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Voters deliver Christina School District a clear referendum win

Delaware Public Media

The Christina School District’s tax referendum scored an overwhelming victory Tuesday.

Residents approved all four parts of the district’s request, with each receiving more than 65 percent of the over 14,000 votes cast.

The result means Christina avoids making $10 million in cuts to its operating budget. Those cuts would have included 67 jobs - many of them teachers - while eliminating all sports and extracurricular programs, as well as the district’s Chinese Immersion program and programfor gifted and talented children. 

The tax increase approved also allows Christina to restore budget cuts made last year, reduce class sizes and pay for the district's new English Language Arts curriculum in elementary schools.

The average property owner in the district will their tax bill rise by $282 over the next three years under the plan.

Voters also approved two capital improvement tax increases – raising about $10 million for a slate of projects. That means renovations to the Christina Early Education building and Marshall and Leasure elementary schools will go forward – along with renovations at Christiana High School, Downes Elementary, and Newark High School.

The capital portion of the referendum with cost the average property owner another $7.82 on their annual tax bill. But the district’s capital improvements tax rate would begin to decrease after two years as previous bond issues are retired.

The Christina School District last passed a tax referendum in 2016 by a mere 145 votes.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for nearly three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.
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