If the feds approve the proposed regulatory changes to Title 1 Supplement not Supplant this could force districts to move staff from one building to another, how would this this impact charter schools? Will charters be forced to move higher paid teachers from Non-Title 1 schools to Title 1 schools. Delaware charter schools are incorporated and are independently run, so I would assume this would not affect them or would it? Also, correct me if I am wrong, I believe every charter school in Delaware is considered a Title 1 school except for Charter School of Wilmington, so salary caps on buildings would not affect them, right? If anyone has any information about this, I would love to hear from you.
The one thing I learned from all of this, the laws surrounding DOE’s Charter School Accountability Committee are very loose and the lobbying laws need to be changed. The Department of Education does not seem to think the public needs to be updated on changes to this committee’s membership or do they seem to have regulations in place to appoint people to this committee. This committee should have additional members who are not employed by the Department of Education, work for the State Board of Education and who do not serve on a charter school or who lobby for charter schools — we need a balance.
Reardon, Allison E (DOJ)
Thu 4/14/2016 10:11 AM
Williams, Kimberly (LegHall);
Dear Representative Williams:
Please allow this to respond to your additional concerns following receipt of our letter dated March 30, 2016. First, you provided an e-mail from David Blowman to you dated July 15, 2015 in which you were advised that Chuck Taylor stepped down from the Charter School Accountability Committee “for the current major modification application under review.” We followed up with the attorney for the CSAC and she confirmed that Mr. Taylor did in fact step down from the CSAC in July, 2015. However, he was invited to rejoin the committee and agreed to do so in January 2016 after Providence Creek Academy had completed its renewal process. Along these same lines, you also advised that Paul Harrell participated in the CSAC, made the motion to recommend closure of the Delaware Met School, and voted at the CSAC convened in December 2015 when he was not a member of the CSAC. Again, the attorney for the CSAC confirmed through DOE that Mr. Harrell was on the committee at the time he participated. Membership on the CSAC is apparently somewhat fluid and the website apparently does not keep pace with changes in membership, but those are not issues for the Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust to address.
Also, you submitted that the calculation of time one spends lobbying should be based on the amount of time an individual spends lobbying while the Legislature is in session. However, our analysis is based on the specific language in the applicable statute which requires us to look at the amount of time spent lobbying “ in relation to the usual duties of [the person’s] employment.” 29 Del. C. § 5831 (b)(3). Hence, our calculation arrived at the percentage of the person’s total work days in a year, not a percentage of days the legislature meets.
We hope this additional information is of assistance to you.
First State Montessori Academy preferences allows for employees of the school who work 20 hours or more have a preference to attend the school. In their original charter application on Page 28, it states that children of permanent employees must work 30 hours per week or more to receive a preference. Can they change this preference on their own without modifying their charter? I have asked DOE this question. Below are FSMA admission preferences, this was taken from their website.
Admissions preferences are also a consideration at FSMA. In cases where the number of applicants exceeds the number of seats available, admission preferences will be applied prior to administering the lottery. These preferences include (in order of importance):
Children of FSMA founders (up to 5% of the school’s population)
Children of staff employed 20 hours or more a week by FSMA
Siblings of children currently enrolled at FMSA this school year (2014-2015)
Applicants who have demonstrated an interest in the Montessori teaching philosophy
I (former charter teacher at DCPA) think the problem goes well beyond conflict of interest. Unfortunately Kendall Massett is not someone to be trusted. Unless something has changed, she lacks integrity. When I was teaching at DCPA, my co-teacher and I testified in Dover during Rep. Terry Schooley’s public hearing on charter school reform. We met Kendall Massett there afterwards and ended up having a conversation. She shared her position and pledged to us, like she said she does to all teachers, that everything we shared with her about the issues facing our school would be in strict confidence. My hope was that the Charter Schools Network could help improve some of the issues facing DCPA. Needless to say, the next day, in the middle of teaching, my co-teacher and I were called down to our Executive Director’s office and yelled at, and told never to speak to anyone about anything regarding the school again, and told that if we did anything like that again we wouldn’t still be here the next day (a euphemistic threat to getting fired). Apparently Kendall Massett had gone to the E.D. the next day and met with him and shared everything about who we were and what we had said in detail… I don’t know first-hand, but the E.D. made it seem like her primary concern was about the potential disruption of DCPA’s image and us being out of line in sharing these things rather than about the actual legitimate concerns going on at the school. (And actually another colleague also got yelled at before we did, because her name rhymed with my co-teachers name and the E.D. had mistakenly thought it was her as being the one to go down to Dover.) Meanwhile I remember explicitly that my co-teacher’s testimony was the one that shared a lot of concerns about charter school accountability during her testimony based on examples of things that were not being accountable at DCPA – but (though she certainly could have) she did not even provide identifying characteristics of the school she taught at in her testimony! This is not a good step forward for education in Delaware.
A comment was made by WTFinDelaware on September 7, 2015 under the post titled: Washington State Supreme Court ruling on charter schools and public funding. I thought it was a good point and needed a little further discussion. I was just going to comment under the original post but I thought many others probably thought the same thing.
You do understand that the only local funds that flow to a Charter School is the per pupil expenses of a resident child attending the Charter School right? So in essence, the parent who choose to enroll in a Charter School also has chosen to send their local funding to a Charter School. There are no extra local funds that flow out. The belief that charters are draining fund is just wrong. They are also draining expenses then also, since the local school district does not need to spend find educating these student.
All districts per pupil allocation varies from district-to-district, below is one example. When a student leaves their school district and attends a charter school the money follows the student. We pay about $1,000 in taxes to Red Clay and we have two children who attended public schools. The $1,000 that we paid in local taxes was not enough money to cover our children’s education. My neighbors who sent their children to private school are helping to pay for my children to attend public school and so is my other neighbor who no longer has children in the public school system. To educate both my children in Reg. 4th thru 12th grades, the local share that is needed is a little over $6,000. If they were in grades K thru 3rd, the local share is about $7,600.00. Down state it is much less per student.
Reg K – 3 including Basic students – $3,829.95 per year
Reg 4th through 12th – $3,102.26 per year
Basic (Spec Ed) 4th through 12th – 12 – $7,386.34 per year
Intensive (Spec Ed) K through 12th – $10,340.88 per year
Complex (Sped Ed) K through – 12th – $23,863.56 per year