Senate OKs bill to boost schools in Wilmington (Natalia Alamdari)

State Sen. Elizabeth Lockman “wants to reinvigorate the conversation around Wilmington Schools.” Three years ago the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission presented the General Assembly with education policy recommendations re how the state should “go about supporting high-risk students in the city, and improving access to high-quality public education.”

A “weighted funding model” was recommended to cope with poverty, need for English learning classes, etc. Also, it was recommended that Christina School District's city schools be transferred to Red Clay. Senate killed the redistricting proposal in 2016, and no funding ever materialized.

Now Sen. Lockman, who was the WEIC vice-chair, is backing a proposed Redding Consortium for Educational Equity that would pursue the same issues in a new venue. Senate Bill 148, passed by the Senate on June 19 and awaiting action by the House, would accomplish this. Thus, the consortium would evaluate the need for additional or alternative schools in the city (including high schools), a redistricting proposal, and “the viability of New Castle County’s tax pool.” Several sources are quoted to the effect that the consortium recommendations “could benefit high-needs students across the state.”

Price tag for the consortium: $240K per year. Staffed by UD’s Institute for Public and DSU’s School of Graduate Studies. If the bill passes, consortium would have its first meeting by Sept. 1.
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