Lawsuit: Delaware schools are leaving children in poverty behind
GIVING STUDENTS AND TEACHERS THE SUPPORT THEY NEED TAKES MONEY, AND A LAWSUIT FILED BY TWO CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS DEMANDS THE STATE CHANGE HOW IT FUNDS EDUCATION. Jessica Bies
Clearly, Christina School District doesn’t have enough resources to support students struggling with mental or behavioral problems, Antwi said. She thinks the school does the best with what it has, but there just isn’t enough money.
And what services is DSCYF providing? Delaware pubic schools have become nursemaids for failed state services. Mental health issues among children children are often associated with dysfunctional. Public school teachers are trained and certified education not mental health. Giving public schools more money isn’t the answer. Monies taking out of school budgets to address mental-health needs is wrong and misguided. The are a level of behavioral issues school can deal with but when it extends identifiable mental-health diagnoses such as Conduct Disorder or Opposition Defiant Disorder school don’t have the capacity to provide “treatment”. School guidance counselors though not trained mental-health providers have been hijacked by building administration to perform other duties. School guidance counselor shouldn’t be acting as career counselors.
Jeffers Brown, her son’s principal, pointed to several workshops that teach staff how to cope with students’ emotional and behavioral issues.
Wasted workshops ! Training teachers how to “cope” isn’t providing treatment for students.
The lawsuit, similar to ones filed in 45 states, seeks to have more money given to schools with large numbers of low-income students, special education students and English language learners.
That funding would allow school districts like Christina to invest in tools that could help those students succeed, as districts in New Jersey now do. And it could keep experienced teachers from fleeing jobs in those schools that can be overwhelmingly stressful.
Now we come to Title 1 funding. Federal Title 1 funding meant for supplementing reading programs has also been hijacked. With FlexEd and the rewrite of ESEA aka NCLB school superintendents can “creatively” dip into the Title 1 $$$ pot.
According to the lawsuit, funding inequities harm students from low-income families, students with disabilities and students who are learning English. Schools struggle to hire specialists who can help them, and test scores for disadvantaged students are far below state standards set by the Delaware Department of Education in its new Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, plan.
The test scores are skewed and invalid. Last year’s Delaware high school graduates was a generation of students who endure radical standardizing testing and curriculum standard changes from DSTP, DCAS and no the Smarter Balance Assessment with pilot test in-between.
“There’s this perception that these kids come from a poor community and that their parents don’t care,” she said, making it clear that she would do anything possible to help her son succeed. “But where you live doesn’t define who you are.”
Sadly , low-income parents often lack the education skills to effectively help their children with their homework. Also, low-income parents have little voice in being part of the decision-making team in their child’s school. Way back, William “Hicks” Anderson knocked-down doors that let the way to the National Coalition of Title 1 / Chapter 1 Parents all having state level chapters. Many of the Title 1 parents were members in the now defunct Delaware State Parent Advisory Committee. Governor Markell defunded DSPAC to pave the way Race to The Top. Under federal law aka Title 1 Section 1118 Title 1 parents were required to be parent of decision-making of academic programming and services as it related to Title 1 programs. The rewrite of ESEA aka NCLB is now Every Student Succeeds Act,( ESSA) eliminated Section 1118 giving Title 1 that unique “power”. In fact Race to The Top was illegal because it didn’t comply with Section 1118 that was still federal law. But Governor Markell was successful in getting waivers to this provision
In comes DSEA! This in not a pot-shot at classroom teachers! Its a pot-shot at DSEA leadership who jumped in the Race to The Top bed with Governor Markell and Skipper of Vision 2015 Rodel nut-jobs. No one engaged Title 1 parents for their weigh-in! I won’t go into the “limo deal”.
DSEA current leadership has shifted to an ultra-political organization taking in part of undermining President Trump way beyond his position on education. Sadly paid positions paid by many classroom teachers via dues aren’t focused on the micro fibers of whats really going on with the needs children of poverty.
At the end of the day, wonderful public school classroom teachers endure the burden of being labeled failures for failed administrators who have their heads up the political asses, ill-equipped union leaders who gravitate towards the call of their mother-ship. Classroom teachers and parents of at-risk students are in the same forgotten boat. If classroom teachers and parents of at-risk parents are able to sit-down with a non-union , political or administration script we might see a pathway to addressing the real needs.
The Education Department had no comment on the case. Gov. John Carney’s office pointed to new investments outlined in his proposed 2018 budget and said they will give students more support.