Lowery calls for merging services | delawareonline | The News Journal

Well the talk has started again for consolidation of school districts in the state as the handpicked representative of Vision 2015 is looking at starting with Human Resources. So my first question is does this mean that the state and DSEA will sit down to negotiate contracts at the county level? In addition, I see no mention of “leveling up” in the article in the News Journal, which to me would be something that would have to happen in order to make things equitable for all staff. The article goes on to state clearly that it is not clear whether this consolidation would have any savings value.
If the secretary and Governor want to see a savings in education, there are a couple of areas they could start with:
1. Find a state assessment system that actually gives feedback in real time to schools so they can address accountability.
2. Look at statewide curriculum and set a standard that focuses on ALL students not just those who want to go to college.
3. How about offering real vocational education to those students who do not want college, instead of our current comprehensive Vo-techs that service fewer students, but spend more per student!
4. Want consolidation ideas how about one district office for both Vocational in Kent & Sussex instead of duplicate $100k staffs at each?
5. Lastly, how about the consolidation of staff positions at DOE, which to use corporate terms is a top-heavy overhead cost, which is providing little to the bottom line!

A couple of other bloggers mentioned House Resolution #54 that was a study on the feasibility of consolidation in the lower counties. This report which was not mentioned in the article stated that there were several issues that would actually cost rather then save the state with consolidation. One I mentioned earlier was in the summary of HR #54 says, “Having a single school system in a county implies having a single salary schedule. This analysis concluded that to level-up salaries in the two counties, would yield a net cost of $7.2 million initially and on a continuing basis thereafter.” The other issue mentioned in HR#54 that was buried in the summary was that funding Equalization needs to be addressed by the State Equalization Committee prior to considering any type of district consolidation.

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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.
This entry was posted in Delaware Politics, Education. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Lowery calls for merging services | delawareonline | The News Journal

  1. Kilroy says:

    Personally I not please with the political grandstanding in the media by DOE and Jack. Ideally you would want to sit down with the district to network and present ideas that are in the best interest of all in shared cost savings. Having the handpicked individually is totally wrong and sends the wrong message. If Dover is so bent on all of this and Vision 2015 why not just take over school finances and labor contract and leave school board to focus on the delivery of academic needs within the district and student discipline. Let DOE deal with all the labor issues.

    Though I am for full financial transparency, I am not for watering down or undermine local board authority which includes not moving board election day. Moves to save money at time of concerned financial transparency and efficiency does make no sense. What happens to all the money saved via consolidation of services or school districts?

    Sorry got ahead of myself as you’re taking consolidation of school district and I am tying consolidation of school board your topic into the mix!

    I see consolidation schools districts as not happening! Legislators are keeping in mind the impact on parental and community involvement and consolidation undermine the sprit of neighborhoods schools. Can you image if the district are consolidated the state board will have to readdress all the neighborhood school plans in New Castle County. The there would be the issue of adjusting local taxes in the impacted school districts. It’s a political can of worms the legislators would regret opening!

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