Manning said on Sept. 19 at the conclusion of the third of five
public hearings on how to implement the controversial law, is
"to continue doing what we have been doing for the last six or
state's public school choice law would allow students and their
parents to decide which schools they want attend irrespective of
whether those schools are closest to their homes as the law
seeks to mandate.
district, Manning said, will "let families choose instead of
seven people like us (board members) decide who is to go where."
three other districts required by the law to restore at least a
semblance of the school-assignment system which existed before
federal court in 1978 ordered consolidation of Wilmington and
suburban districts as a means to achieve racial integration are
using extensive processes to come up with plans, "Red Clay will
continue to put choice before assignment," he said.
else on the board disputed Manning or offered any comments on
the subject. Only two people testified at the hearing -- one of
them Wilmington City Councilman Charles Potter, who criticized
Clay board is scheduled to officially vote on Oct. 17 to submit
the choice plan to the state Board of Education in time to meet
the Nov. 15 deadline specified in the law.
during the board's regular business meeting, Manning opened fire
on the athletic association, a quasipublic agency which
regulates schoolboy and -girl sports.
objection from a community ice hockey organization which had
been granted club status at Alexis I. du Pont High School only
to have that rescinded as being in violation to an agency
regulation against recognition of so-called club sports in
Delaware high schools.
said the district and school should either ignore the objection
or grant the club the same privileges of associating with the
school that other community groups, such as the Boy Scouts,
discussion of district legislative priorities to be submitted to
members of the General Assembly, Manning added one which called
for abolishing the agency and replacing it with a new board with
broader representation. Manning said that the present structure
is peopled by coaches and the like with vested interests in
preserving their own sports and limiting others from competing
for available athletes.
other priorities adopted by the board is one calling for the
state to increase the amount of money allocated to districts to
finance transportation by at least 10% so the districts can
provide service to students attending schools under the choice
law. They currently have to get to and from those schools on
absolutely stupid [to say] districts have to provide choice but
the [state] will not pay for transportation. That's nothing but
bureaucratic baloney," said vice president Irwin Becnel.
priorities also ask for legislation changing the present 70-30
split of capital costs to have the state pay 80% for major
capital improvements and the entire cost of new school
construction. Red Clay last spring unsuccessfully sought voter
authorization to borrow the local 30% share of the cost of new
elementary schools in Stanton and near Hockessin, which it said
is necessary to complete the transition to all-choice student
business, the board heard objections to sudden termination of an
alternative education program. Superintendent Robert
Andrzejewski agreed to make arrangements to provide for the
students who have been displaced by the move.
again deferred a proposal to declare the former Absalom Jones
School building surplus. The structure now houses a community
center and there are efforts underway to have New Castle County
assume jurisdiction if not ownership of the property. Curiously,
minutes of the August business meeting, at which the matter also
was deferred, contained am erroneous notation that the
declaration had been made. The notation was complete with the
name of the board members offering and seconding a motion, which
actually was never made.
Charles Cavanaugh was recognized with a resolution commending
him for having served on the board since the district was
established 20 years ago. He is the only member to have done so.