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New Castle, DE- Voters in the Colonial School District tonight overwhelming passed a referendum request for .38 per $100 of assessed property values (based on rates set in 1983), According to unofficial results from the Delaware Department of Elections, 5,742 residents voted in favor of the referendum, 3,880 against.
“This is a victory for our students and dedicated staff,” said Superintendent Dr. Dusty Blakey. “I want to thank voters who showed they believe in the great work we are doing for the 10,000 students in our district by voting for the referendum.”
Last February Colonial failed to pass a referendum that included a capital request for secured entrances in all buildings. After losing by approximately 500 votes, that portion of the district’s request was taken off the table. Tonight voters approved funding that will maintain current programs and class sizes while restoring most staff; all new initiatives were removed from the request.
In order to meet a state-mandated May 15 deadline, Colonial officially notified 175 employees of layoffs if the referendum failed. Those employees included:
• 93 teachers
• 17 Administrators and Specialists
• 42 Paraprofessionals
• 8 custodians
• 9 secretaries
• 2 transportation workers
• 4 nutrition services workers
With state education cuts still pending, Blakey says it remains unclear how many staff members will be recalled but, “starting as soon as possible we will begin the process of making certain our district is whole again. We know our teachers and support staff are the backbone of our district and now that the voters have spoken, we hope to recall most of the employees who received layoff notices,” Blakey said.

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