KIMBERLY A.

WILLIAMS C O M M IT T E E S
STATE REPRESENTATIVE Education, Vice Chair
Health & Human Development
19th District Housing & Community Affairs
HOUSE OF REPRESENTAT IVES Labor
Veterans Affairs
STATE OF DELAWARE
4 1 1 LEGI S LAT I VE AV ENU E
DO VE R, DE LAW ARE 1 9 9 0 1

August 4, 2017

Delaware Department of Education
The Townsend Building
401 Federal Street, Suite 2
Dover, DE 19901-3639

Dr. Bunting,

It is our understanding the districts have recently been informed of the Department of Education’s
determination on the inclusion of non-Minor Capital Improvement match tax funds in the local per pupil
expenditure calculations. We are writing to voice our concerns with the process for making this
determination and our strong objection to the financial hardships this will cause for district budgets that
are already struggling with significant cuts.

This is not the first time we have voiced our concerns on this topic. Similar to our complaints last year,
Districts were notified of the determination after the deadline for their tax warrants were voted on by
school boards and many districts had prepared their Preliminary Budgets. We recognize there are efforts
underway to improve communication across the lines in education and certainly express our appreciation
for that, but in this case those efforts have failed. There was ample opportunity throughout the year, but
no discussions were held with district officials or legislators to review the legal and policy issues
surrounding the match tax inclusion. This is unacceptable.

We now face the same situation where districts are being told much too late in the game to further reduce
their budgets. Staffing decisions have long been set and program reductions would have to be made to
make up for the difference in funding. Again this is unacceptable. On top of significant reductions already
in place based on the state budget, this is an unfair burden being placed on our traditional schools.

We also need to have a broader discussion on the impact of what this decision would mean long term. We
have been operating for many years with the current process for exclusion of the local match tax
expenditures based on the belief that they are levied by school boards for very specific and restricted
purposes. We believe extending this new authority oversteps what was intended when the match tax was
authorized in budget epilogue and warrants a more careful legal review. There is also no uniformity to
who is and who is not assessing match tax and a decision of this nature disproportionately impacts
districts that have greater percentage of charter and choice students which we again find unacceptable.

411 Legislative Avenue, Legislative Hall, Dover, DE 19901
Office: 302-744-4351 Fax: 302-739-2313 Email: Kimberly.Williams@state.de.us
On all accounts, from the timing and process to the ultimate decision and outcome, we strongly disagree
with the determination that has been made by the Department to include local match tax in the local per
pupil calculations. We ask that you immediately reverse your decision.

Sincerely,

Rep. Kim Williams Sen. Jack Walsh Sen. Nicole Poore
19th District 9th District 12th District

Rep. Helene Keeley Rep. Sean Matthews Rep. John Mitchell
3rd District 10th District 13th District

Rep. Michael Mulrooney Rep. Paul Baumbach Rep. Ed Osienski
17th District 23rd District 24th District

Rep. John Kowalko Rep. John Viola Rep. Sean Lynn
25th District 26th District 31st District

Rep. Andria Bennett
32nd District

Cc: Governor John Carney

411 Legislative Avenue, Legislative Hall, Dover, DE 19901
Office: 302-744-4351 Fax: 302-739-2313 Email: Kimberly.Williams@state.de.us