As Red Clay and Christina’s School Boards spin their wheels in the mud re: merger of Wilmington’s Christina schools into Red Clay. We are forgetting the big picture. We’re not talking just Christina schools, we’re talking all K-12 Red Clay and Christina students living in the city of Wilmington. We’re talking 800 high school age students Red Clay would have to absorb! It won’t happen overnight. Christina students still in “Christina” high schools can elect to stay. However, 8th grade students heading to high school “will” be assigned a Red Clay high school. Yes, those student can Choice into Christina. But forget about transportation. More poor parents without reliable transportation will be locked out of choice. And do make note, the rule will apply to siblings!
Red Clay does not have the space to absorbs 800 high school student and any notion to disperse 800 students into McKean, Dickinson and A.I. high schools causing Wilmington students to be “bused” might provoke concerns question Red Clay’s DE DOE Neighborhood Schools Plan. And for sure the will be the need for legal review of Red Clay’s Neighborhood School Plan.
In comes Charter School of Wilmington! Per the laws governing Delaware public schools under charter schools, traditional schools district “must” lease unused space to charter schools. Currently CSW is leasing unused space at “Red Clay’s Wilmington Campus aka the old Wilmington High School. If the merger goes through that space will be “needed” to avoid excess busing of Red Clay’s new high school students obtained via the merger with Christina. Technically the space would no be surplus as it “will” be needed.
There is another dilemma many aren’t seeing! With added Christina’s “Wilmington” K-12 students Red Clay in-district choice school student pool will be bigger. Its my opinion Red Clay will be forced to hold more students to their Red Clay feeder-pattern to make room for the influx of Wilmington middle and high school students. And also, even new acquired elementary students may want to take advantage of school choice to get out Wilmington school setting. Tempers WILL flare!
I foresee federal court intervention based on concerns of civil rights infringements. Surely there will be a community push to keep minorities in their city school settings and when the Red Clay school choice process gets strangled, guess who is going to yell foul? Suburban parents!
I hope the powers to be at CSW are watching Red Clay and Christina navigate through this social crisis. The “surplus” space the current CSW leases will no longer be “surplus”.
Folks call me all the names you want even nut job! But remember who warned you about Race to The Top, Common Core Standards and the Smarter Balance Assessment. I know the Red Clay community and I am telling you, the ugly will come out! The there is Red Clay’s lack of capacity to serve Christina’s most neediest student when Red ClaY struggles to serve their own.