Has The World Of Sussex Tech Turned Upside Down?

tech   Once again the subject of Sussex Tech’s funding is in the news.   Relating back to the request for an increase of the tax cap for the local portion of Sussex Tech’s funding, an increase that must be approved by the Delaware General Assembly, a resolution has been brought forth in the Delaware House of Representatives. Also notice that this decision was delayed until after the election cycle.

The bill # is HCR 2,  “CREATING A SUSSEX COUNTY TECHNICAL SCHOOL DISTRICT PROPERTY TAX REVIEW COMMITTEE.”, and was sponsored by House Minority Leader Danny Short (R).   http://www.legis.delaware.gov/LIS/LIS148.NSF/vwLegislation/HCR+2?Opendocument

The synopsis of the bill reads as follows, The current requested tax cap ceiling is based upon information formulated and detailed in a November 2013 report issued by the Tax Rate Review Committee for the Sussex Technical School District. This resolution will allow the Subcommittee to review more up to date and detailed financial information and offer to the Legislative body other options that might be considered. The requested tax ceiling currently is one option and the unfortunate other option expressed by the Sussex County Technical School District Administration is the reduction in force (RIF) of 47 employed individuals. This review is to affirm that these two mentioned approaches are solutions suggested by the District, but the Resolution additionally allows this Subcommittee to detail to the Legislative body other options that would be viable remedies to allow the Sussex County Technical School District to operate efficiently into the future.”

I have spoken with Rep. Short, and have been assured that the call for this committee to review the request, is nothing more than he, and the other Legislators seeking to have as much information as possible, and that there is no preconceived outcome on the question of whether or not to approve the increase request.

I have also spoken with my own Senator, Brian Pettyjohn, and have received likewise assurances that while he has concerns about certain issues surrounding the Sussex Tech question, he is keeping an open mind and awaiting the report from the committee, which is expected sometime in March.

My concern over this issue is, as it has always been, that being, there seems to be some who seek only to deny Sussex Tech any increase what so ever, but to also further restrict Tech in any manner possible.

I sense a growing mood within the media, and the Legislature in response to a vocal minority. I believe this is, in large part, the same people who will vote against any, and all school referendums, no matter the merit, or need. They are made up, in my opinion, of groups of people, that either no longer have children in school and feel no need to pay it forward, or they are simply the anti-everything government type. This second group, are people who see nothing good from anything to do with government, they have a knee jerk reaction to any call for an increase in spending, and hold a special contempt for public schools in general.

The arguments against Tech include the fact that this district does not have to ask the people for spending increases, that the board is appointed and not elected, thus the people have no “VOICE” in the decisions of how the money is spent. People will tell you that Tech’s  success is due to the fact that they only accept students with above average grades, and that they can send disciplinary problem students back to the home districts.

Let me address this last first. It is true Tech can send back students that are disruptive. So if discipline is a problem, then the home districts need to knuckle down and enforce some discipline. This is an improvement they can achieve which won’t cost them a dime.

It is also true that Tech can send back these problem students mid-way through the year and keep the funding for those students. This is one issue that I agree needs to be looked at for a way to reimburse the home districts.

Now let’s talk about some dimes. It is again true,  Tech does not have to seek their increases through referendums. It is also true that this latest request for an increase is only the third time an increase has been requested in the time since Tech was created. I wonder how many referendums your home district has asked for in the same amount of time?

As for the so-called “grade requirement” to get in, it was a “D” average. WOW! That is some high bar for students to achieve, isn’t it?

As to having a voice in this matter, actually, I have two. Rep. Dave Wilson, and Sen. Brian Pettyjohn. I vote in elections and so I have a voice. How is that any different from my one vote in a referendum?

Finally about the board being appointed and not elected. Well while I am in favor of local control in most issues, maybe we have to be honest and say, in the case of education, a board member who has to be re-elected is more likely to be influenced to do things that benefit the dollar, rather than making decisions that benefit the students and the quality of the education they receive.

I have no problem funding a school that has shown the ability to educate and prepare its students for both jobs and higher education. Both of which Sussex Tech has done.

No one makes the claim that Sussex Tech does not have an exemplary  record when it come to academics, not even their most ardent detractors. In fact they are often criticized for the fact that so many of their graduates go on to college.  They are criticized because they offer an above average athletics program. In fact it seems to me that all of the criticism surrounding Sussex Tech is about just how good they are, at just about everything a school is rated on when deciding whether or not the school is succeeding.

So it does seem as if the world is upside down when it comes to this debate over Sussex Tech. Because in all of the conversations I have had, both with Legislators, and citizens, it is always about how we can change Tech, so that the home districts don’t look so bad.

Hey, here is an idea, make the home districts better. Not once has anyone been able to tell me how restricting Sussex Tech’s funding will make Woodbridge, or Seaford, or Laurel, or Cape a better school district. No one can tell me how having an elected school board for Tech will cause grade averages to go up at Indian River. No one can convince me that forcing Tech into referendum, will increase the number of students graduating from Sussex Central who go onto college.

It is the very fact that there is no benefit to the home districts that leads me to believe that the real goal of those seeking to restrict Sussex Tech, is just that, to restrict Sussex Tech. Oh, they will attempt to wrap it up in lofty rhetoric about the voice of the people, but it all comes down to the fact that they simply don’t want to fund any form of public education. This is why they vote against any and all referendum, and is why they are bent on destroying one of the most successful school districts in the state.

I have always felt that before you start messing around with something that is obviously working, you should focus on the things that are not working. In this case Tech is working. So let us, and in that I mean we the citizens and our Legislators, focus on making all of Sussex County’s school districts as successful as Tech.

One last thing, this discussion over the funding equality among the home districts and Sussex Tech has given rise to talk of reassessment of property values, which I believe was last done in 1974. So all of you out there crying over funding Sussex Tech for the small amount of taxes you are paying now, I hope you are well and happy when your property taxes jump from 1974 rates to 20-something rates. Careful what you wish for friends.

To all of my fellow Tech parents and supporters, contact your elected officials now. Tell them about what Tech has meant to you and your children. Tell them to protect what is working, and to not give into the mean-spirited attacks.





53 Comments on "Has The World Of Sussex Tech Turned Upside Down?"

  1. waterpirate says:

    Tech is just the Sussex version of the charter school mess that plagues this state. A full and public audit of their finances, including a breakdown of monies spent on administrators will put thisissue to bed. One way or another.
    I feel that this is jus ta continuation of big govt. perpetuating itself. They received Federal grant monies, added staff and programs with no clear way to continue past the expiration of that money, except for tax increases. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Instead of treating that money with respect and as a finite resource, we get more taxes. Live within your means I say.

  2. Frank Knotts says:

    WP, if what you say is true, and considering the fact that the students are receiving a quality education now at Tech. How would any of that improve Tech or any other district? Are we to believe that the money spent by Tech is not on the public record right now? That would seem to be impossible. Do they have secret accounts that no one knows about?

  3. shut the front door says:

    I’ve heard there are more teachers earning 6 figure salaries at ST than any other district which is just plain crazy.

  4. Harry Whittington says:

    ST took on more students, teachers and expenses knowing that the funding wasn’t there to continue. They have intentionally put Sussex County taxpayers and legislators in a position where the options are firing 47 teachers or a sizeable tax increase so they can continue on their current spending spree.

    What ST needs is a lesson in Republican economics. No tax increase and no more spend and tax mentality. When spending referendums in Sussex are failing left and right (except for Cape), it is clear that taxpayers and voters have spoken loud and clear.

  5. Techatude says:

    Frank, It is my understanding that here have been letters upon letters upon letters sent to legislators. It is also my understanding that one of the legislators leading the anti Tech crusade had a daughter in law who was let go last year because of the cuts. I’m sure this legislator has an “open mind”. Check out this link if you haven’t already;


  6. Frank Knotts says:

    Harry, Tech is in a no win situation. They have been criticized for being exclusive, and now because they take on more students, they are criticized.
    I love your use of the term spending spree. If by that you mean educating students to one of the highest levels in the state? Then ok. Again, when I see results such as we see at Tech for our tax dollars, then I say money well spent.
    As for the tax payers having spoken loud and clear because referendums fail, well one might contend that the retired and cheap have spoken. Those who don’t care about the next generation after their kids are out of school.
    But let me challenge you with this question Harry.
    If we were to wave your magic wand and held Tech to some arbitrary amount, and they had the elected board you want, and they had to hold referendums and ask the people for increases. Tell me, how would that improve Tech, or any other district in Sussex? Would a single student improve in that scenario?
    Or is it more likely that Tech would be restricted and be no better than the home districts that parents are desperate to get their children out of?

  7. delacrat says:

    According to Harry, illiteracy is “Republican economics”, whereas learning is “tax and spend”.

  8. waterpirate says:

    ST has morphed into its current configuration, as a suedo charter school. I oppose the whole concept of charter schools as it does not afford all the students in the public system the same opportunities. As reported in other news sources ST has been less than forthcoming with details of its fiscal obligations, commitments, and ongoing projections. Sounds like a pile of $hit to me.

    My other problem is that they do not understand the meaning, or definition of soft money. They took that soft money, expanded staff and programs, knowing full well it would come to an end. The end has come and now they want more of my money to support the expansion. I say nuts.

    I am also of the opinion that ST does not turn out a quality student. You yourself have written and spoken about the desperate need for skilled blue collar workers to support SC growth. ST is doing a piss poor job of preparing its students that seek that knowledge a footing in the real world. I would put forth the notion that 8 out of ten ST graduates in a blue collar field could not pass the test for apprenticeship in their chosen vocation. If I am going to be asked to provide ST with any more of my money, I want real measurable testing and results. Getting out what I am paying for.

    The real world has had enough of middle management. We desperately need doers, not talkers.

  9. Harry Whittington says:

    ST spends more money per student than Cape. ST increased the number of students, teachers, administrators and employees with no long term revenue stream to support any of it. And now they want to expand.

    Notice how ST claims they will have to fire 47 teachers. Why not administrators, why not ratchet back the number of students they accept? You know why, because firing teachers results in public outcry. ST knows that and they’re paying people with our tax money to send that message out to cause that outcry.

  10. Techatude says:

    Harry Whittington. Where is the public outcry about Tech firing 47 teachers? I haven’t heard any outcry about the possibility; just as there was no outcry when many teachers were let go last year. People don’t care as long as their taxes aren’t raise by .9 cents.

  11. Frank Knotts says:

    WP, does “suedo charter school” mean a school where students receive a quality education and are prepared for jobs and or college? Then I am good with that.
    You then say, “as it does not afford all the students in the public system the same opportunities.”
    So you admit that Tech affords its students opportunities, then why are people so focused on restricting Tech, instead of demanding that the other districts provide the same opportunities?
    You then say, “As reported in other news sources ST has been less than forthcoming with details of its fiscal obligations, commitments, and ongoing projections.”
    So you are telling us that Tech has falsified records? That Tech does not have to report every penny spent? If so then I agree that they should have to, I do find it hard to believe that Tech does not have to make the same if not more reports about spending that all districts do.
    You will have to prove to me that other districts didn’t take the same soft money as did Tech, we know that they did, so why only the outcry against Tech?
    As for the quality of the students that Tech turns out and what fields they go into, well that is up to the families and the students. Certainly you are not suggesting that the government run schools should be deciding what jobs students should be trained for?
    Harry, in nothing that you point out, nor for that matter anything that WP pointed out have either of you answered my larger question, where in any of this does the quality of education improve for Tech on any district in Sussex?
    Show me just one example of how restricting Tech would improve the grade point average of a single student in Delmar?
    You can’t because it won’t, which means it is all about the money. Harry you sound like a TEA person talking about nothing but the money and not caring about improving the quality of education.
    Let me use an example that I am sure WP will understand.
    If I hire a well driller to drill me a well, and contract him for $5,000.00 and he tells me he is going to drill me a well 100 feet deep and get me down to the sweet water, but stops at 50 feet and I am drinking the run off from the fields next to my home, then I am going to be pissed.
    But if I hire a well driller and contract with him to drill that 100 foot well down to the sweet water for $8,000.00, and he goes all the way to the 100 foot mark and I get my sweet water, then I am happy because I got what I expected to get, no matter the cost.
    Tech is that 100 foot well, they are delivering the sweet water, they are delivering what we expect from a school.
    Instead of criticizing Tech, maybe we should be asking why we are happy to drink the run off at the other districts that have decided to stop at the 50 foot mark and call it good?
    Sometimes we have to accept that we can be wrong, and not hate something just because we think we are supposed to, based on preconceived ideas.

  12. waterpirate says:

    Now you are argueing for the sake of twisting words and argueing sake. It has been reported that when legislators requested info on fiscal matters at ST, that request was handled like the Gov. handles FOI requests, it was ignored.

    Other districts accepted the soft money and used as a resource, a windfall if you will. Not as a tool to come hat in hand later trying to get in our pockets. All the other schools and districts have a AP program and such to groom those bound for college, we do not need ST in its current configuration. By dumping monies into a alternative to regular district schools, we are preventing the monies from being equally distributed to them to do better.

    I also noticed that you are taking the position of ” no measurable results” in regard to the trade graduates. Lets line them up and test them for apprenticeship entrance and the proof will be in the smell from the propane.

    This issue is all about accountability. ST has enjoyed to little of it for far to long. Your defense of it is starting to sound like a school girls crush, not objective discussion. This issue is so contentious it cost a sitting Senator his re-election, that tells me people who are being asked to pay more are pissed off.

    I say this to our elected officials. Let ST be governed and managed the same as every other school. Elected school board members, and send their request for more monies to referendum vote. If the people speak, the people are served. Democracy.

  13. Frank Knotts says:

    And WP, you still have not answered the question, how does what you propose improve education in Sussex.
    So you are good justifying some districts using soft money but not Tech? Ok!
    As for preventing other districts from sharing in the money that Tech gets? Well Tech only gets the same amount on the state side, and the reason the other districts don’t get more on the local side is because the same people who want to strangle Tech have been strangling the home districts for years.

  14. pandora says:

    Frank asks: “WP, does “suedo charter school” mean a school where students receive a quality education and are prepared for jobs and or college?”

    No, that’s not what I think he means. Go take a look at the DDOE school profiles. Sussex Tech’s demographics looks very different from the surrounding public school districts’ demographics.

    Sussex Tech:
    English Language Learner………0.3%
    Low Income………………………..22.1%
    Special Education…………………7.7%

    English Language Learner………..2.5%
    Low Income…………………………45.3%
    Special Education………………..15.4%

    English Language Learner………..6.0%
    Low Income………………………….53.4%
    Special Education…………………13.3%

    Those Low Income and Special Ed numbers explain Sussex Tech “success” far more than anything they’re doing in their classrooms.

    What’s most disturbing to me is that we need technical schools for children who aren’t college bound. The idea that people have fled public schools to co-opt a technical school – to change its mission to suit their needs at the expense of children who would benefit from its intended purpose – bothers me. And this is happening at many Vo-tech schools, not just Sussex Tech.

    Here is a link to Delaware’s standard choice application. Pretty standard, no?

    Sussex Tech has an additional application. (I hesitate to post another link, because… spam filter). Just go to Sussex Tech’s page and click on Admissions Application.) Check out some of the things this “public” school is asking for prior to acceptance.

    1.) I hereby authorize and request the chief school officer or designated school official to forward or release school records to Sussex Technical High School. Additionally, I authorize and request the Department of Education to forward all Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS) scores to Sussex Technical High School.

    Why are they asking to see records prior to acceptance? What is the point of that?

    2.) To be completed by the student. Please explain in your own handwriting why you would like to attend Sussex Tech. (Students with mechanical disabilities or limited English skills may call the Admissions Counselor at 854-2820 for additional options other than a handwritten statement.)

    An essay required for admittance into a public school?

    3.) To assist us in staffing and in the facility planning process, please indicate below if special services are needed by the student. Please check all boxes that apply.

    __ Student attends Academic Challenge Program at Delaware Tech: Please check all that apply.
    __ Academic Challenge Math Only
    __ Academic Challenge English Only
    __ Both

    ___ Student requires special education services.

    ___ ESL

    ___ Student is under medical care

    That’s a lot of information gathering to attend a “public” school. And we wonder why Sussex Tech’s demographics look the way they do? I’ll say it again, the “success” of Sussex Tech seems to rely more on who they let in the classroom than what goes on in the classroom. If true public schools wanted to emulate Sussex Tech’s “success” then they’d need to be able to kick out poor and special ed students.

    WP, is correct. Sussex Tech functions like a pseudo charter, and moving away from Vo-Tech’s primary role to a College Prep role hurts public schools. By taking the most affluent, non-special ed children they are increasing the burden on public schools, leaving them with a poorer, higher needs population – you know, the kids that Sussex Tech doesn’t seem to take.

  15. Harry Whittington says:

    ST spends more per student than any other school in Sussex and they are in the top 5 in the state for spending per student. They, like all public schools have limited resources but despite that fact, they hired more teachers, administrators and “other” employees with tax money that wasn’t a permanent revenue stream, and they took on more students. Why should they be rewarded with more money for poor management? If anyone is trying to sacrifice ST’s “quality” education, it’s ST with their poor fiscal management.

    Meanwhile, Sussex County taxpayers don’t want to spend more on the schools in their own districts, why should they be forced to spend more on ST?

    If ST wants to keep improving, the answer is simple-get rid of teachers, administrators and “other” employees who were funded with grants that have expired, and stop expanding enrollment without the resources to support the expansion. It’s what conservatives and Republicans want for local, state and federal government, why would ST be exempt?

  16. mouse says:

    I onder if there is a connection between university educated people in a district and its likelyhood of voting for scholl referendums

  17. Rick says:

    Those Low Income and Special Ed numbers explain Sussex Tech “success”…Pandora

    What Pandora is saying is that “Low Income” students are inherently stupid. Nice.

  18. waterpirate says:

    Thank you for wrapping that up for me ! You also get bonus points for the data research. Kudos to you.

    I hope you are playing the Devils advocate for entertainment value, and or for readership. If you are not, your a$$ is hanging out all over the street.

    1. Soft money is soft money, no matter who gets it. To ask for a tax hike to cover that loss is criminal.
    2. To have a county wide school that is not responsible to the people it serves is also criminal.
    3. To change a vocational school to a charter type college prep school, when that is being done at the home district is theft of good students.
    4. ST does a piss poor job of preparing the blue collar kids for anything more than fast food.

    To me number 4 means that tech has failed the students it was designed to help. If you think that ST is serving the blue collar kids, I have a bridge for sale. To all the lurkers on this site, I have a simple home work assignment. Ask any blue collar business owner, supervisor, or tradesman, ” How would you rate a graduate of ST in regard to being able to enter their chosen field as an apprentice?” This is where the rubber hits the road. You will soon find out what the real world thinks of the job ST is doing getting the next generation ready.

    Following Pandora’s lead, if you persist in your current thinking. I will contact the pipe fitters union, the electrical brotherhood, the carpenters union, and the Masons, and get them on record as to what and how they feel about the ST graduates being able to pass a apprentice entrance exam.

  19. Frank Knotts says:

    Pandora, thank you for those numbers, now could you tell us what the % of English learners, low income, and special education is county wide? Is it possible that the numbers at Tech represent the make-up of the entire county from which Tech receives student, and not the selected hot spots you chose?
    And I have to agree with Rick, are you saying that people from low income families can’t learn at the same level. Or is this just a tactic to turn the conversation.
    As for the application to a “public” school? “Why are they asking to see records prior to acceptance? What is the point of that?” Because they had a D average requirement for acceptance.
    “An essay required for admittance into a public school?” Since they can only accept a limited number of students, your continued tactic of pointing out “public” school is pointless, and expecting a high school student to be able to write an essay should not blow anyone’s mind.
    Harry, so why don’t you finish the story, if Tech is 5th in spending, please tell us where they are in graduation rates statewide? As for accepting more students? How dare they allow more students to leave a district that their parents feel is failing them to allow them into a district that offers them a chance at a better education, the nerve!
    And thank you for boiling it down to this statement, “Meanwhile, Sussex County taxpayers don’t want to spend more on the schools in their own districts, why should they be forced to spend more on ST?”
    And this is the nub of the entire issue here, people don’t want to pay for education, in any form. How sad that people actually put their pockets before the future of our kids. I can understand condemning schools that fail to teach students, but when schools that are successful such as Tech are condemned simply because it is the knee jerk reaction to all government, or in Pandora’s case, seeing it as a socioeconomic slight, I just can’t get my mind around it. I am willing to pay for good results, and if those results are because the students are able to focus on their studies rather than the fights in the halls, then I am for that as well.
    WP, since you are labeling so many things as criminal, could you show me in code where it is criminal?
    As for the “mission” of Tech? It is true, it has changed over the years. But is it the governments role to decide what jobs students should be trained for? Sounds a bit socialistic to me. Or should the school offer and represent the jobs that students and their parents feel are the best interest of themselves? There has been a turn towards the more “TECH”nical careers and so that is where the school has grown. The jobs you listed WP, are “TRADES” and are near and dear to my heart since I took plumbing when they were Vocational and Technical schools. At some point the populous will recognize that we need plumber and carpenters.
    I will not debate you on the opinion of business owners of the trade students coming out of Tech, since that is a judgment made by individuals.
    What I will say is that academically, which is also a part of the equation, Tech is one of the best. Maybe we should ask retail owners about their opinion of student from Sussex Central and their abilities to do math.
    If you are upset that Tech and the other tech schools have shifted their focus, then look to society’s shift. Parents don’t want their kids to be blue-collar, they want them to be college grads.
    And finally, I will once again ask, since no one above dared to take this on, “HOW DOES RESTRICTING SUSSEX TECH MAKE SUSSEX TECH OR ANY OTHER DISTRICT IN SUSSEX BETTER?”
    Now I will challenge all above, in your next comment, instead of telling us all how best to restrict Tech, tell us how to improve education over-all, because that should be the most important thing, not simply punishing a school for being successful.

  20. waterpirate says:

    If we stop ST from cherry picking the best students to leave their home districts, those students stay at their home districts to become peer role models. The money pool, and good teacher pool is a finite resource. If more of that pool was spent in the home district, things would improve.

    Your claim that focus is shifted is bunk. That claim supports my argument that college bound students should remain at their home district, not go to the special school. Correct me if I am wrong, but if ST is still providing trades training and failing at it…. Then we should remission ST to the ST charter college school, and move the trade education to a facility that wants to train them.

    My challenge to you and others remain the same. It is not socialistic nor punishment. It is about getting what I am being asked to pay for. Let us also not forget that college bound students have many choices open to them.
    1. public school
    2.charter school
    3.faith based school
    4.private school
    So in the end I am being asked to pay more tax money for duplicate services being provided by a facility that is suffering from a bipolar identity crisis. If you claim people are strangling the other districts and do not want to support the schools, well at least the people have spoken. In ST case you and the others want my money to support something that you know the people would not support through referendum. It is the most blatant example of a ” end run ” around the system in most recent years.

    Back to my original claim. ST should not be special. Let it be governed like all other schools with a elected school board, and tax increase via peoples vote. If you do not support that, than you are guilty in trying to perpetuate the ” slight of hand ” at the tax payers expense.

  21. justsaying says:

    Frank you have to get real about this one. Take the emotion out of it cause your daughter went there. The only supporters of Tech right now are patents or teachers. Just look at simple facts and throw the rest out the door. This school was designed to be the ONLY vo tech school in Sussex. How are kids going to get that vocational skill if they keep trying to move further away. They dropped one of there mechanic vocations but want to add culinary…..Why hmm…maybe because Cape just started culinary Program.

    Look at the school itself its campus is almost larger than Deltech. Look at the pretty fields and locker rooms. Look at what they pay their coaches. They have uncertified teachers making more than your daughter because they are an assistant coach. How does that speak to you Frank? Your daughter and her education isn’t worth a Para professional/ football coach.

    Tech needed .3 cents last year to keep teachers they asked for .24 cents. This year they have the gull to ask for .27 cents this Year. Fact is they aren’t just asking for need they are asking for whatever they want and when they don’t get it they start crying.

    My solution cut sports, send kids to their home schools since this all about education. Cut Widener since this is a VO TECH HIGH SCHOOL not college prep and we already have college programs available to all schools for free. And stop increasing enrollment if you can’t afford it.

    Bottom line ST is upside down on their ledger. They have known for 3 years they were spending to much and what did they do….spend more….time to pay the piper.

  22. pandora says:

    Frank says: “Pandora, thank you for those numbers, now could you tell us what the % of English learners, low income, and special education is county wide? Is it possible that the numbers at Tech represent the make-up of the entire county from which Tech receives student, and not the selected hot spots you chose?”

    First Frank, you chose the hot spots. In your post you said, “Not once has anyone been able to tell me how restricting Sussex Tech’s funding will make Woodbridge, or Seaford, or Laurel, or Cape a better school district.” I used the first two of your examples because I didn’t have all day to research each district. I would, however, think that someone writing a post on education would have at least done his homework.

    And look! Here you are assigning me homework! Do you not know where to find this information?

    I’ll provide the numbers you requested per Sussex County school district (not just high schools) for the 2014 – 2015 school year. Hopefully, I didn’t miss any Sussex districts. And shame on me for doing homework you should have done.

    Sussex Tech:
    English Language Learner (ELL)………0.3%
    Low Income………………………..22.1%
    Special Education…………………7.7%

    Cape Henlopen:
    Low Income………….37,7%
    Special Ed……………16.3%

    Low Income…………..18.6%
    Special Education……..9.3%

    Indian River
    Low Income…….46.6%
    Special Ed……….15.7%

    Low Income…….57.2%
    Special Ed………14.5%

    Low Income……..47.4%
    Special Ed……….13.5%

    Low Income………….57.5%
    Special Ed……………16.3%

    Low Income………….53.5%
    Special Ed…………….12.3%

    Hmmm… doesn’t look like Sussex Tech represents the area. Just for fun let’s take a look at Sussex Academy’s (a charter school) numbers for 2014 – 2015 school year.

    English Language Learner…………..0.5%
    Low Income……………………………11.2%
    Special Education……………………..4.4%

    Interesting, no? There are the numbers you requested, Frank. Three of these schools, Sussex Tech, Sussex Academy Charter and Delmar look very different than all the other school districts. Why could that be?

    Next you say, “And I have to agree with Rick, are you saying that people from low income families can’t learn at the same level. Or is this just a tactic to turn the conversation.”

    You’re in over your head again. Poverty has a huge effect on children and their education. There are countless studies you should read (No, I’m not doing your homework again). Of course, they can learn, but they will require more resources – resources that Sussex Tech and charters drain from public schools. Resources that include money and people. When Sussex Tech and charters pull out the most affluent and non special ed kids they increase poverty and special ed (high needs) numbers at public schools. This puts a significant strain on public schools and results in the loss of programs – mostly programs such as TAG, technology, AP, the arts, etc.. This is due to teaching units assigned to each school/district.

    I’m not the one with tactics, Frank. You like Sussex Tech. Fine. I would guess you have had some personal association with the school. Fine. You feel they should receive more money, but don’t say where you’ll make cuts to pay for it. Where will you take the money from, Frank? Other schools?

    This is silly, but let’s address this supposedly “gotcha!” question:

    “Now I will challenge all above, in your next comment, instead of telling us all how best to restrict Tech, tell us how to improve education over-all, because that should be the most important thing, not simply punishing a school for being successful.”

    The first way we can improve education is to stop diluting finances with all these charters, magnets and Vo-Techs that aren’t fulfilling their stated mission. There’s only so much money. All these new schools are draining resources and skewing demographics and creating high poverty schools, which are very expensive. Consider this, if Indian River HS (just an example) loses most of it’s top students to charter/Sussex Tech then they will not have enough of these students to offer AP courses. This brings us back to teaching units, and if you don’t understand how they work you probably shouldn’t be writing about education. If you do understand them, then let’s discuss how they influence education in Delaware.

  23. Rick says:

    You’re in over your head again. Poverty has a huge effect on children and their education. There are countless studies you should read (No, I’m not doing your homework again).

    No, you’re in over your head. Even if “poverty” itself (rather than the causes of poverty; absentee father, mother’s low education level, drug addiction, etc.) is a “cause” of low achievement, “poverty” is not the issue here. The fact is that according to your implication , i.e., that DT’s lower percentage of ‘low income” students accounts for statistical academic “success,” one must deduce that low income students negatively impact the school’s test scores in the aggregate. Thus, you are saying that low income students are inherently dumb.

  24. saltyindependent says:

    the numbers tell the tale. technical funding and they are not necessarily serving the kids who need those courses. they have more people in their district office for one school than cape has for eight schools.

    assistant superintendent
    curriculum person
    money person
    adult ed person
    transportation person

    try finding them on their website. you can’t. i wonder why?

    in the building they have four or five administrators as well.

    their biggest problem in my estimation is pr. they have historically made a mockery of the lottery system by hand picking kids based on extra curricular interests and talents. say it ain’t so, but you’d be lying. they have been accountable to nobody and have in fact snubbed their nose at people who question them. having an entrance requirement is not appropriate for a public trade school. the kids who fail english need the hands on training more than anyone.

    i don’t debate that it’s a good school. they need to remember their original mission and work with the other districts in the county to serve kids who need their services. if you really want to save some money, keep your technical programs and get rid of athletics etc.

  25. waterpirate says:

    A mistake on the official website? Or a further ongoing lack of transparency. If ST also selects students based on athletic ability, I would suggest a change of name to Sussex Sports Charter School. Then we could send them all to the UD on sports scholarships, to major in AG economics. When their four years are up, if they do not get drafted to the pro’s, they can return to Sussex and be another under employed, or un employed UD graduate with a worthless degree.

  26. Techatude says:

    If they recruit athletes they are doing a piss poor job. Their boys teams are average at best. The only Championships they have ever won are in girl sports. (Football the first year) Field Hockey and Softball specifically. These teams have been slightly above average of late. The sports argument is just dumb.

  27. waterpirate says:

    You said it. They are doing a piss poor job. Just because they are actively recruiting, it does not guarantee a winning season. Just like the vocational training, just because they are doing it, it does not guarantee a quality product upon graduation.
    What else you got to defend them?
    How about we talk about their practice of hiring unqualified people for positions that were never advertised county or state wide?
    Any defense of ST, pales in contrast to their ongoing transgressions

  28. Frank Knotts says:

    WP, in your first paragraph you say, ” The money pool, and good teacher pool is a finite resource. If more of that pool was spent in the home district, things would improve.”
    This is completely bogus, since the money does not automatically go to the home districts, since they have to pass referendums to increase the amount of money they get from the local share, and the same people saying no to Tech are the same people saying no to referendums.
    As for the trades, maybe the home districts should provide those programs and compete with Tech.
    WP also falls back on the claim that the “people have no voice” in the running of Tech, really? Because I get to cast two votes when it come to Tech, for my Rep. and my Senator, I only get a single vote on district referendums.
    Also Pirate my friend, you really did not answer the question, how does restricting Tech benefit education within the county? Since the money you pointed to, does not transfer.
    Just Saying, says, ” How are kids going to get that vocational skill if they keep trying to move further away. They dropped one of there mechanic vocations but want to add culinary…..Why hmm…maybe because Cape just started culinary Program.”
    That is called competition, and as I said previously, if Tech is changing its focus, it is likely due to demand. Or are you suggesting that the schools should only offer what the government feels is needed?
    “Your daughter and her education isn’t worth a Para professional/ football coach. ” That is unless she gets hired at Tech! 😉
    And as far as your point about what they are asking for, well I am sure there is a little car dealing going on there, ask for more than you think you can get. But also you misrepresent what is going on here. Unlike district referendums where districts ask for a specific rate increase, here we are talking about a cap. They would be raising the cap by .27 cents, they would not be automatically collecting that amount. The same as they have been operating under the current cap for years.
    Pandora, I am so sorry to ask you to back up your point, you chose the districts to use, not me. However you make the same lame claim as WP, “resources that Sussex Tech and charters drain from public schools. Resources that include money and people.”
    Again, just because you take money away from Tech does not translate in more money for the other districts, since they still have to pass referendums to increase funding on the local level, and if you are talking about the state side funding, well isn’t that what everybody is upset about with Tech? That they don’t have to ask the people for the increase?
    And your last paragraph does not answer the question of how restricting Tech improves education overall. It does attempt to explain how it would benefit the home districts, and fails in my opinion, but is not the same as improving education.
    Salty, first of all counting the adult ed person is a bit outside the debate here. As to this claim of recruiting student for sports or band, well my daughter got in and she was neither. As for having “entrance requirement “, well when I went to Vo-Tech back in the 70’s, you had to hold the same D average to remain in the program. Is it so much to expect a student opting to go here to make the minor commitment of a D average? I don’t think so.
    And I hope I am miss understanding this statement, ” to serve kids who need their services.” Who would that be? The “DUMB” kids? Surely we want mechanics and plumbers that can hold a D average. This is not the same world we grew up in, it has new challenges and new goals for the students. Too many people here seem to want to dictate what students should be allowed to study for, for their futures.
    Techatude, it is just the fall back position.
    And if the committee comes back and tells us that Tech has correctly portrayed its needs, and is granted an increase in the cap, then the fall back will be that it is all to blame on the government conspiracy and up state.
    I have been on both sides of home district referendums, both for and against. I choose based on the need and the merit. Far too many only look at their wallets. Others attempt to make it a progressive issue of keeping the poor, poor.
    What I have seen in referendums is that angry people usually win. That does not make them right, only angry, and anger is often a larger motivator.
    I have only advocated here that I believe that tech has done a good job educating the students that have gone there, which is their job. And yes, parents and students that have had that experience support Tech, because unlike those opposed, we have actual experience with the school.
    I will also point out once again. This controversy is likely to give the GA and the County a reason to push for reassessment. I hope you all enjoy eating that with a great big spoon.

  29. justsaying says:

    Frank most of,the time we agree. But I am telling you, this is one time when your in the dark. If tech lets go,of that many teachers they will close. They have played a dangerous game of poker and the all in bluff just got called.

  30. saltyindependent says:

    there are kids who need their services that they are not interested in serving. you called them dumb, i wouldn’t use those terms. anyone who has been around knows that the lottery is bogus. talk to people who work/have worked there. as i mentioned the real problem is the bad pr and the way they have handled themselves over the last 15 years.

  31. waterpirate says:

    Your lack of information and education on this topic is preventing you from seeing the forest because the trees are in the way. You continue to say that ” those people who are starving the districts”. Guess what? That is the way a democracy is supposed to work. A school is supported by the people in that district who pay the taxes. If the people in those districts vote up or down is not for you to judge the validity of the outcome of the election.

    Time will tell what your 2 votes count for if the elected officials have the hutzpa to weigh in on their feelings about this mess. My money is that they all are smarter than to publicly say one way or the other for fear of getting to close to the ST lightning rod.

    Go get the data, and stop blindly carrying the athletic supporter for ST. Let the rank and file decide.

  32. Frank Knotts says:

    Just Saying, did I miss something? Did anyone say they would be letting 47 “TEACHERS” go? Or did they say they would have to cut 47 personnel?
    Salty, I did not call them dumb, notice the quotation marks.
    WP, as I pointed out in my last comment, it seems that anger is quite a motivator, you seem extremely angry over this issue. You also seem stuck on the athletic issue with the jock comment.
    I have not denied that if people vote against a referendum then it fails, that is obvious. What I have said that in my opinion the reason that people seem to vote down referendums is simply because they don’t want to pay for anything.
    I have said that I have supported and opposed referendums, have you ever been in favor of an increase? I look for results, I see results at Tech. No one has denied those results, only that you don’t care for how the results are achieved. Will you tell me that if the restrictors when, you actually think that the students who don’t get into Tech will get a better education?
    The difference we seem to be having here is that I want the best education possible, others seem only to want the best education they are willing to pay for.
    Money is not always the answer, we see those examples all too often, however in this case the students at tech are getting our money’s worth, in my opinion.
    My fear is that the angry people may win this battle as well since our elected officials often give into the bullying tactics, rather than reason.

  33. waterpirate says:

    I am not angry at you or them, I am angry that ST colors outside the lines of control that every other district has. My hang up with the sports program is that it should be the first place we look for belt tightening before we go begging for more money. Yes sports play a role in the education process, however if the school is already offering a better education and vocational training that the home district can not supply according to ST supporters, sports should be the obvious choice for cuts. I ask you, better education without sports or return the good students to their home districts if they choose to play sports? ST is a pig that knows no boundries, make them make the hard choices, or make the students choose. If ST is so special for college prep, we are providing duplicate services. Is that enough reason for you? ST supporters fear referendum because I think they know the tax payers have had enough, and they are going to kill the administrative golden goose.

  34. saltyindependent says:

    let’s see a list of the administrative costs for a single high school. i am willing to wager that it is in excess of one million dollars. they have at least ten people who are making 100k a year that are not providing classroom instruction. for a single high school?

    why did they just admit the largest freshman class in the history of the school? they were aware of the fiscal problems a year ago. i can’t speak to the reason, but it smacks of arrogance. smugness turns people off. where is the leadership. how about something along the lines of “we hear what people are saying and want to work with you ” instead of “you’re just jealous you’re not us” people have endured this attitude for 15 years. it’s obvious the majority of people are tired of it. situations like this require that leaders get out and engage people. don’t play the victim. people are not buying it. where is there leadership? too proud? too special? do you have information that we just couldn’t understand?

    in terms of the sports whoever commented about them being mediocre is correct. however, this is not for lack of trying. i don’t blame them for trying to have quality programs, but they spend more money than anyone in the county and they are over budget. perhaps they deserve increase in funding. they also need to reevaluate their mission so as to work with the traditional districts in the county to identify the students who are interested in a votech education.

    after all it is “sussex county vocational and technical school district”

  35. Frank Knotts says:

    WP, why is the answer to everything always “tightening of belts”? Is there never a circumstance that justifies an increase? If something is working why is the reaction to restrict it? Because our ideology tells us we must?
    No one here has said that Tech is a failure. So why do so many want to restrict it?Maybe we should consider it as a model.
    You say the tax payers don’t want to pay for schools. So maybe we should just abandoned public schools all together?
    I believe the best way to improve all education is through competition which means that people need choices. Either through vouchers or schools like Tech. The idea that there should be a one size fits all for education sounds a bit progressive in nature. Pandora darling this is where you come back in I suppose.

  36. pandora says:

    I’ve been reading and trying to formulate a response to your argument for Sussex Tech, Frank, but then I realized you don’t have an actual argument. Your entire point is “I like Sussex Tech. Rah! Rah!”

    You don’t want to discuss the Vo-Tech funding structure and how, and why, it differs from public schools. Should all schools be funded the way Vo-Techs are, or should Vo-Techs be funded through referendum like public schools? Are you okay with Vo-Techs making their case for more money to a small group of elected officials rather than the public at large? And if you are okay with that then why aren’t you calling for the same funding mechanism for all public schools? Because… following one of your main themes on this post/thread, you seem to have a problem with (selfish?) people not supporting a referendum and education. Isn’t that the bigger question?

    I’ll also point out that we seem to have found a tax increase you support. Forgive me if I question that support – due to the fact that you only seem to call out people not voting for a referendum as a way to further defend Sussex Tech. It’s like you’re saying, “If you guys want/need more money for public schools then you should vote for the referendum. Meanwhile, the school I like shouldn’t have to do that.” And I’ll point out that everyone in the district gets to vote for the referendum (Sussex Tech, charter, private school parents, people without children – everyone) while Sussex Tech gets to bypass community support.

    Vo-Techs also have the ability to levy taxes.

    § 2601 Power of county vocational high school districts and county vocational-technical school districts to levy taxes for school purposes.

    (a) Any county vocational-technical high school district or county vocational-technical center district may, in addition to the amounts appropriated to it by the General Assembly, levy and collect additional taxes for school purposes upon the assessed value of real estate in such district, as determined and fixed for county taxation purposes:

    (1) The amount to be raised by taxation shall not exceed 20.97 cents on each $100 value of real property in Sussex County for the tax year 2008, 22.23 cents for 2009, and 23.50 cents for 2010 and all years thereafter.

    (2) The amount to be raised by taxation shall not exceed 14 cents on each $100 of value of real property in Kent County for the tax year 1993 and all years thereafter.

    (3) The amount to be raised by taxation shall not exceed 13 cents on each $100 of the value of real property in New Castle County for the tax year 1982 and shall not exceed 14 cents on each $100 of the value of real property in New Castle County for the tax year 1983 and all tax years thereafter.

    (4) Any county vocational-technical high school district, or county vocational-technical center district, shall not charge tuition to cover the cost of vocational-technical education for nonresident pupils and shall not, in formulating admission policy, give preference to any applicant for admission based on the residence of such applicant.

    (b) In the event a general reassessment of all real estate in the county changes the total assessed valuation of a county vocational-technical high school district or a county vocational-technical center, the board of education of such district shall calculate a new tax rate which, at its maximum, would realize no more than 10 percent increase in actual revenue over the revenue derived by real estate tax levied in the fiscal year immediately preceding such reassessed real estate valuation.

    (c) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section to the contrary notwithstanding, a vocational-technical school district which is required to provide a local share for a school construction project may establish a countywide tax sufficient to pay the principal and interest on the bonds for the local share of the project.

    Imagine if public schools could do this. Yes, there is the Tuition Tax, but I’m sure you know what that is and what it’s allowed to do, right? If not, ask me and I’ll tell you.

    But we see this sort of thing all the time with “special” schools. Public and charter schools receive transportation funds. If public schools do not use all of these funds they must return them. Charters get to keep the unused money. It would appear (and I’m still looking through Vo-Tech budget allotments) that Vo-Techs also aren’t required to return money and, unlike public schools, aren’t restricted in how they spend the money.

    Here’s another fun transportation fact. If you choice your child out of your feeder school and into another public school (in district or out of district) it is then your responsibility to drop off and pick up your Choice child at the Choice school or to deliver them to an already established bus stop – which will not be in your neighborhood. However, charter schools – ALL of which are Choice schools and filled 100% with Choice students – receive transportation. Choice into a charter and get a bus. Choice into a public school and getting your child to/from school is your responsibility.

    And here’s another thing about competition through choice. Choice only exists if you have the ability to act on it. Reread the paragraph above and now imagine you don’t own a car (or more than one car), or work a crazy schedule that results in you being at work when it’s time to drop off or pick up your child from school. Well… no choice for you since you’ll need to rely on the feeder school’s bus to get your child to and from school. Choice exists for more affluent families. To pretend everyone can access it is dishonest. Sorry, I’ll take that back. I don’t think you’re dishonest. I think you’re woefully uninformed on this issue.

    You also talk about how you have two votes for your voice. Well, I have those too… plus 7 more. So do you, btw, since everyone gets to vote for public school boards, unlike Vo-Tech and Charter boards who aren’t accountable to the public.

    You keep saying, “No one here has said that Tech is a failure. So why do so many want to restrict it?aybe we should consider it as a model.” I have shown you – with actual data – why this school is considered successful. You won’t address the data. Why not? Explain why Sussex Tech’s demographics differ vastly from surrounding public schools? Sussex Tech has become a public-private school, complete with admissions requirements. True public schools do not require essays or have applications asking if the student has an IEP. Why do they ask for this information prior to enrollment into a public school, Frank? I don’t really care if you’re okay with it – I want you to explain why they do it.

    And this comment: “As for the trades, maybe the home districts should provide those programs and compete with Tech.”

    First, in order to do that, you’re talking about more money (Talk about tax and spend). Second, if they did that then let’s close down Vo-Techs since their stated mission would no longer exist. A Vo-Tech school morphing into a college prep charter shouldn’t be competition for public schools. The only schools they should be “competing” with are other Vo-Tech schools – since Vo-Techs (should) serve a different purpose/population and play by different rules.

    What really amazes me, Frank, besides finding a tax increase you support, is how you’ve dropped your “Man of the people/Constitution/Voting is a right” stance when it comes to something you personally support. And I can’t help but think if your daughter hadn’t gotten into Sussex Tech that you’d be singing a different tune.

  37. Rick says:

    …why this school is considered successful. You won’t address the data. Why not? Explain why Sussex Tech’s demographics differ vastly from surrounding public schools? Sussex Tech has become a public-private school, complete with admissions requirements. True public schools do not require essays or have applications asking if the student has an IEP. Why do they ask for this information prior to enrollment into a public school, Frank? I don’t really care if you’re okay with it – I want you to explain why they do it.

    They do it for the obvious reason; because they want one public school in Sussex County where students who want to study can do so in relative peace. Not every family can afford to send their kids to private schools.

    As your statists indicate, low-income students and low academic proficiency go hand-in-hand. But poor grades are not the only deleterious component low-income students bring to the classroom; the actual learning process is slowed-down for all in an attempt to allow the indifferent students to keep-up; many low-income students are disruptive and violent; and many low-income students have no respect for authority. In other words, the schools are chaotic.

    This is not to say that all– or even most- low income students are dysfunctional. But, it is generally true that with higher levels of low-income students there is a corresponding decline in achievement. A classic case is the D.C. public schools. The highest per-pupil spending in the country is not enough to overcome the impact that indifferent, violent, disruptive students have on the school system. This is why Socialist-Democrat hypocrites who praise the NEA and “our excellent public schools” wouldn’t sent their kids to the D.C. schools if their life depended on it.

    This is why the inept and disruptive are weeded-out through the DT application process.

  38. mouse says:

    I thought education was liberal biased

  39. waterpirate says:

    You are arguing in circles and I am growing tired of your myopic vision on this matter.

    1. If tech is now a college prep school, it is competing with home district schools.
    2. College prep is available at the home districts, this then is a case of duplicate services.
    3. You keep talking about competition among publicly funded schools??? WTF!
    4. Publicly funded entities should not be in competition with one another. I do not want my tax dollars involved in that kind of pissing match.
    5. If the school in your home district is not up to par, or what you think is disruptive, how about you fix it.

    As for your belt tightening comment, ST is top heavy with administration as well as the transportation disparities that Pandora listed, and they are wanting more. ST is broken in a lot of ways you fail to want to discuss. The truth is that if the new public/private school goes to any public vote, you know what will happen. This is the reason for your fervent defense.

    Remember how democracy works? The people paying the bill, get a direct voice. Maybe ST could go to the County Council and try to get the money to cover it’s shortfall? ROFLMAO

  40. Frank Knotts says:

    Pandora, I am not sure I should bother to read your comments, since in the second paragraph of your last comment you demonstrate that either you are not reading mine, or else you simply want to make things up as you go. You asked, ” Should all schools be funded the way Vo-Techs are, or should Vo-Techs be funded through referendum like public schools?”, when in my previous comment I clearly said, “No one here has said that Tech is a failure. So why do so many want to restrict it? Maybe we should consider it as a model.”
    If you would slow your roll and stop trying to push your personal agenda, or preconceived idea of me, then you would see that this statement on my part shows that I am open minded and willing to look for what is best for the education of the students, and not playing to my ideological fellow travelers for the sake of being what you expect me to be.
    You say, ” you seem to have a problem with (selfish?) people not supporting a referendum and education.”
    No, I have a problem with people who close their minds to things simply because they think it is what is expected of them. I have opposed increases, and supported increases, on their merit, and need, and in this case, I feel that Tech has a track record for educating students that justifies the school being able to take on more students, and the cost that goes with it. Others like Harry would reduce the number of students and hold Tech to a maximum. I would enlarge the number to enable more students to share in the success. What would you do Pandora?
    I will cut to the chase Pandora, everything you list for why Tech is a success does nothing in my view but confirm that it is a success. If other districts want to copy Tech’s model, then citizens should lobby their legislators. But they won’t because they don’t care about improving education, they only care about their ideology, and this includes you friend, because while others want to hold Tech down based on their warped idea of what it means to be a conservative, you want to hold Tech down based on you view of what progressivism means, and your view that Tech is somehow a for rich white English speaking students only.
    Now WP, if Tech is competing with home districts, then in my view it is winning. And good for it.
    WP says, “. Publicly funded entities should not be in competition with one another. I do not want my tax dollars involved in that kind of pissing match.”
    If you don’t think that districts are already in that pissing match then you are badly mistaken WP. Why do you think every district in Sussex has built new high schools in the last five to ten years? To attract people to move there. And some of that money is local, and some comes from the state.
    WP then says, ” If the school in your home district is not up to par, or what you think is disruptive, how about you fix it.”
    Damn, talk about people not listening, this is exactly what I have been saying to the people who say Tech is robbing the home districts. And by the way, technically that would be competing friend.
    Ah! The democracy argument. Now is where I am supposed to cower in the corner in shame. We do not live in a democracy thank goodness. For as Plato said, “Democracy passes into despotism.”, we live in a representative republic. In which case Tech is closer to the model of our nation than is the so called democracy of a referendum which more closely resembles the soviets of the Russian revolution.

  41. waterpirate says:

    Schools were built because of expanding population and ageing infrastructure.
    This boils down to further taxation without direct input from the people who are being asked to pay.
    If you erase this entire thread, the question remains
    If ST mission has changed, why are they hiding behind the protections that were put in place when its mission was purely vocational. Answer that question and you will see the light. By your own definition, they are ” competing ” for students on a unbalanced playing field.

    My only perceived understanding of your defense of this crap is that you have been offered a position at ST. Thus 1 more mouth on the public teet. Is it 6 figures, or did you do better than that?

  42. Frank Knotts says:

    WP, if you believe that the only reason new schools were built was for population and age, you should talk to people in Cape and Woodbridge.
    As for why they are operating the way they do, it is because it is the way it was structured. As for competing with home districts? Well I believe some of the home districts are looking into offering vocational training. If they do, then they will be able to keep more students in house. But the reason they can’t now, nor will they be able to compete with Tech is not because of Tech, it is because of the tight fisted voters who won’t vote for any increase. They don’t care about improving. As I have said, if we are interested in improving education, then maybe Tech is the model.
    As for the last part of your comment, maybe my friend you are projecting, maybe your only motivation to support something is if it directly benefits you.
    I have nothing to gain here. My daughter is finishing college (please forgive us) and I have no more children to send to Tech. My interest is simply to see the best education for as many students as possible. I say expand enrollment and I will pay the higher taxes as long as the results justify them.

  43. pandora says:

    You keep saying this: “As I have said, if we are interested in improving education, then maybe Tech is the model.”

    What does that even mean? That all public schools should be funded the way Vo-Tech’s are? That all public schools should have entrance requirements and take only the children they want? That we should create dumping ground schools to take children no one wants in their cherry picking schools?

    Your comments to me do not address my points. They are 100% emotional. They are solely based on your feelings. You haven’t discussed the funding structure – other than you seem fine with it, because… who knows? You won’t say. You haven’t discussed Tech’s skewed demographics or entrance requirements – other than you’re okay with them in a public school, because… who knows? Are you advocating for all public schools to require admission requirements? Who knows?

    This is another topic where you proudly display your ignorance.

  44. Frank Knotts says:

    Pandora, I sorry you don’t fee I am answering your questions sufficiently to your liking. I think I have addressed your questions. You are playing the game of belittling my opinion to lessen it.
    We already have your so called dumping grounds, they are called the home districts. What Tech and other schools are, are alternatives for students that want to learn in an environment conducive.
    As for Tech having entrance requirements and limited enrollment? Well they are limited by their funding, remember? That is what bothers Harry.
    Go back and read my comments to WP, I said enlarge and let more students go to Tech.
    As for not answering questions, we’ll still waiting to hear how any of your gripes will improve education.

  45. Rick says:

    “…we should create dumping ground schools to take children no one wants…”Pandora

    That probably is the best idea. Incorrigible students ruin what otherwise would be a decent school system. Keep the rotten apples together- someday, they can hold their reunions in prison.

  46. justsaying says:

    Frank, you can have your opinion, but your wrong. Facts are facts, Tech is screwed. This is Almost as bad as when you supported COD

  47. waterpirate says:

    I have nothing to gain here, and no offspring to boot. If you are so convinced that schools should be competitive with one another on the tax payers dime. Then ST is cheating, blatantly! Only when funding and admittance standards are universal, will I support the PIG, that ST has become.

    That you rally for and support that PIG, says that you are O.K. with the corruption, deception and in equalities that ST perpetuates. Shame shame.

  48. George DelNd says:

    Cut us a break frank everyone knows your political mentor works for
    sussex tech at a job that exists at no other school. Your average high schools
    spends a little over $10,000 per student per year. Tech spends over $16,000
    per student per year and here they are with a tin cup asking homeowners for more.
    How greedy can they be especially to seniors who had their subsidies cut in half by
    Markell. Shame on all of you.

  49. Frank Knotts says:

    George, I assume you are talking about Joe Booth. Yes I did support him in his last campaign. But I also was highly critical of his taking the job in the manner in which he did.
    As for tech spending more per student, well I’ll let the results speak for themselves. Don’t mind paying for positive results.
    And by the way, that senior tax break has not been cut yet, only proposed. Call your Representative.

  50. anootherjob says:

    It is my understanding that Joe Booth had another job created for him in the Indian River District. Assistant superintendent of building and grounds.

  51. mouse says:

    Joe Booth was a smart and reasonable representative, unlike the nuts the party has now. I know many moderates, liberals and dems that voted for Booth. But I guess that is a bad thing in the bizarro republican purity world

  52. waterpirate says:

    It would appear that after the committee hearings, 1 thing is clear. The entire R caucus is standing against the bill for the tax increase as it is written. My own representative and senator tried to fly the elected school board flag to no avail. Maybe the 2nd time will be the charm? Even the speaker of the house has a problem with the presumptiveness of the current leadership of tech. Call your elected officials and tell them you support an elected school board, with tax increases going to referendum in front of the people being asked to pay them.

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