Delaware’s Education Dollars

Tonight myself and other school board members from the State’s 19 districts met with our Secretary of Education and the State Board to discuss DPAS II and the 2008 Budget. First, DPAS II is complicated compromise between the State DOE and the teachers’ unions for performance assessments. The problem I have with DPAS is that it does not address the issue of how to remove tenured teachers who play the system, and who are protected by the unions. Also what happens when we ask these teachers to meet these requirements, and then they think why am I “busting my behind” with these assessments for in this low paying district? Next thing we have highly qualified teachers jumping ship for green pastures, and poorer districts are back to playing “Oliver” asking for “more soup sir” at the State trough.
But guess what need not ask for the money from the 2008 budget because there is no money. One of the biggest shortfalls is in the Capital Budget where DOE asked for $110million, and received only $98million. $85 million for ongoing projects from last year, $7.4million minor cap funds, and only $5million for new capital project! So the question came from all sides as to why our State would approve Districts going to referendum when it knows that it has no money to support the District? We were told that the State plans for this and allows ~5% inflation yearly in the funding, but last time I looked prices were climbing on almost everything faster then 5%! The bottomline and the final comment I heard from most attendies was that the only way the State is going to be able to raise the funding is to first reassess to state, and raise taxes. Both of these things are not something anyone in the State is wanting to hear, and the last thing our lame legislators are willing to deal with because its political suicide!

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About Gary M Wolfe

The Author spent 10 years as a member of the Milford Delaware Board Of Education, and is currently seeking the 18th Senatorial seat in the Delaware Legislature.
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