Christina School District

Don Rush

A consolidation plan for the Christina School District is running into trouble.

The latest draft of the memorandum of understanding between the school board, Governor John Carney and the state Department of Education may have lost support from two board members.

The latest revisions could mean a postponement of tonight’s planned vote.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the plan includes shifting students from three elementary schools to Bancroft Elementary and Bayard Middle School.

House of Representatives

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. John Carney has vetoed a bill that would have prohibited Delaware charter schools from giving enrollment preferences to children living within a 5-mile radius.

Carney announced the veto Thursday, saying in a statement that he believes sponsors wanted to expand students' options and boost diversity, but the bill "unfairly excludes some of our most vulnerable students."  He says it created a new standard that limits options for at-risk students in the Christina School District portion of Wilmington.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Senate lawmakers have given final approval to a bill prohibiting Delaware charter schools from giving enrollment preferences to children living within a 5-mile radius.

The bill was approved on a 12-to-4 vote Thursday and now goes to Gov. John Carney.

The bill applies to all charter schools but is aimed at Newark Charter, a predominantly white, high-performing school with a waiting list of more than 3,000 students.

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Margaret Mason has quit the Christina School Board effective immediately.

Her term is not due to expire until 2021.

She was first elected to the board last year.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Delaware Department of Education said it is extending the filing deadline for the next school board election in May.

There is a 20 day-candidate filing period for election to the school board.

The paper had no word on why Mason suddenly decided to step down. 

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The Christina School Board is set to consider rescinding its settlement agreement in a lawsuit involving charter school spending.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the legal action taken against the school district and the Delaware Department of Education had been settled on Monday.

The paper reports that John Young one of those who voted against the settlement said that he believed the likelihood of backing out of the agreement was low.

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A lawsuit has been filed against the Christina School District by 15 charter schools who claim that local officials have kept them from getting millions of dollars in tax revenue.

In addition, the suit alleges that the Department of Education has been complicit in depriving the charter schools their fair share of the money going back years.

The suit was sparked by a readjustment by the Department in the formula for the amount of money that should go to charter schools from local tax revenues.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell has signed a series of bills regarding pay equity and other women's issues.

Lilly Ledbetter, an Alabama woman whose fight for equal pay led to Congress passing a 2009 law that bears her name, was the featured guest at Thursday's bill signing ceremony.

One new law makes it illegal for employers in Delaware to prohibit employees from talking about how much they are or their co-workers are paid.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers have passed legislation endorsing a proposed school redistricting plan for Wilmington while not committing any funding for the effort.

The measures cleared the Democrat-led House with no Republican support Wednesday.

Wilmington is currently served by four school districts. The redistricting plan centers on moving inner-city students from the Christina district and into the Red Clay district in hopes of improving educational outcomes for minority students.

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Referendums in the Christina and Cape Henlopen school districts got the thumbs up from voters yesterday for additional funding.

But in Brandywine school district another funding measure failed when presented to the voters.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Christina was asking for a 21 percent increase in funding for their operating budget while Brandywine wanted $9.5 million for its regular operating budget and $19 million for a construction project.

The Brandywine request was approved by just 145 votes out of over 13-thousand cast.

Christina School District website

Around 40 property owners gathered at the Shue-Medill Middle School near Newark this week to get filled in on a referendum about the impact of a $16 million referendum for the Christina School District.

During the three hour meeting local officials laid out a vision that included a medical sciences program at Glasgow High School.

If the referendum does get voter approval the district will replace the 78 teachers who were laid off after the failure of the last referendum.