Red Clay School District

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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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With a tight state budget one of the oldest charter schools in Delaware is struggling to find funds to expand its facilities.

Delaware Military Academy which serves 566 students wants to construct 10 classrooms as well as an athletic facility on 33-thousand square feet of land.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the school is up for renewal from the Red Clay School District.

But the paper reports that Delaware lawmakers say more charter school funding will be tough to get.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A federal judge has refused to force the Red Clay school district to enroll three children living outside the district.
The children previously attended a Red Clay school but have been living outside the district since their mother was placed on unpaid leave and lost her apartment. Their father, who shares custody, enrolled the children in the Christina school district, and the children now reportedly live with their godmother in the Colonial district.

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Delaware State Representative Daniel Short says he wants county governments to be able to intercept tax refunds from people who are delinquent on their local school taxes.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Delawareans owe more than $32 million to school districts.

These range from $5.5 million in the Christiana school district and $4.3 million in the Red Clay school district to $1.9 million in the Capital school district and $1.3 million in the Cape Henlopen school district.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - After the winter forced schools to miss class days, Delaware's school districts are working to make up the lost time.

Some districts built enough time into the school year and no makeup days will be needed. Alexis Andrianopoulos, spokeswoman for the Brandywine School District, tells The Wilmington News Journal  that four full days were missed, and there were two delayed openings and two early dismissals during the winter.

But no makeup days will be needed, she said.

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The Christina School District got a year’s delay for three inner-city Wilmington facilities.

The state says the three Priority Schools can retain their principals and teachers.

Meanwhile, state leaders are still deal with the redistricting plan that would put the district schools into the Red Clay School District.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Christina School Board voted last night to keep the Bancroft and Stubbs elementary schools as well as the Bayard Middle School in its district for another year.

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The possibility of voter fraud in this week’s referendum that would increase property taxes for the Red Clay School District has been raised by state Senator Karen Peterson.

And the Stanton Democrat says she is asking the Delaware Attorney General to investigate.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Peterson says she received a report that a group of parents who had voted at one polling place saying they were going to vote at a second polling place.

The paper notes that referendums unlike general election are not given specific polling places.

Don Rush

There will be no property tax hike for those living in the Christina school district.

Voters turned down two proposals by as much as 4-thousand votes out of over 6-thousand cast.

The first plan would have raised taxes by 65 cent per $100 of assessed property value .which would have covered the district’s growing costs and staved off budget cuts.

The second would have raised taxes by $1.05 for $100 of assessed property value which would have paid for a boost to gifted and talented programs as well as summer school and extended days.

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The Red Clay School Board has given the green light to move ahead with trying to turn around its three Priority Schools.

These have been found to have scored the lowest on state tests.

However, in the 6 to 1 vote the board rejected some of the requirements laid down by the state including requiring each teacher to re-apply for their job.

They also turned back a requirement that would have paid the leaders of the schools $160-thousand a year.