The Colonial School Board of Education tonight voted in favor of asking taxpayers to approve an operating and capital referendum totaling 39.4 cents per $100 of assessed home value. The tax increase is to be phased in over a two-year period; 28.4 cents the first year, and an additional 11 cents the second year. The request, 1.4 cents for capital improvements and 38 cents for operating expenses will be put to a vote by district residents on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. The last time the Colonial School District held a referendum to support its schools was in 2013.
“We consider this to be an investment in the future of our students,” said Superintendent Dr. Dusty Blakey. “Since 2013 we have made many major strides, but the time has come to seek more local funding to sustain the outstanding progress we’ve experienced,” he said.
The capital side of the funding request calls for secured entrances in all schools. The project is to be phased in over a three-year period.
The operating expense request will provide funds to sustain the current level of staffing and program. The request also includes:
- Expanded Preschool-Additional access for 3 & 4-year old students to experience the high-quality programming that will prepare them for kindergarten. The plan will also increase the number of highly trained preschool staff. The district’s existing program, which accepts Delaware’s POC (Purchase of Care), currently has a waiting list.
- Technology- Additional student devices, upgrading present system and increasing support staff.
- Middle School Redesign Expansion & Enhancement– This plan enhances recently implemented programs in the district’s three themed middle schools. The themes include- McCullough (science, technology, engineering, art & math), George Read (agriculture, marketing, science, culinary & accounting), Gunning Bedford (graphic design, information technology, gaming & coding, digital media, visual & performing arts).
- Elementary Wellness- The plan will provide additional social and emotional supports to the district’s elementary schools. Colonial is the first district in the state to offer a school-based elementary wellness center offering immunizations, physicals, social & emotional counseling, basic emergency triage and other services not offered by a traditional school nurse. Future plans include expansion to more elementary schools in the district.“Since our last referendum in 2013, Colonial Nation has grown stronger thanks to the groundswell of support received from our families and community partners. In order to continue this pathway to success, I hope voters will support the referendum and the future of our 10,000 students by voting yes on February 28th,” Blakey said.For more information, visit www.colonialreferendum.com