September 28,  2010

Teacher force expanded to
meet increased enrollment

With the largest increase in enrollment in more than a decade, Brandywine School District has hired 38 new teachers and specialists for this academic year. Superintendent Mark Holodick told Delaforum that a difference in qualifications to meet present needs required taking on new people while only half of the 23 teachers laid off at the end of the 2009-10 year were recalled. Chief financial officer David Blowman told the school board on Sept. 27 that most of the previously reported increase of nearly 300  in the number of students was in grades four through eight. He said it reflected fewer students going to charter schools and more coming into the district under the school choice law.

Board member Ralph Ackerman reported that the Delaware School Boards Association intends to press the General Assembly to exclude school construction from the state  law which requires paying workers so-called 'prevailing' wages. That not only will lower the cost of such projects but also lessen competition from out-of-state workers attracted here by higher wages and "provide more jobs for Delawareans," he said. It was announced at the meeting that W.M.P.H., the Mount Pleasant High f.m. radio station, which went off the air in June, is expected to be back in service by late January or early February. "It's finally going to be a student-centered radio station ... which is what it should have been all along," Holodick said.

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