Tag Archives: Sussex Tech

Sussex Tech is not following the law – Part 3

Sussex Tech revenues went up this year when House Bill 100 was passed and signed into law in May. Sussex Tech agreed to certain conditions in order to receive the additional revenue. Sussex Tech agreed to use only these preferences:

(c) The District may only provide preferences in student admissions to:

  • (1) Siblings of students currently enrolled at the school; and
  • (2) Children of persons employed on a permanent basis for at least 30.0 hours per week during the school year by the district.

If you look at their Admissions page they are doing something different. (I have been writing to the Department of Education about Sussex Tech and Sussex Tech has removed their admission’s page, it is currently not available.)

Sussex Tech is allowing for sibling preference if you have a current sibling or a past graduate of the last two years. 

They agreed to these conditions in exchange for the additional funding. Sussex Tech needs to update their website reflecting the current law.

DelDOT Closes a Portion of Route 1 Near Coast

Dover — Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) officials announce that due to high water, Route 1 northbound and southbound is closed between Bethany and Dewey Beach (includes Charles Cullen Bridge over Indian River Inlet).

Detour northbound: Route 26 westbound to U.S. Route 113 northbound onto Route 24 eastbound and return to Route 1.

Detour southbound: Route 24 westbound onto U.S. Route 113 southbound to Route 26 eastbound and back to Route 1.

Following roadways are CLOSED due to high water:

Sussex County

Primehook Road closed in Milton
River Road closed in Oak Orchard
Front Street closed in Milford

Kent County
North Market Street closed in Frederica
Bowers Beach Road closed at Hubbard Road
South Bowers Beach Road closed at Brokam Bridge Road

Roadways remain OPEN, however water is on the roadway and motorists should use caution while traveling in this area:

New Castle County
Old Airport Road at Nonesuch Creek – Water on roadway
Pyles Lane at Pigeon Point Road – Water on roadway

Kent County

Moorton Road between Route 42 and Lynnbury Woods Road – Water on roadway

South Little Creek Road at Route 9 – Water on roadway
Old Cemetery Road near Route 1- Water on roadway
Tubmill Pond Road – Water on roadway
Market Street in Frederica – Water on roadway
Skeeter Neck Road – Water on roadway
Williamsville Road between Holly Hill Road and Blairs Pond Road – Water on roadway
Prospect Church Road, south of Route 14 – Water on roadway
Deep Grass Lane between Thistlewood Road and Williamsville Road – Water on roadway
Hills Market Road between Route 13 and Sugar Stick Road – Water on roadway
Andrewsville Road between Gallo Road and Prospect Church Road – Water on roadway
Allabands Mill Road between Todds Mill Road and Camden-Wyoming Avenue – Water on roadway
Killens Pond Road, just north of Bloomfield Road – Water on roadway
South Bowers Beach Road at Webbs Cut-off – Water on roadway
Todds Chapel Road between Hickman Road and Fishers Bridge Road – Water on roadway
Hazlettville Road between Wyoming Mill Road and Artis Drive – Water on roadway
Big Stone Beach Road between New Wharf Road and Greenhouse Road – Water on roadway
New Wharf Road between Big Stone Road and Route 1 – Water on roadway
Deep Grass Lane between Williamsville Road and Rod Club Road – Water on roadway
Barkers Landing Road, just east of South State Street – Water on roadway
Cypress Branch Road, just north of Ponderosa Drive – Water on roadway
John Hurd Road between Spectrum Farms Road and Meredith Road – Water on roadway
Irish Hill Road between Fox Chase Road and Route 15 – Water on roadway
Killens Pond Road, south of Sandbox Road – Water on roadway
Andrewville Road between Flat Iron Road and Gingerwood Drive – Water on roadway
Shaws Corner Road between Dinahs Corner Road and Seeneytown Road – Water on roadway
Ponderosa Drive at Plaindealing Road – Water on roadway

Sussex County

New Road at Canary Bridge – Water on roadway

Longneck Road – Water on roadway
Nanticoke Road – Water on roadway
Turn Point Road – Water on roadway
Inlet Road – Water on roadway
Mercer Avenue in Oak Orchard – Water on roadway
South Shore Drive near Turn Point Road – Water on roadway
Fred Hudson Road between Route 1 and Cedar Neck Road – Water on roadway
Route 24/John J. Williams Highway near Bay Farm Road – Water on roadway
Plantation Road near Postal Lane – Water on roadway

The posting will be in effect until the water has receded to a safe travel level.

Electronic variable message boards are deployed in the Beach Areas in the event of Emergency Evacuation.
Evacuation Routes are posted on DelDOT’s website.

Part 2 – Sussex Tech agreed to additional funds in exchange for conditions on their enrollment process

Sussex Tech revenues went up when House Bill 100 was passed and signed into law in May. Sussex Tech agreed to certain conditions in order to receive the additional revenue.

On Sussex Tech’s Admissions Application page, it states the following:

For upper class applicants (10-12), please submit the Sussex Technical High School application only with transcripts showing any and all credits earned in addition to current report card. Upper class applications can be submitted any time.

Choice law requires schools to accept choice applications on or after the first Monday in November and on or before the second Wednesday in January.  Sussex Tech is accepting 10th through 12th grade applications at any time and not during the time period stated in Delaware code. Sussex Tech is not following the law.

Sussex Tech agreed to a random lottery, no mention of the lottery for 10th through 12th grade students. Sussex Tech is not following the law.

Sussex Tech agreed to additional revenue but they agreed not to use grades as a part of their admission process. Why are they requesting a report card when an application is submitted?

House Bill 100 added to language for Sussex Tech to follow when admitting students into their school. (b) For any school year in which the number of applications for admission exceed the number of students to be enrolled, the District shall conduct a random lottery admitting student number “one” and progressing consecutively thereafter until the total number of students to be admitted has been reached. 

(d) The District shall be prohibited from denying any applicant for enrollment whose GPA falls below the 70th percentile or who has failed any 8th grade course from its lottery for admission, unless the student does not remain academically eligible for promotion according to the standards set by the Department of Education.

Series of Posts: How the State Bailed Out Sussex Tech High School – Part 1

Rumors were flying around Legislative Hall this January about Sussex Tech, they were supposedly strapped for cash. In April, House Bill 100 was filed, giving Sussex Tech High School a new tax rate ceiling for the next two years and then the tax rate is suppose to sunset to its original level in three years. House Bill 100 was amended, to view the bill click here. Here is the amendment that was added. I voted “NO” on this bill.

  • 23.50 original tax rate
  • 29.00 tax rate for 2016
  • 30.00 tax rate for 2017

School districts have to go to referendum in order to get approval for additional funding. School districts have to work for months to educate and convince their residents why the districts need a tax increase. The taxpayers then decide whether or not to support the tax increase, Votechs do not. Votechs, they just come to the General Assembly and ask for their increases.  They lobby the General Assembly members to get their increases. This bill was filed in April and was signed by the Governor on May 28, 2015, it was fast-tracked.

It is so interesting how we allow certain public schools to have selective admissions and allow schools to send students back (don’t necessarily fit-in as one Delaware Met charter board member stated recently) to their feeder schools. We fund all our schools in different ways. Yet, traditional public schools are always criticized for their state assessments and how they are failing our kids. You can’t compare a school that accepts a student based on grades or test schools to a school who accepts everyone, it is just not right!

It is interesting, when this bill came before the House Education Committee, I asked the bill sponsors, Rep. Schwartzkopf and D. Short, if Sussex Tech’s superintendent had a change in heart about Sussex Tech using grades as part of their admission process. In the bill it states that they can no longer use grades as part of denying a student entrance into Sussex Tech.  Dr. A.J. Lathbury was a member of the Enrollment Preferences Task Force, which I co-chaired. (We are currently working on the draft report.)  Lathbury voted “YES” during the task force meeting to keep grades as part of the admission process for votechs, magnets and charters. I asked Rep. Schwartzkopf and D. Short if they would support this as well for New Castle County Votech and PolyTech.  Below are their responses from the House Education Committee meeting on April 22, 2015.

Rep. D. Short said that this bill addresses the tax rate ceiling for Sussex Vocational-Technical School District (SVTSD) in Sussex County by increasing the ceiling for two years and then sun-setting the ceiling to its original level. He said that this bill also helps to address the enrollment increases in SVTSD by creating an enrollment cap, lowering the enrollment over a period of time. He said the funding dilemma in SVTSD was caused partly by the tax ceiling issue, but also due to the lull in the economy. He said the bill also addresses some admission restrictions, including sibling applicants and those with a GPA below the seventieth percentile to be eligible for the lottery.

Rep. Schwartzkopf said that all Sussex County legislators have worked on this bill and they are unified, mostly. He said that this bill is not a panacea, but it is a reasonable path forward and gives the superintendent and board of education time to bring expenses in line with revenues. He said there will be a forthcoming amendment to this bill to deal with expulsion policies and said the bill will not run without the amendment.

Rep. Williams asked if the sponsors of the bill supported the provision for GPAs below the seventieth percentile policy to be applicable to all vocational-technical schools in Delaware.

Rep. D. Short said he would defer to the representatives of those counties, but it is something to be considered. He said that consistency is a good thing, in his personal opinion. He also said that it is not an issue for this bill and the bill should remain as is for passage.

Rep. Williams questioned why Superintendent Lathbury voted against that provision previously in a task force meeting, but now supports the policy in HB 100.

Rep. D. Short said that Superintendent Lathbury is in full support of HB 100; the superintendent was present, but did not testify on behalf of the bill. Reps. D. Short and Schwartzkopf requested that the issue be debated on another day and requested that an amendment addressing that issue not be added to HB 100.

Rep. Kowalko echoed the concern of Rep. Williams and said the bill should be amended to include New Castle County Vocational-Technical School District.

Delaware Votechs Spend More Per Pupil Than Any Other District In the State

Per Student Spending lowest to highest

With all the funding conversations that are taking place throughout the state, I have been looking through the data that is provided on DOE’s School Profile page.

New Castle County Votech, PolyTech, and Sussex Tech per pupil spending is higher than the other 16 school districts in Delaware.

How can we have public schools in the same county with different per pupil spending, how is this equitable? Votechs are not required to go to referendum, the General Assembly passes a bill to increase spending in the Votechs. The most recent bill that was passed by the General Assembly was House Bill 100, increasing the tax rate for Sussex Tech.

One example: New Castle County Votech’s 2016 Revenue Budget $74,705,189 with 4,629 students. Red Clay School District 2016 Revenue Budget $196,603,609 with 16,302 students (these numbers do not include Red Clay charter school students or the $9,662,194 charter payment).


Another example is Sussex Tech and Delmar School District; both are located in Sussex County. Sussex Tech per pupil spending is over $5,000 higher than Delmar.