Our tax dollars are being mismanaged or stolen and no one is being held accountable, we need this to stop. Please remember, this is not about charter schools vs public schools, this is about accountability and transparency, it is about making sure our local and state tax dollars stay in the charter schools and not in someone’s wallet. Currently, charter schools are funded by our local tax dollars through property taxes and state taxes. The charter schools are not audited through the State of Delaware Auditor of Accounts as public school districts. House Bill 186 gives the Auditor of Accounts the necessary power to audit charter schools as they do public school districts.
Please sign the letter asking the Senate to support House Bill 186 and not to support Senate Bill 171, Sen. Sokola’s bill. Sen. Sokola’s bill does not give the Auditor of Accounts the authority to audit the charter schools. We cannot continue to allow individuals to continue to mismanage or steal our tax dollars.
It takes 30 seconds to read and sign the letter to the Senate.
Once again Delaware’s Governor has chosen to add to the ever burgeoning Department of education bureaucracy in Dover. In this instance there has been a particular concerning manipulation of the General Assembly’s intentions and authority. When the Governor’s budget was originally presented it included $7.5 million to continue Race to the Top (RTTT) initiatives funded by expiring federal funding. In that $7.5 million was a proposal to create and fund ten positions created under RTTT and place the funding burden on Delaware’s taxpayers. I, and others, had consistently and persistently warned that it would be unacceptable for the taxpayers to assume the costs of continuing the failed policies of the federal education reform movement known as RTTT. When the full $7.5 million was challenged and halved, I and other GA members were assured that the remaining $3.75 million added to the budget would not be used to fund those positions and that essentially those temporary employees would not be continuing once the RTTT federal funding expired. In what has become a commonplace practice under this Administration there has been a deliberate effort to manipulate and circumvent the intentions and will of the General Assembly. This Governor has stated time and again that his efforts to shrink government involved freezing vacant positions and the funding for those positions as part of his austerity plan to balance the budget. It therefore becomes even more striking that the Governor and DOE have continued their expansion of the Department of Ed bureaucracy, which has grown over 10% in recent years, with the addition of these ten positions to the budget despite assurances that these jobs would not be funded except by RTTT monies. I only discovered this secretive maneuver by happenstance when I requested a full and specific accounting of the use of the budget approved $3.75 million from the Controller General’s office. The email chain that follows shows the specifics of that budget addition and is accompanied by the rather shocking revelation that the ten temporary RTTT positions were being added to the DOE bureaucracy funded by Delaware taxpayer money.
It’s important for legislators – and tax payers/citizens – to understand that our schools have been asked to do so much more than educate our children. That has huge impacts on teachers, administrators, budgets, and communities. Are we willing to do that as a nation? Do we need to rethink priorities and expectations? How can we create stronger families, neighborhoods, communities, and towns so that our teachers and students can truly focus on learning?
The comment and questions are spot-on. Do folks really understand what is happening in our schools today? Educators are not just teaching, they are doing so much more. I have seen first-hand what teachers do for Delaware students; it is not just about reading, writing and arithmetic.
I started reading Washington State Supreme Court Ruling charters and the use of public funds and I started thinking about school districts and referendums here in Delaware. When we vote in a referendum, we vote to increase or not to increase our taxes. When we vote to increase our taxes, we are agreeing to give school districts an increase. Since our schools are funded by both the state and local taxes does the General Assembly have a right to establish laws allowing our local money to leave our local school districts? As an example, when the State Board of Education approves a new charter in a school district, where are the taxpayers voices? Taxpayers voted to raise their taxes to give more money to their school district, not to give their taxes to a new charter school. The state is approving charters to go into a school district using local funds paid by the residents of that school district to fund a school that neither the resident or the district approved. It will be interesting to see what happens over the few months.
I provided two other cases that I found; 2011 Georgia Supreme Court ruling and June 2015 Arizona ruling.