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Gov. Markell backs Christina referendum

Delaware Public Media

Gov. Jack Markell is throwing his support behind the upcoming Christina School District referendum.


“They deserve our support," Markell said. "Our childrens' futures and our state’s prosperity depends on our commitment to great schools. And I urge everybody in Christina to support the district’s referendum and go out and vote.”


His rare and possibly unprecedented public endorsement of a school tax question comes in a video released Monday by the district just two days before the referendum vote Wednesday.


Markell, a Newark High alum, touted successful Christina programs such as the World Language Program at Downs Elementary, the Cambridge Program at Newark, the Honors Program at Christiana and the College Leadership Academy at Glasgow.


He also lauded the hard work of educators in the district, saying it needs to be supported.


“As we recognize their work we must also understand that this progress can only continue - and we can only expand on their successes in every Christina classroom - if we give our educators, administrators and students the resources to succeed," Markell said.

Markell’s support comes despite his administration and the district being at odds in recent years over Markell’s Priority Schools initiative and allowing parents to opt their children out of state testing.


Christina residents rejected two referendums last year, leading to 9 million dollars in budget cuts this year.


If this scaled down proposal is not approved, district officials say more budget cuts to areas including academics, athletics and after-school activities will be necessary.

Christina is one of three districts holding tax hike votes Wednesday, joining Brandywine and Cape Henlopen.  Markell has not offered an endorsement of the proposals in the other districts.

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