Small Town News
Parents say no to Cape redistricting plan
When Cape Henlopen School District asked voters to approve a tax increase to pay for new elementary schools, the Cape community responded with strong support. After supporting a new Love Creek Elementary just two years ago, this year voters showed support for education by approving another referendum to overhaul or replace the district's four elementary schools.
The next question is who will attend each school?
Superintendent Robert Fulton has proposed a plan, but dozens of Milton parents say it fails to address the district's most glaring problem, and at the same time it asks some students who now walk to Milton to instead get on a bus and ride past their school to attend H.O Brittingham. Really? This is the best plan the district can devise? We agree with parents who say the way to improve student outcomes at H.O. Brittingham is not simply to move a few students around. Some students who already ride buses could attend new schools to better balance the number of low-income students at all of the district's schools, making all district schools more diverse. But beyond balancing school populations, the real answer to raising student outcomes at all levels is to find programs that work for low-income children.
Students who live in poverty face barriers to learning; they learn differently from students who live in wealthy households. No matter who attends which school, Cape, as a district, must find ways to respond to the needs of its least-privileged students.
Across the nation, schools in high-poverty inner cities areas are doing exactly that. They find ways to reduce child stress and enable children to overcome behaviors that low-income, high-stress households foster. If low-income urban schools can succeed, then surely Cape, one of Delaware's wealthiest districts, can help low-income students achieve success. The Cape Gazette stands with Milton parents who say no to Fulton's plan. The plan should instead balance all five elementary populations, but more importantly, it should establish H.O. Brittingham as a magnet school that implements innovative programs to ensure every child succeeds.
Cape Gazette editorials are considered and written by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Dennis Forney, publisher; Tnsh Vernon, editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor; Laura Ritter, news editor; and Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor.
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