Referendum 2024 – The Operating Request

Vote in Colonial’s referendum
February 29, 2024

For Dates and Polling Locations 
click here

Be a champion for the 2024 CSD Referendum!

Click the link to the right to let us know how we can help you be a supporter for the upcoming CSD Referenda.

Operating Referendum Information

Like every household and business, Colonial experiences the effects of inflation.  The cost to operate our schools increases every year- from gas and electricity to fuel our buses and power our buildings to salaries that will attract and retain high-quality staff to classroom materials to engage and teach our students.  Fiscal responsibility is a core operating principle in Colonial and we are always looking for ways to operate more efficiently and maximize all resources available.  But, because our local revenues are stagnant, eventually it becomes necessary to seek additional funds through a referendum. 

• We have stretched the last referendum timeline from 4 years to 7 years through strategic fiscal management &  the help of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) relief funds.

• We have avoided programming and staff cuts by maximizing the use of other funds, such as ESSER and Opportunity funding.
• We have taken measures to limit discretionary budget growth for the last 3 years.

• In FY 2023, Colonial had an operating deficit of $5.7 million (the amount expenses exceed revenues).

• The projection for FY 2024 shows a deficit of $7.7 million.

• ESSER funds are expiring & without additional revenue, program, and staff cuts cannot be avoided.

The Ask:
40¢ per 100 of assessed home value

Phased in over 3 years
• 25¢ in 2025
• 10¢ in 2026
• 5¢ in 2027

The most accurate way to determine the cost of the referendum in relation to your school taxes  is to look up your property tax assessment on the county website,

In Delaware, homes are assessed for taxes at around 1/4th their market value.

Additional operating revenue will be utilized to maintain investments in:

  • Recruiting and retaining top-notch educators and support staff.
  • Continuing competitive salary and benefits package to combat the increasing workforce shortages, especially among teachers.
  • Continue extended learning opportunities and summer programs to strengthen student engagement and accelerate student achievement.
  • Providing high-quality, relevant professional development for staff to keep staff up to date on best practices.
  • Continued investment in Constables, School Resource Officers, and enhanced security initiatives.
  • Maintaining 1:1 student Chromebooks and other technology investments.

Support for Seniors: YES, the State of Delaware does offer tax relief for seniors.

Individuals 65 and older, who meet a residency requirement (3 years if you established residency before 12/31/2017; 10 years if you established residency after that date), are eligible for a school tax credit of up to $400 on their principle residence. A School Tax Credit Application can be found at: Seniors may also apply for additional reductions in sewer and county property tax based on income. For more information about these programs, call the County at 302-395-5520.