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July 25, 2006     Cape Gazette
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July 25, 2006

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4 - CAPE GAZETYE - Tuesday, July 25 - Thursday, July 27, 2006 Cape business operations director Edward Seibert explains the affect on the district of a loss of $150,000 in federal funding. Georgia Leonhart photo For fourth yearin a row, Cape district faces funding cuts By Georgia LeonharV Special to the Cape Gazette The Cape Henlopen School Board faces some tough decisions as it finalizes its estimated $60 million budget for next year. Cape Henlopen School District Business Operations Director Edward Seibert said next year marks the fourth in a row that fed- eral funds to the district ha,e been cut, and while the reductiosxs4nay affect district programs, hematici- pates no further increases in taxes this year. 'q'here is a huge deficit and lot of pressure on the federal budget. This was inevitable," said Seibert. "We expected we'd be dealing with a loss of federal money 18 months ago, but it still stings." Federal funding cuts directly affect district programs, he said. A cut of more than $21,000 Under Title I eliminates the salary of one person hired to help reduce the achievement gap in the district's elementary schools, Seibert said.. Title I funds are intended to help schools reduce the adverse impact of poverty under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.  Title III funds, which address the needs of children who speak little or rio English, were also cut. "We didn't have enough money last year to get one teacher and now we have more than $4,000 less. We must find another way to cover the expense," he said. Other cuts will affect for a com- puter lab manager; a police offi- cer; and almost $18,000 lost for materials, supplies and capital outlay for vocational training. Seibert said $43,000 has been cut from funds used to fulfill the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The money would have been used to pay for special supplies, materials, equipment and the serw ices of a speech therapist. "Since IDEA passed, special education has never been ade- quately funded by the federal gov- ernment," said Seibert, calling the legal requirements unfunded or partially funded mandates. Federal money received by school districts is based on formu- las, Seibert said, making the big question how much money there is in the pot to divide. Most feder- al funding consists of grants that pass from the federal to the state Department of Education, and then through it to the local school districts. Seibert said, "Our taxpayers have been very good to us this year, approving two referen- dums." Money raised through the referendums, passed this year cost taxpayers a total of about 76 cents more per $100 of assessed value, will be used for air conditioning and other improvements to district schools and to build a new Cape Henlopen High School. The cur- rent tax rate is slightly less than $3 per $100 of assessed value, Seibert said. District officials did not know how much money would be avail- able through the state until the legislative session concluded after midnight on July 1, and the school board could not make important budgetary decisions until after it knew how much money was available, Seibert said. Seibert said that the district's school board meeting scheduled at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, at Beacon Middle School will be a formal budget meeting. Grade 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 I t 82 83 84 75 71 83 88 89 83 * DZi S4 84 82 e5 Cape District Average 85 85 87 86 H.O.IMBaghutEImmllary 78 75 73 86 MIRon Elementary 73 83 91 86 RehOtaBmmWy 94 89 93 e9 Robert AL Shkdds Elementary 95 92 91 81 Blaoon Middle Sdmol Madner Middle School Nir Cmws Cape Henkoen High School 83 93 92 83 83 85 83 Grade 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 l aa 78 78 77 72 65 62 51 Cape Distdct Average 87 81 82 80 75 73 74 63 H.lbmEkmaI/. 80 55 65 74 MiRon Eknnentary 84 83 86 74   e9 a2 93 Robert A. SffieMs Eknnentary 95 95 93 82 dnerli ........ - 68 62 67 NI Gm!leCilmlm : ................ 63 Cape Henlopen High School 10 59 73 73 Grade 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 lO 78 81 Cape I.kmlopen High School 81 The data in this chart was compiled from I1 state Department of Education (DOE) sumrnary of the DSTP results of the read- klg, vrdng and maemacs assessmeras, fi'om the spnng 2006 te  gtedes 2 though 10. NI numbers lven are the perce- ages, rounded to the nearest whole percent, of students who met or exceeded the minimum acceptae state standard for thor grade level. For exzmple, if the number is 70 that meansthat 70 peroent of the students met or excaededthe state standerd while 30 percent d not meet e minknum acceptale stat standard r r grade level. * The DOE d r include a 10 grade reacting score r Cape Henfopen High Scho in Rs sumniry, nong that an irregdar- y occurred in  adrrd=ran. ** Writing test resutts have been withheld for all Delaware 6th graders affected by a decision to strike one of the test quesons due to the impact of med coverage of Hurncane Katdn whch  was bved wou cause students to respond hcorrecy. *" Second grade uden are rm tested h wrng. Cape Continued from page 1 level continue to perform better than schools where more students face poverty. This is known as the achieve- ment gap and there are notable differences in every subject and in . every grade, According to federal No Child Left Behind legislation, school districts must make progress toward closing this gap. In fourth-grade reading, 73 per- cent of H.O. Brittingham Elementary students met the state standard - meaning that more than one in four children are not read- ing at grade level - as contrasted with 91 percent of Shields stu- dents who met or exceeded state standards. The gap is wider in math. While 55 percent of third-grade students at H.O. Brittingham met the state standard, that level was achieved by 95 percent of Shields students. The writing results are similar, although in writing, district stu- dents as a whole performed less well than they did in other sub- jects. Among third-graders, only three in 10 H.O. Brittingham stu- dents are writing at grade level or above, while at Shields, more than seven in 10 students met the stan- dard, more than twice as many students as at H.O.Brittingham. But even at Shields, nearly one in three students is not writing at grade level, test results show. Middle school differences were also significant. Students at Beacon performed better than those at Mariner in nearly every subject tested, with the sole exception of eighth-grade reading. Kristin Cornell graphic The most notable difference was in seventh-grade writing, where 34 percent of Mariner stu- dents - about one in three - met the minimum acceptable standard, which means two-thirds of stu- dents are not writing at grade level. At Beacon, 70 percent of sev- enth-graders met or exceeded the standard - more than twice as many as at Mariner. Cape Director of Accountability and School Improvement Robert Fulton is scheduled to make a presentation regarding the spring 2006 DSTP results to the school board during its public meeting, scheduled for Thursday, July 27, after the board reconvenes from executive session at 7:15 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Mariner Middle School cafeteria.