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Indian River pulls out of state school boards association

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Delaware Public Media
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The Delaware School Boards Association has lost another member board.

The Indian River School District voted unanimously last week to stop paying dues to be part of the group. They're following the lead of Christina School District, which left the association last fall.

Indian River has been part of the association for more than 30 years, as long as Charles Bireley has been on the district's board of education. He was president up until the start of this month, and says they'd been mulling this move for a couple of years.

"When we decided to do this, we looked at [that] the money would better go for students, additional programs or something like that, than what we thought we were getting out of [the association]," he says.

Based on rising enrollment, Indian River would have paid more than $13,000 in the upcoming school year for perks Bireley says were no longer making an impact.

"I don't know that we got too many services that we recognized on a local level," he says. "It was supposed to be on a national level with being involved with … some of the issues that comes out of federal money, and some other things that we were supposed to get representation when the Delaware legislators were in session. That's not the way it's been happening in the past couple of years."

He says Indian River disagreed with the association's focus on standardized testing and other issues in the legislative spotlight this year -- and adds that they'll still get lobbying help through the state Association of School Administrators.

Indian River encompasses 16 schools in southeastern Sussex County. It's one of the largest school districts in the state.