BREAKING: Charters vs Christina School District & DDOE Settlement

Filed in Education, Featured by on December 2, 2016

Here it is folks. The language of the settlement agreement between the 15 charter schools, Christina School District and it’s CFO, and The Delaware Department of Education and Secretary Godowsky.

What’s it mean? The funds generated by the 2003 Christina School District referendum (10 cent referendum) that went to pay for 4 specific district programs will now be shared between District schools and all Charters and Choice schools that have Christina resident students attending them, it’s straight up division. Total revenue from $0.10 tax, divided by total number of Christina resident students enrolled in District, Charter, and Choice schools going forward (FY 18 and beyond).

For the current fiscal year (FY 17), Christina will take the total generated revenue from the $0.10 referendum (approximately $5.5 million according to the settlement), divide it by the total number of students and make payments to the appropriate schools by December 3oth. In addition to a one time payment in the amount of $150,000 to each of the plaintiff charter schools, which totals $2,250,000. the Charter School Plaintiffs, to be divided equally. (Thanks to commenter J for pointing this out)

I haven’t had a chance to check the math on this yet (I will) but I’m sure it’s correct.

DOE will establish a unique appropriation for each charter school to collect and expend the $0.10 referendum revenue so we all can be assured it is being expended appropriately.

Future local cost per student calculations will ignore all revenue from the $0.10 referendum source.

Match Tax remains untouched, and the language specifically says that Districts are free to contend Match Tax expenses and revenues should be excluded from the funding formula and Charters are free to contend they should be included…so that sounds like there will be more to come in the new year on this specifically.

There’s more.

Tuition Tax revenue, which pays for special education services, will now be shared between districts and charters where Charters are providing similar services to students with special needs. Christina School District and DOE may “satisfy themselves that the services being provided by a CSD charter school in any individual case are the same or sufficiently similar to CSD’s Special Needs Services” whenever a Charter school asserts its right to receive Tuition Tax funding. (AKA: show us that you’re actually providing the services you claim to be needing this money for)

DOE must now establish a process by which Districts may formally request exclusion of certain expenditures from the local cost per student calculation (the absence of which is what started this mess). The District’s requests, DOE’s evaluation, negotiation with Districts and decision rendering will be met with opportunity for charter schools to receive, review, and discuss potential exclusions -and- Districts’ reasoning for exclusion with the DOE.

As all parties are in agreement, all pending litigation is withdrawn. Formal release of this is awaiting the signatures from all parties.

Read for yourself. More analysis and interpretation will be forthcoming. As I stated in my first post, I don’t know how I feel about this. Glad we tidied this up before the holidays. Comment away, please.

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About the Author ()

A dad, husband, and public education supporter. Small tent progressive/liberal. Christina School District Citizen's Budget Oversight Committee member, who knows a bit about a lot when it comes to the convoluted mess that is education funding in the State of Delaware.

Comments (4)

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  1. John Young says:

    There is a 100% different settlement agreement between the charters and DOE

  2. Liz Paige says:

    This settlement agreement was not to be released to the public until it was approved by all parties. It is not yet approved by all parties.

  3. J says:

    It’s not $150,000 per school. It’s $150,000 in total to be divided amongst the schools.