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5 Charters are expected to enter the Delaware market.  If full expectations are met, they will cumulatively be filled with 1025, students… As they grow to expansion over 5 years, these charters will ultimately, if full, take 2775 students out of the public school system.

Currently there are 4 school districts, each with a toe in Wilmington….

• Brandywine School District..10802 students
• Christina School District…   16721  students
• Colonial School District………. 9976 students
• Red Clay District……………… 18295 students

Let us make the assumption that these schools will take equally from these districts ( excluding the Middletown school for now).  The first year that will be 256 students out of each district….

• Brandywine School District..10802 students – 256 =  10,544
• Christina School District…   16721  students – 256 =  16,465
• Colonial School District………. 9976 students – 256 =    9,720
• Red Clay District……………… 18295 students  – 256 =  18,039

If we take the current cost per student that is transferred under choice,  about \$3800 per person,  each district would lose funding amounting to 256 X \$3800 or \$972,800 dollars….

If spread equally, with Charters emerging, each district will lose close to a million dollars…. That is just for the first year… as new grades peel off into the charter schools, eventually the cost will be higher.

(2775 / 4) X \$3800  =  \$2.6 million lost to each of the four districts.  The number of students lost to each district would be the equivalent of closing down one large elementary school in each of the four districts….  The dollar amounts lost would equal a districts entire energy budget.  it would also equal an entire districts building budget for a year….. it would be one half the cost of a districts debt service.  It would be six times a districts equipment cost.  It would be one fifth of a districts entire supply budget…..

Each district will lose \$2.6 million provide that all matriculate to charters equally from all four districts….

Red Clay is listed with 29 schools.  If all its students going to charter schools were spread evenly across it’s system, the average would fall between 8 or 9 children per school…  Here is the dilemma.  The district is losing the equivalent of its entire energy budget, but at 8 or 9 children per school, it can’t cut.  You can’t run a temperature in the high 50’s to save money, just because you have 8 children less in your school… You can’t cancel a bus run into Wilmington because some children are going to charter schools.  Even if there is one left, not going to charter school, you still have to send that bus for that one child…  How else is he going to get to school?

What happens is that all those required extras that benefit our children, have to get cut.   The discretionaries.   You have to chince on toilet paper, on soap, on mop buckets, on new mop heads. on quality food ingredients, on window washing, on wall washings, on janitorials, on teacher’s aides, on replacement light bulbs..  You run a crap school because you can’t cut your transportation, you can’t cut your heat, you can’t have classes with no teachers, you can’t have classes with no instructional materials, you can’t have classes with no utilities;  all those costs are fixed and don’t change with 8 students per school no longer paying for everyones expenses…

At the very same time you are trying to increase the education of your students by holding teachers accountable, you are taking away the resources necessary for accomplishing that and giving it to charter schools, which teach worse than public schools can…

If you want to pursue charters, there is only one way it is viable.  That is that someone else pays for the cost of those students who leave public school and go to charters…  If you want better education, then you must pursue this course of action or abandon Charters completely as an option….

For this to work,  the state would tack these amounts on to what they already give to the districts….

• Brandywine   (3,038,639)
• Christina     (17,745,600)
• Colonial         (3,524,264)
• Red Clay        (8,461,437)

The cost by the state in northern New Castle County would be the sum of all four or…. \$32,769,940  if you want to indulge in charter schools, well, you’ve got to pay for it, right?  The cost for these five charters will be \$32,769,940 dollars please…  If you can’t afford the price tag, we, the citizens of New Castle County, can’t afford your charters….

If this sound like a lot of money, it isn’t.  It is only one half of what we would generate if we raised the top marginal percent on income taxes by 2% for all those whose income is OVER a million dollars…   And if one doesn’t want to tax the wealthy for the privilege of building new charter schools, then the cost is only .8 of one percent of our budget….

For \$33 million we could  have the best education in America….   But without that additional funding from the General Assembly, every time we build a charter school for the 8% who elect to go to charters, we are penalizing he 92% remaining in public education….

When you take money out of public education to feed charters, you are saying screw you, you (*&@#^&*^#&*~(&* (^%\$^^%^&&^)  no good public school kids!… You lose because you couldn’t get into a charter… Na, na, na, na,…  you don’t matter, you animals… Suffer, b/tc%es…

Seems like an odd way to bring up test scores, doesn’t it…..

Pretty scary. Now. imagine the same scenario, but instead of being spread out equally among four districts, most of the charters drew from only one district….  One district losing \$10.4 million?  Now can you finally see why Charters must receive independent funding or be stopped from growing?

Just looking at tonight’s headlines popping up around the state, tells the whole story….

OMG did Moyer really miss their DE DOE charter modification application meeting 1/29?

Unbelievable! New charter school board member starts of with LIES

Delaware Libertarian kicks NJ’s Jimmy Olsen in the nuts..

Those aren’t sensationalized News Journal headlines, usually having the ring of those of National Enquirer.  Instead, these are the real news happening off of news feeds, public notifications, and task force meetings.  All with no spin.

The Charter Organization is falling apart in Delaware.  It is frayed.  It has no idea what it is doing.  It is fractured.  it is a classroom being run by the kids when the teacher has left the building…

How could this happen?

Well for one, putting all hope for Delaware’s educational needs in a ex-Maryland gym teacher, may just have been the beginning.  No district experience. No charter experience, No legal experience. No business experience.  Only some grooming by an out-of-touch think-tank… Repeat after me:  Charters are Good… “Charters are Good”…. Teachers are bad….”Teachers are bad”…. Bust Labor Unions… “Bust Labor Unions”…   Perfect score there buddy, you are ready to … implement policy… Go get ’em Tiger…

if someone asked you, I mean you personally, who do you think would be the best candidate to carry Delaware’s schools forward into the future… would your first choice be…  a gym teacher?… Really?  That would be your first choice?…

I am told the interview went like this….

Markell:   So, Mark Murphy… You want to be a Secretary of Education?  What’s your experience?

Murphy:   Sir, I was a gym teacher once… for about 3 years…

Markell:  Gym teacher, eh?  Was it high school?  Did you coach?  Get any school championships?

Murphy:  Uhhh.  No Sir… it was an elementary school;  they don’t compete at that level over in Maryland….

Markell:  Oh, I see.. So why do you think you can be a great Secretary of Education.. then?

Murphy:  Well sir. What is your biggest concern?  Not with me, but education in general?

Markell:  Darn it, Right now I’m caught up dab-middle in this Race To The Top thing… Trying to get a little Federal cash, and this thing is a nightmare… All these new parts, I need someone to take the reins and giddy-up, know what I mean…

Murphy:  I’m good at teaching people to race.  I did that in gym for 3 years.

Markell:  What, you know how to race;  Even  better, how to teach it?  Can you like Race To The Top?

Murphy:  Well, Sir, usually our races were on the horizontal plane but once I had my kids do an obstacle race and the finish line was on top of the monkey bars… i guess that could qualify as a Race To The Top, Sir…

Markell:  Brilliant.. Someone already experienced with Race To The Top.  I’m always amazed at my good fortune.  Mark, I’m hiring you,  When can you start, right away?  Go tell Lillian she needs to be out by Friday…  This is awesome,  A leader who’s done Race To The Top…

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And thus, we inherited a gym teacher as the head of our state’s education department… Sadly, there are many other parts of running a state school system that do not require such implicit gym teaching knowledge… One of which, is how to run a school system.  Fortunately the bureaucracy of the district public school systems can hold themselves together through any vacuum of leadership at the top.  However, Charter Schools are often run by people unfamiliar with running school, who are winging it themselves; they don’t have that bureaucracy…. It is easy to pretend to run things by picking up a phone and yelling into it… Saying things like “You’ve better figure that out and get it done, pronto”… Anyone can do that, even an ex felon off Spruce Street.  No talent required for that.  But when they don’t know what to  do, and have no mentor to answer their questions, and it is all equally new to the person yelling from the top, then you have a situation ripe for disaster…..

And that is what we are seeing.  Pencader…. Moyer….. Reach….  Tomorrow we will see that Newark Charter is failing.   The inner city boondoggle will be teaching in a giant building, with no soap for students in the bathrooms… (There are inner city; they don’t need soap)  simply because unlike public schools, no one in the Charter organization has a checklist. or the experience to develop one.

And this is why Charter Schools fail children.  Newark Charter School has a rigid application process, and only those with “a certain bent” are allowed in its doors.  The public schools still have to teach everyone. But when they have certain classes also with “a certain bent”, those classes get so much more than anything a charter can offer…

It all comes down to experience.    If Charter Schools were ever rated internationally on their dodge-ball skills, Delaware might have some of the finest in the world…. Alas, but they aren’t……..