Tag Archives: Diane Ravitch

DE Sussex Montessori School charter withdraws charter school application

They will be resubmitting an application in December of 2017.

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A Few Delaware Legislators Sign onto a Letter in Support of Betsy DeVos Appointment as Secretary of Education

Below is the letter that was sent to Senator Alexander, Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. I thought it was interesting to see a few Delaware State Senators signed onto the letter.

Trump Announces Next Secretary of Education, Guess What, She is Not an Educator!

The next Secretary of Education has been named and again it is not an educator. Why does our Presidents and state leaders think it is ok to appoint someone as Secretary of Education who has never taught? Our Surgeon General is a doctor, the US Attorney General is a lawyer – so why is the Secretary of Education, one of the most important jobs, not required to be an educator? Every four or eight years a new federal education plan is introduced and the students are the experiment. We have no stability when it comes to our educational system here in the US. Things will never change when we keep appointing the wrong people. Things will never change when we have billionaires who do not normally send their children to public schools and who are making decisions about how to best serve our kids.

Click here to read Betsy DeVos Bio.

When the auditor’s office does not do its job who audits the auditor’s office?

I was going through the Delaware Online Checkbook and I came across an entry in the checkbook that I wanted more information about – it was a charter school petty cash entry. I sent the entry to the Auditor’s Office for clarification. I was told the Auditor’s Office was reviewing their petty cash accounts.  The Auditor’s Office had a document titled:  Charter School Petty Cash Expenditures – Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2015 which was never released to the public even though Wagner’s office had been working on this for months. Instead Tom Wagner sent the following letters to the charter schools and others in place of the document.  The public was left in the dark once again, so much for transparency with our tax dollars.

How Will the Proposed Title 1 Regulation Supplement not Supplant Affect Charter Schools?

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.

 

Teachers and Staff You May Want Read Up On This Proposed Title 1 Regulation before the US DOE Comment Window Closes on November 7th

1-every-student-succeeds-act

The federal government is proposing a change to a Title 1 regulation – Supplement-not-Supplant under Title 1 of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Click on the link to read more about the proposed regulation.  Below is one part of the regulation that is concerning people:

  • A formula that allocates resources including staff positions and non-personnel resources directly to schools, and that ensures each Title I school gets all of the funding it is entitled to, as measured by the sum of (1) the number of personnel in the school multiplied by the district’s average salaries for each staff category, and (2) the number of students in the school multiplied by the district’s average per-pupil expenditures for non-personnel resources.

In other words, districts could be forced to move staff from one building to another because of salary levels in buildings.

If you are interested in sending a comment to US DOE, click here.  The comment period closes on November 7, 2016 at 11:59 pm.

CCSSO Executive Director Chris Minnich said, “It’s clear that the Department has listened and tried to incorporate feedback in this proposed rule. However, we are disappointed with the language we have seen in the proposed regulation. Schools would be forced to move resources around at the last minute each year to try to meet a federal mandate, rather than doing what is in the best interest of students. The Every Student Succeeds Act gives states more flexibility so we can create opportunities for all kids, and this proposed rule is not consistent with the law. Unfortunately, in the Department’s effort to ensure resources go to the students who need it the most, they have created a situation where the reverse is likely to occur in many places. We look forward to helping get this right before the rule becomes final.”

 

When the auditor’s office does not do its job who audits the auditor’s office?

I was going through the Delaware Online Checkbook and I came across an entry in the checkbook that I wanted more information about – it was a charter school petty cash entry. I sent the entry to the Auditor’s Office for clarification. I was told the Auditor’s Office was reviewing their petty cash accounts.  The Auditor’s Office had a document titled:  Charter School Petty Cash Expenditures – Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2015 which was never released to the public even though Wagner’s office had been working on this for months. Instead Tom Wagner sent the following letters to the charter schools and others in place of the document.  The public was left in the dark once again, so much for transparency with our tax dollars.

Let’s be consistent with funding exclusions – but how about not excluding kids in the process!

I read a Delaware Online opinion piece this morning and I wanted to comment. I do believe the funding exclusions should be consistent throughout the state. It is my understanding that the Department of Education approved the exclusions every year. That being said, charters are public schools and they need to open their doors and accept all students just like our school districts do. The charters should not be able to kick their accepted students out of their schools because of grades, attendance or behavior – they should keep those students and provide resources to the students just like our school districts do. Charters want flexibility, the flexibility should not come at the expense of our children. There are Delaware charters that open their schools up to all students, anyone who wants to apply can apply and they will add them to their lottery. Then there are other charter schools that shut their doors, hang a sign “experience needed” – this needs to stop.

We need to stop putting up barriers and work together for “ALL” of our children.

Rep. Kim Williams – 19th District – Delaware

 

 

 

 

Email from DOJ regarding DOE Charter School Accountability Committee

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

To:

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.
 
Regards,
Allison