One FSL, Inc member in the Christina School District sent us the text of their opinion letter sent to the News Journal. Will it get printed?
“I urge the residents of The Christina School District (CSD) to vote no in the March 23rd referendum. The problem within CSD is poor leadership, bad financial management, and excessive administrative overhead. The Rodel Foundation has a comprehensive report showing CSD already spending above average per pupil (over $14,000) for way below average results (only 13% of students meeting college readiness benchmarks).
The solution for CSD is change of leadership and substantial cuts in administrative costs. The solution is NOT “give us more money” in a tax increase. My school taxes have already increased 25% from 2010 to 2015.
Adjacent districts like Red Clay and Smyrna have similar demographics and spend the same or less for far greater results. Charter schools, like Eastside Charter and Newark Charter, again get far better results on lower expenses, about $12,000/pupil.
When the last referendum failed, CSD responded with layoffs of 75 teachers. Really ? That’s the last group that should be affected – people teaching our kids. There was no notice of administrative bureaucrats losing their jobs or pay cuts for administrators. It is my understanding that there are over 100 employees in CSD, largely administrative, earning over $100,000/year.
Educating children is a very important priority. The community has supported public education by accepting 25% school tax increases over the last 5 years. Teacher salaries in CSD are amongst the highest in the state (see Rodel Foundation report). CSD’s operating budget is over $220million, over $14,000/pupil – a budget that should bring results – with good leadership and financial management.
Better leadership, not tax increases, will improve our educational performance and stem the defection of students to charter and private schools.
Vote NO, and force the district to become fiscally responsible.”
~ Dave in Newark