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July 3, 1998     Cape Gazette
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July 3, 1998
 

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20 - CAPE GAZEqE, Friday, July 3 - July 9, 1998 Schroeder's class size reduction legislation passes By Rosanne Pack rice, it will cap the number of stu- and not vot;ng. It took some changes in the les- son plan and it looked like the subject might be held after school, but a bill calling for a reduction in the sizes of early elementary classes finally received a passing grade. Rep. John Schroeder, D-Lewes, has long campaigned for class size reduction, and he teamed up with Rep. Timothy Boulden, R- Newark West, and Rep. Stephanie Ulbrich, R-Newark South, in crafting a last minute compromise bill that was approved and sent on its way to the governor. "It's been a long time in com- ing, but I feel like it's a great step for our children," Schroeder said. "We had great support from all as- pects of the community; everyone wants this. "I've talked with teachers for years, and one of the first things that they always said was that re- ducing the number of students in their classes would greatly benefit them and the students. I'm really pleased with this." The representative expects no opposition from Gov. Tom Carp- er, and once signed out of his of- Replenishment Continued from page 19 sion) and whether dredging the area will hurt critical fishery habi- tat. The issue is important because the state has not received the needed federal permits for the North Shores and Rehoboth Beach replenishment project. In fact, the period for public comment on that project (Project CENAP-OP-R1998001157-23) has been extended until July 8. To submit comments, write to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District, 100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3390. The Rehoboth Beach Home- owners have written to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asking for a public hearing on the issue. Homeowner President Mary Campbell noted that the home- owners group does not oppose or support the dredging. She said the group only wants more information because there are still questions about the issue. "I think that a lot of people are very concerned." The area of the shoal to be dredged is well offshore, some two or more miles offshore of Re- hoboth Beach. It is also in 30 or 35 feet of water at what is known as the "tail" of Hen and Chickens Shoal. John Hughes, the Director of Delaware's Division of Soil and Water Conservation of the De- partment of Natural Resources and Environmental Con'trol (DNREC), said that dredging will have a "less than negligible im- pact." Hughes noted that with the deep water, the shoal currently does not break up waves. He said that if the dents in grades kindergarten through third at 22. It will be ef- fective starting with the 1998-99 school year.. Schroeder, Boulden and Ulbrich originally introduced a bill that provided for state funding for any new teachers and classroom addi- tions that would be necessary to meet a smaller class size require- ment. The bill passed out of the House only to meet a similar Senate-ini- tiated bill that passed that cham- ber. One of the differences in the bills was that the Senate version dealt only with class size and sep- arate legislation was needed to provide for funding for more teachers and classrooms. In a bipartisan compromise, sponsors in both chambers agreed to separate some of the territory covered by the legislation. The representatives got a new number and introduced the bill that deter- mined class size in core academic subjects and provided for paying for new teachers. That bill, H.B. 758, passed both chambers without a nay vote, with only one elected official absent I shoal were more shallow, then it would help reduce wave energy as the waves pass over the shallow bottom area. But he said that with the deep water at the site, the shoal does not reduce wave energy. Hughes noted "we are in the beach protec- tion business" and said the state is not going to do anything to hurt beach protection efforts. The Division of Soil and Water Conservation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Marine Fisheries Service, Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Council and Delaware's Division of Fish and Wildlife met July 1 to discuss the issue. One new issue is the potential that federal guidelines could des- ignate the shoal as "essential fish habitat," a new concern that has only been raised recently. Bob Henry of Delaware's Divi- sion of Water Resources said that in future permit applications, Delaware expects to consider such issues carefully. "We do not want to do the wrong thing. We certain- ly do not want to adversely affect habitat," Henry said. The Delaware Captains Associ- ation has also gone on record as expressing concern about the site. Association President Jerry Biakeslee said in a letter that "mining sand from Hen and Chickens Shoal is a bad idea and must be prohibited. It is an impor- tant fisheries habitat for many species. Flounder, bluefish and weakfish are found here as well as striped bass and several threat- ened shark species such as sand- bar and sandtiger sharks." Blakeslee added that "during heavy storms, wave action is al- ways less shoreward of the shoal...once material is dredged from the shoal in a futile attempt to rebuild a naturally receding Schroeder said it is estimated that the reduced class size will re- quire 120 new teachers. He said he is not sure where the Senate proposals for funding necessary class rooms stands. Sen. George Bunting, D- Bethany Beach, said that he is pleased that the issue that Schroeder has pushed for is now on its way to becoming law. He said that the Lewes representa- tive's determination was steady and Schroeder did not allow him- self to be pulled off target from what he saw as a great benefit for children. "If you go to the public, across the board, class size is an issue that everyone agrees on," Bunting said. "I've had teachers tell me for years that they could work so much better if they had fewer chil- dren to deal with. And the reality is that family structure being what it is, teachers have to deal with a lot of things that parents used to be responsible for. "John did a good job and didn't let anyone steal his thunder on this one." beach, erosion will probably be accelerated because the wave- dampening effect that is evident at the shoal will have been altered." In the meantime, the Corps of Engineers will continue to consid- er Delaware's application. The state is proposing to use only a small quanity of the sand avail- able at the shoal for the state pro- ject, but the federal government is expected to also use that shoal for a proposed major federal beach replenishment project for Dewey Beach and Rehoboth Beach. THERTER presents A SPECIAL 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION A GOURMET DINNER THE ALL AMERICAN MUSICAL FREEDOM RING" and a reserved table on the rooftop deck for Ocean City's Fireworks Display All at Jordan's Rooftop Restaurant 138th St. and Coastal Highway Ocean City, Maryland for reservations or information call 3O2-945-5763 Furniture Restorers, Inc. I FURNITURE REPAIRED, REFINISHED & RESTORED LARGE SUITES WELCOME Open Daily (Exc. Sun/Mon) 110 New Road, Lewes 302/645-9097 Member, Lewes Chamber of Commerce Ul I i-i l;n i[ot I[o] at't I[o] |t,B I [olvdltu OISi in TAx-I0000 SnoFmQ AT Owa 150 OUtLeTS. This holiday weekend, shop over 140 tax-free outlets and save 20%-70% off original retail prices. Be sure to visit so you can register to win a Lexus GS 300 at Champion Factory Outlet, Leggs Hanes Ball Playtex and Socks Galore. Route 1 In Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Monday - Saturday 10 am - 9 prn; Sunday 10 am - 6 pro. 888-SHOP333 302-226-9223 www.charter-oak.comlrehoboth