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State keeps Delaware Autism Program at Christina School District

Delaware Public Media

The Christina School District is keeping administration of statewide services for children with autism.

The state and district reached an agreement on the program’s management after about three weeks of angst over who would run it.

The district was notified last month of an October memo from certain state budgetary offices seeming to direct the Department of Education to assume responsibility for running the Delaware Autism Program. At issue was difficulty hiring a statewide director.

Education Secretary Susan Bunting told the school district administration January 25th that program personnel were now DOE employees.

While the Office of Management and Budget started the process of moving the program in October, Autism Delaware Executive Director Brian Hill said he learned about it just last week.

He said his organization has heard from many parents concerned the state was taking over schools. He called it an eye-opening experience.

“Well, at least I have learned some things regarding how OMB can play a role in things," he said. "And honestly, because I’m not in that system, I can’t tell you if that system could have played any differently.”

Some Christina School Board members like Elizabeth Paige and John Young have voiced frustration with the state’s lack of communication about possibly transferring control of the program from the school district.

“Honestly, I was pretty disappointed to hear that our district administration felt blindsided by that information, Paige said. "You know, from the state side I think that was not the best experience for us and the Christina School District.”

Gov. John Carney said the legislature gives OMB and the Controller General certain authorities to make decisions on state programs. They also have authorities through budget language.

DAP Agreement 021419 by on Scribd

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