You are on page 1of 2
Deloware DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Steven H. Godowsky Townsend Biking rary of Eden 401 Faden Sat Ste 2 Moc un 7364000 Dover aware 99013639 Ee amorad DOE WEBSITE! Mp oe kT. deus acme September 7, 2016 Dear Senators and Representatives, Recently there have been concerns expressed regarding reported changes to the choice and charter funding formula. The purpose of this correspondence is to provide you with a clear understanding of the issue at hand and to inform you of our ongoing work to resolve the issue. ‘As you know, sixteen of Delaware's traditional school districts ate required to provide funding to other districts ot chaeter schools when a student “choices” to another district or charter school. Delaware Code includes the calculation to determine the amount of funds districts are to provide to other districts or charter schools for students who choice out of district. It came to the Department's attention that there may be inconsistencies from district to district about what funds are excluded from the calculation, eis important that the exclusions sought are appropriate because they represent an essential part of our school funding system. The fact that there are inconsistencies suggests that we need to understand why exclusions have evolved over time. (On April 8, 2016, the Department's Finance team attended the District Business Managers meeting and advised the group that there were potential inconsistencies with exclusions statewide for choice and charter billing. The district business managers were also informed the Department would be completing a review, with assistance from school district business managers, to provide a fair and consistent application of exclusions under the Delaware Code. (On May 25, all district business managers received further communication from the Department on this topic, including a listing of all of their local fund appropriations. District business managers were asked to review and submit to the Department which exclusions they were seeking, along with a justification for each request. This submission was due to the Department by July 8°, Upon receipt, the Department spent several weeks reviewing and analyzing district submissions. At the conclusion of that work, on “August 8, the Department informed district business managers of which appropriations had been approved to be excluded. On August 16, the Department released bills to all districts. Shortly after the bills were released, I received calls from a number of you expressing concern about the choice and charter funding process. Additionally, on August 23, the Department received a request from the district business managers to reconsider excluding “match tax” components within the calculation, p2 ‘As a result of the concerns raised over the past few weeks, the Department will place a “hold” status on all school district approved exclusions submitted for the 2015-16. Consequently, we will not make any changes to district requested exclusions this year. ‘That being said, I do believe we need to address the inconsistencies in the approved exclusion list now so that any changes can be fully communicated well in advance of the 2017-18 school year. ‘The Department, in collaboration with the Senate and House Education Committees, will convene ‘meetings with the district and charter school leaders on this important funding issue. It is my expectation ‘we will find a resolution that yields a fair and appropriate list of exclusions for the 2017-2018 school year and beyond. Sincerely, Att Bbriche? Steven H. Godowsky Secretary of Education Delaware Department of Education 401 Federal Street, Suite 2 Dover, DE 19901

You might also like