WEIC offers update to Wilm. City Council
The Wilmington Education Improvement Commission (WEIC) gave an update to a special committee of Wilmington City Council that deals with education, youth and families Wednesday night.
WEIC Policy advisor Dan Rich's presentation focused on how the current system doesn’t do much to address issues like child poverty and the achievement gap, and using a weighted funding formula to change that. He did not go into detail about the controversial redistricting proposal that would see Red Clay school district absorb most city students.
But that issue was front and center for 2016 mayoral candidate Kevin Kelley, who resides in the Christina School District. Some kids in that district would change schools in a few years under the current redistricting proposal.
"The children are caught in the crossfire here of what we’re going to try to do to make their education better," he said.
Kelley adds he was on the Neighborhood Schools Committee ten years ago and saw many similar recommendations.
“I hope this time there’s some wherewithal in the General Assembly to make it happen,” Kelley said.
City Councilman Trippi Congo echoed that sentiment. He says he’s not optimistic these changes will take place. He also cited groups dating back to 2001 that have attempted to reform education in the region with limited success.
"It’s frustrating, just hearing the same conversations, over and over. So, I guess my frustrations are, where do we go from here?" he said.
Congo adds that when it comes to changing the way schools are funded, the responsibility is in Dover.
A bill that would have created a weighted funding formula for schools was tabled in June in Dover.
Rich says that even if that bill fails to pass this year, it wouldn’t be acceptable to continue with the status quo.