouldn’t the acceptance of the plan, at the district level, be a referendum worthy decision unto itself above and beyond normal district business?

      Would Christina have needed some of its referendum revenues if the district / residents had known the redistricting would create a “net positive” in revenue? (building maintenance, employee costs, transportation costs all reduced)

      Would CSD residents have supported the referendum if they knew before hand that one of the key issues hurting the dis-contiguous district would be addressed in a way that may make the district more of a community district rather than a court ordered geographic social experiment.


  3. Who are the Red Clay Community leaders who are involved?


  4. Does this plan require approval from Red Clay?


  5. Since Christina failed at 2 referenda that would have provided extra funds for these schools, how will they now be funded?


    • Publius e decere

      The tax rates for Current Expense in the affected districts are:

      $1.426 in Red Clay after successful Referendum
      $1.420 in Christina after failed Referenda
      $1.206 in Colonial (FY2015 rate)

      The affected Wilmington property owners will be paying the same (CSD to RC) or more (COL to RC) in taxes. Unless the property owners balk at the district switch and prevail in their dissent, they will also be paying Red Clay’s baked in increases next year — and further more again the year after. The ficuciaries will sort out the proper split of debt service. No apparent reasons to think the Match or Tuition taxes are structurally different between Red Clay Wilmington and Christina/Colonial Wilmington. So Red Clay, already having the highest Current Expense tax rate among the three districts, will not be hurt on income — and if they go for a repeal of Equalization they can see further gains to net cash flow.

      The short-sightedness in all of this the exclusion of Brandywine from the mix. I guess they don’t mind political selectivity when it benefits them.



  6. Are there more questions than answers about this plan?


  7. How are they going to keep the community informed of all the questions and answers. Lots of questions