Delaware Charter Schools: Weighing the Educational and Taxpayer Pros and Cons
The number of charter schools in the state has increased. So the debate about the effectiveness of traditional public schools versus charters continues.
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New and Bigger Schools
As the debate continues, several existing charter schools are growing and new ones are preparing to open.
Sussex Academy, the only charter school in Sussex County, moved to a new building in Georgetown and began offering a high school curriculum in September 2013.
Newark Charter increased its elementary-level enrollment by 260 students this year, and opened a new high school at the former Lear building off Elkton Road.
The Delaware Board of Education has approved the addition of new grades at Kuumba Academy, MOT Charter School and the Academy of Dover.
Renovations are now underway in Wilmington to convert an 11-story office building on North French Street into the Community Education Building. Starting with the 2014-15 school year, the CEB will be home to Kuumba Academy, La Academia Antonia Alonso and two other charter schools.
“This initiative is all about creating a great environment for high-performing charter schools interested in transforming the educational journey of city students and closing the urban achievement gap,” says Riccardo Stoeckicht, CEB president.
At least six new charter schools are in the planning stages, including Delaware Design-Lab, Delaware MET, La Academia Antonia Alonso and First State Montessori Academy, all in Wilmington, and First State Military Academy and Early College High School, in Dover.
“I have been around the charter school movement since the beginning, [and] the environment has never been more caustic,” Emmett says. “I think it’s because charters are growing very fast. I wish we could live in an environment where we were not viewed as the enemy. The bottom line is we are all accountable for providing good places for students. If we weren’t doing a good job for our parents, we wouldn’t be here, and I would’ve been out of business a long time ago.”