K-12 Governance Change in Wilmington, DE

Matthew Albright:

Wilmington’s school system needs sweeping changes if its children are to escape the poverty and crime threatening their futures, a committee created by Gov. Jack Markell said Monday.

The Wilmington Education Advisory Council’s recommendations would drastically rework how the city’s schools are managed, funded, and operated. They include:

Removing the Christina and Colonial School Districts from the city

Placing a hold on the approval of new charter schools until the state can design a comprehensive plan for how they should grow

Changing the way schools are funded in Delaware to funnel more resources to high-poverty schools

Creating an office of education in Wilmington government to give city officials more say in what happens in schools.

“Now is the time to act and to do so in ways that will strengthen Wilmington education for decades to come,” wrote Tony Allen, a senior Bank of America executive and the council’s chairman, in a letter to school and city leaders. “The benefits of these actions for Delaware and its largest metropolitan center cannot be overstated.”