Victory in Brandywine re: referendum!But still changes in school funding needed

Brandywine referendum passes in landslide , The News Journal

The Brandywine School District referendum passed by a wide margin on Tuesday night.

Over 9,500 residents voted for the referendum with 5,780 voting against it, according to unofficial results from the New Castle County Department of Elections.

Total voter turnout dwarfed the roughly 7,600 who cast ballots in the March referendum, which failed to pass by a slim margin.

“We have a very strong school district,” said Superintendent Mark Holodick on Tuesday night after the results came in.

I am glad to see the Brandywine community come out and support “their” children! However, the time has come to end the referendum process and fund all Delaware public schools like votechs via legislation. 

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10 responses to “Victory in Brandywine re: referendum!But still changes in school funding needed

  1. As long as referenda keep passing, the system for funding schools will not change. Why would a legislature stick its neck out, when the public takes on the responsibility itself?

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  2. Districts should publish a full audit prepared by an independent private sector auditor in the newspaper before every referendum. 2nd, they should only get one vote per year. The practice of asking for moon shot funding first, then just ask for an all inclusive ocean voyage funding is simply a game. If residents are satisfied with the district operation, the referendum is an affirmation. If it fails, it is a message. Trouble is that the message is always dumbed down.

    CSD recently had 400 people vote for school board personnel. Out of approx. 10000 residents. CSD failed two referendum and upon the 3rd attempt in 2 years passed with 140 votes? The immediate response was to hire 70-80 people who were considered unnecessary, hire a consultant for 40k and begin a nationwide search $$$$ for another super who will require 150k-225k. Was the lesson of financial frugality acknowledged?
    They are now requesting residents to offer input into what the classroom environment should be? Head meet wall. The environment should be a learning environment. Dysfunctional behavioral misconduct (fighting and assault, verbal assault, educational defiance) has no place in the environment to learn. Remove them from the environment until they can function there without a plethora of IEP’s, 504’s and accommodations that absorb huge portions of the districts resources. IF JEA and the FEDS don’t like it. TELL THEM TO COUGH UP THE CRISIS COUNSELORS, BEHAVIORAL SCIENTISTS, SOCIAL ENGINEERS AND MONEY TO DO IT!!!! Society (taxpayers) are not deep pockets. The services of education should serve the majority while protecting minority rights. Minority groups (all kinds not necessarily racial) do not have the right to deny the majority an education.

    Referendums should not be socialist redistribution mechanisms.

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  3. Publius e decere

    Referendums are in theory a direct voice of the residents. The main problem with them is extremely low turnout which concentrates power in the hands of a minority. The principle of direct voice should be preserved, but made meaningful for the majority — those without a pecuniary interest in the money. The WEIC suggestion that referendums be eliminated should be wholly rejected.

    A few simple revisions are worth enacting to preserve transparency and accountability:
    .. No more than one school tax referendum per year
    .. Shorter terms for board members — three years per term.
    .. Legal provisions for the public to recall school board members.
    .. Publish annually a 15-year history of the total school tax and each tax component (operating, capital, match, tuition) versus the published CPI for goods and services.
    .. Publish annually the total $ expenditures at each individual school plus the district office. It should all add up to the total for the district.
    .. Require each district to undergo an individual annual third-party audit. The CAFR is not informative at a district level.
    .. All elections for school boards and their referendums should be held well-outside of school premises. If that is not practical, then holding elections on school premises should be done on a day which is not a school day, not an in-service day, no employees are required to attend the premises for work or any other compulsory event, and ALL school, student and public activities (other than the election itself) on premises should be completely barred that day without exception. Completely.

    The above measures will give everyone more information about how much is spent, where it is spent, a reasonably fair election, and a chance to remove board members before they can do real damage.

    Publius

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  4. The school boards and the superintendents/administrators need to learn how to cut budgets, tighten their belts and not threaten to cut teachers and services, every time they want money. They have to use “their own education”, to think of better ways to improve education, with less money. If they can’t come up with better solutions, maybe they should not be in that role!!!

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    • Publius e decere

      “Think of better ways to improve education with less money”

      Agree completely. Focus on outcomes, measure effectiveness, and stay on mission. Gratuitous facilities are not mission-necessary, and gratuitous inefficient use of faculty and facilities is not mission-necessary. Argumentative, ideologic and pugilistic stances from some board members are also not necessary and are clearly counterproductive.

      The main problem is ineffective boards .. They do not apply sufficient rigor to their purpose. They must set goals, hold the district superintendent accountable, and act when goals are not met. The formula is clear, and we might have to break some eggs to make the omelet. But no one (other than the Delaware State Eggshell Association) cares about egg shells, the rest of us care about the quality of the omelet. If it isn’t for a good omelet, it’s compost.

      Publius

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    • Publius e decere

      ” — on ne saurait faire d’omelette sans casser des œufs — ”

      “Frenchy” Publius

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  5. lastDEconservative

    And someone remind me again why the prisons shouldn’t be likewise scrutinized and funded, or the DelawareLand Security Dept., or DelDOT, or, or, or, or …

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  6. Pretty simple. The community wants schools to focus on teaching, not superfluous and unnecessary things. But then again the schools know this so throw 150% of the want against the wall and when it gets shot down happily walk away with 125% of it

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  7. Jack Wells

    This year sp needs children represented 14.60% of our students, these special needs children earned 33.77% of all Div. I Regular and Special Needs units. These units earned Academic Excellence Units and related service units.

    Since all these units/positions are funded from Local Tuition Tax Revenue and the board can raised without a referendum, should the information provided as justification for an increase in current operation revenue exclude units/positions funded from local Tuition Tax?

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