Consolidation looking for a backdoor!

Well the puppeteer continues to pull the strings to guide public opinion towards school consolidation as a way to balance the states over grown size. The article in the News Journal from our Lt. Governor lists spending on direct classrooms by districts as a cost savings, but what you fail to see is how much is spent by State DOE that does not tie back to classroom improvement! In addition, a point left out of the article is the fact that many of the districts on the list receive greater local and equalization dollars because of the flawed equations, and outdated reassessments. Those districts can hide their higher administrative costs in local dollars while spending the major part of state dollars in the classroom. That way when you look at state dollars received versus spent; my, they look like frugal stewards.
In the article the Lt Governor states, “If all of the state’s school districts were spending on direct educational services at the same ratio as the state’s districts with the highest ratios, the state’s school districts could direct an additional $28 million annually into direct educational services without raising any taxes.” The dollars he uses to calculate the $28m are actually reported annually to the state as those the districts maintain to offset reductions in state budgets, and now transportation costs pushed back on districts. Those districts without those dollars will be the first cutting positions, programs, and raising taxes for transportation. What is not shown in this article is how many of these districts are doing more with less, while those with higher local dollars continue to lure away teachers for dollars. Come on folks if we want education in each district to be fair and even how about we start from a level playing field?
One of my last comments for now would be did you read the fine print at the end, “The data generated as a result of Regulation 738 compares district expenditures to total district revenues and does not calculate student support expenses as part of its ratio, the data contained in the individual school district profiles reflects category spending as a percentage of total spending.” So, for a district like Milford that has ~50% poverty based on the number of students receiving free and reduced lunches the dollars spent to help these students just meet basic needs to learn are not part of the calculations. Governor before you send your dogs sniffing around education to balance your overstuffed government in Dover just remember it could be one of those students who bails out the adults like us who have run this state down where it is now. By the way I will be looking for the article on Vocational schools as they receive 2x to 3x more then any other district in funding from the get go!


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.

3 Responses to Consolidation looking for a backdoor!

  1. John Young says:

    Agreed, Gov. Markell clearly has had his educational thiunking infiltrated by a business mindset that attempts to apply efficiency models that do not work well in education. Why else would you consider slashing transportation? That’s like keeping the corn trucks at the farm if you are the maker of Doritos.

  2. Pingback: Delaware Education Puppeteers Strike Again « Kilroy's delaware

  3. AncoraImparo says:

    still collecting donations for library books for new school? Honestly, in 15 years of teaching – I have never been so DONE with public education. Justification or redirection at state and local level is just redundant. The districts claim, poor me – but each district has their bag of the same tricks at the state level. It is hard to find sincerity – that is why I like the kids most. They are the most sincere people in the education business. 🙂

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