April 24 Open Thread: Panel Finds No Savings in Merging School Districts

Filed in Delaware, National, Open Thread by on April 24, 2018

A General Assembly task force put together to study merging some of Delaware’s 19 school districts in search of savings couldn’t find any — the best they could do was save $1.1 million on a six-district combination that would have spanned from Middletown to Dover. They did, however, recommend that it’s way past time to reassess properties in each county. Overall, the panel found, Delaware’s property is assessed at about 20% of its real value.

WDEL is reporting that Meredith Chapman, the GOP candidate for Sen. Dave Sokola’s seat in 2016, has been killed in a murder-suicide in Radnor, Pa. Details are sketchy at this point.

The New Yorker profile of H.R. McMaster includes the news that Trump wanted to put the U.S. on a “war footing” with North Korea, including the withdrawal of American civilians from South Korea, before McMaster and James Mattis talked him out of it.

Turns out Dr. Ronny Jackson, the one who gave Trump his physical and listed him at a height and weight that belong to someone else, is a heavy drinker who presides over a hostile work environment. On point one, no wonder he couldn’t get Trump’s weight right. On point two, no wonder Trump likes him. This has led to postponement of hearings to confirm him as head of Veterans Affairs.

This one’s just sad. The GOP of Morris County, N.J., threw a fund-raising banquet at Trump’s New Jersey golf course and lost money doing it. They tried to bullshit people that Trump would show up, but it didn’t help. They raised $54,000 and spent $60,000 doing it, which nicely sums up Republican economic thinking.

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  1. Jason330 says:

    What kind of adult goes by “Ronny” ?

    Also – what kind of Trump appointee is so grossly under-qualified?

    Sadly, all of them.

  2. puck says:

    “A General Assembly task force put together to study merging some of Delaware’s 19 school districts in search of savings couldn’t find any”

    I’m convinced it’s all about protecting the residents of Brandywine SD from any responsibility or co-mingling with less well-off populations.

  3. mediawatch says:

    @Puck: If Earl Jaques is involved, it’s not about protecting Brandywine.

    Let’s get to the real issue: the state’s outdated school finance system. As long as you’ve got the unit count, and the allocation of teachers and administrators based on having X number of students, you can’t have any significant savings accruing from moving or eliminating district lines. No matter how you slice and dice the student population, if their total remains the same, the number of teachers and administrators paid for by state funds will hardly change. If you reduce the number of districts from 19 to 10, for example, the most obvious saving would be that 9 superintendents would become assistant superintendents. But the unit formula wouldn’t have much impact elsewhere down the line.

    More to the point, we should be talking about improving education funding by recognizing that you will get better outcomes if you spend more on kids who need additional services to thrive in the classroom — kids from low-income families, English-language learners, etc. Just about every other state in the union has figured this out.

    Lots of folks in Delaware have figured this out too, but the folks in Dover would rather use public education as a convenient whipping boy than seek to claim credit for making positive investments in the state’s future.

  4. mouse says:

    Every one horse town on Rt. 13 in Sussex County is a school district with the only real priority being sports.