Education General Assembly

From the District Consolidation Task Force

It's very early on and we are just finding out the structure of the committee, its subcommittees and who is running what. Takeaways inside:

Tonight is the first meeting of the statewide District Consolidation Task Force, we’re in Leg Hall in the House Hearing room on the 2nd floor.

  • The last time the State looked seriously at consolidating school districts was in 2002 but only for Kent and Sussex school districts
  • The study found initially there would be costs savings due to the reduction in number of superintendents and administrative secretaries. These savings quickly disappeared once costs for additional earned assistant superintendent units that would be earned by larger districts were factored in.
  • The 2001-2002 school year national average district enrollment size was 3,210 students. The 2001-2002 average Delaware school district enrollment size was 5,898 students.
  • The optimal district enrollment size was determined to be between 1,500 and 6,000 students.
  • Cost of district consolidation was estimated to be $7.2 million in 2002 dollars.

Kevin Ohlandt has the breakdown of who’s on the entire task force:

https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/who-is-on-the-school-district-consolidation-task-force-live-from-legislative-hall/

The entire task force will be divided into 4 subcommittees:

  1. Structure, Transportation and Manpower: led by Dr. Kevin Carson and assisted by Jaques
  2. Financial: led by Fred Sears (think Rodel) and assisted by Mike Jackson, will deal with property assessments
  3. Academic and Children Needs: led by Dr. Bunting and assisted by Rep. Miro
  4. Teachers And Staff: led by Dusty Blakey, assisted by Jeff Taschner

 

There will be more to come.

A dad, husband, and public education supporter. Serving on Christina School District’s Citizens’ Budget Oversight Committee since 2013. Co-chair of Christina’s 2016 Referendum Committee.

Often found lurking at Christina’s Board of Ed meetings, furiously Tweeting and wielding my +15 Memes of Comedic Relief melee weapon to try and explain what’s going on.

I have to make it fun, or you’ll just cry.

Trying to be knowledgable about all things public education in Delaware; finances, operations, laws and spread understandable information to everyone. If you see me, say hi.

9 comments on “From the District Consolidation Task Force

  1. Thanks for this, Brian!

  2. AGovernor

    Gwinnett County Public Schools is a school district operating in Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States. GCPS is the largest school system in Georgia, with 139 schools and an estimated enrollment of 178,000 students for the 2016-2017 year.

    Maybe DE can learn something from this giant school system in metro Atlanta.

    • Brian Stephan

      Two other districts were mentioned by name as having larger enrollments than the entire state of Delaware: Fairfax County, Virginia, and Baltimore County. Fairfax is brought up very, very frequently when talking consolidation in Delaware for reasons I do not know…yet.

      Is a school system the size of Gwinnett, Fairfax, or Baltimore the most effective way to deliver education though?

      • cassandram

        Fairfax is often cited as one of the better school systems in the country. They have a bunch of highly rated schools and a decent handful are among the top in Virginia. Very high high school graduation rates. The system is one of the big marketing draws for residents and companies. This is also a suburban DC population as well, so expectations are also going to be high.

  3. Shouldn’t this be an independent study? So, no one has a stake in the game.

    • Brian Stephan

      You could make that point. Independent studies cost $ though, which we know the State has trouble finding enough of. There have also been several similar studies in other areas of the country around district consolidation which can be used for reference.

      Who/what do you feel have specific stakes in this game Anono?

  4. Brian: Almost anyone on the list. Who want’s to be the one to say; “You have to cut people from payroll, because we are reducing the districts? Would a politician want to do that? Would someone from the DSEA?
    I understand it cost’s money, but it is better all around, if someone from the outside is saying this. IMHO.

    • I believe there’s a hiring formula based on number of students so it isn’t as simple as just cutting people from the payroll. Which sounds amazingly harsh, btw.

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