Todd Ruckle is voting no on the CSD referendum. That is most certainly his right. Here are some quotes from him:
Ok folks in the Christina school district, I along with 4 other citizens attended the referendum seminar at Christina high school and here is the results. The district wants 50 million dollars to maintain being almost the lowest ranking school district in new castle county. The superintendent was proud that Christina will not expel major problem students that completely disrupt student who want to learn. I highly recommend we vote this referendum down and get the community and local leaders together to create an major action plan to correct this ship before it sinks. 2/24 you need to vote or this referendum will pass without any action plan to bring this district back to being the best. It is truly time to get involved.
Since 2000, the district has held six referenda, four of which received favorable results.
Newark Councilman Todd Ruckle was one of only a handful of people who attended last week’s forum at Christiana High School. He voiced strong opposition to the proposed tax hike.
Much like the city’s financial planning, he said, an important part of crafting a budget is making cuts. He questioned what the school district has done to cut corners before asking the public to cough up more cash.
“Right now, I haven’t seen one cut,” he said. “I’ve seen expansions.”
Williams defended the proposal and argued that Christina is using all of its current available resources. If the referendum fails, he said, the district is prepared to make cuts.
“It’s not a scare tactic,” Williams said. “It would be painful, but it would be appropriate, and we would do it if we have to.”
Ruckle said he is worried how the tax hike will affect the senior citizens in his district, many of whom live on fixed incomes.
“I’m going to tell you right now, what I’m seeing, they’re not going to back it,” he said.
Mr. Ruckle is a supporter of Newark Charter School, where he has at least one child in attendance. Again, his choice, his right, no argument here. However, I think it is fair to make a few comments in response to his concerns:
- Public education is a sacred social contract and is designed to work for all, not just those that win a lottery
- Traditional school districts are not permitted to throw kids out of school indiscriminately or arbitrarily and have an obligation to educate all and keep our students in school in spite of behaviors than many feel warrant suspension/expulsion. We do not always do the right things along these fronts, but our calling demands we aspire to them, always.
- CSD, along with many other districts are routinely victimized by DOE’s label, shame, and punish politics which erodes public confidence, like yours.
- Proving a point to your local school system by not supporting it financially will only serve to further fracture our community and expose all schools, including NCS, to a weaker operational landscape and poorer opportunities for all children
- NCS receives local share of funding for almost every single child from CSD. An increase in our funding will send MORE monies to NCS to further enhance their excellent programs. Failing to support the referendum could mean less money for more children and cost NCS monies.
- Back to the issue of Dr. Williams pride in serving children by refusing to kick them out: is that really a position you want to take as a public servant, that children be denied access to their schools, teachers,a nd ultimately their education? We are not NCS. We serve all children, no matter how they come to us, no matter where they come from, no matter what their parents don’t choose for them.
Your arguments remind me of a famous movie scene:
Mr. Ruckle, please support our students, programs, and schools on February 24th. Don’t continue down this dark road you are showing us.