Red Clay seeks $47 million in school referendum
» The Red Clay Consolidated School District referendum will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 28. To learn more about the referendum, including polling places and upcoming information sessions, go to redclayvote.org.
» The Brandywine School District referendum will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. March 28. To learn more about the referendum, including a calculator to estimate your tax bill and read meeting minutes leading up to the decision to ask for a tax increase, go to www.brandywineschools.org.
» For questions about voting, including how to obtain an absentee ballot and locating your polling place, go to electionsncc.delaware.gov and click on the links for each district's referendum.
That means, after a 30-minute kindergarten lunchtime, the remaining grades cycle through every 15 minutes. Mealtime spans from 10 a.m. until 12:55 p.m.
To ease the situation, Red Clay Consolidated School District has requested that local taxpayers fund an additional $47 million for a new school and for repairs to 24 other buildings.
Kim Hoeschel, a parent from Hockessin, said a new neighborhood school is the best solution.
"Our Red Clay schools are doing a good job, so our enrollment is going up," she said.
But Adriana Bohm, a parent who lives in Wilmington, worries that more suburban schools will draw students and resources and harm city schools, which typically struggle more with academic achievement.
"I'm not opposed to new schools being built. That's not my concern," Bohm said. "My concern is why are we building a new school out in the suburbs?"
Red Clay officials want to build the new elementary school off Graves Road near Hockessin, explaining it is needed even though city schools in the district are losing students.
In Delaware, school districts other than the state's vocational districts must ask voters to approve increases in property taxes. Each request is presented as a ballot question.
Red Clay is one of two districts in the state this year that have contacted the Department of Elections to set a referendum date. The Brandywine School District is requesting a tax increase for its operating budget.
In recent years, there has been a mixed record of voter approval of school tax hikes. Last year a Capital School District referendum did not pass. A year earlier, a Christina School District referendum was approved by a narrow margin.
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