Submitted By Superintendent Phyllis Kohel
Throughout the course of the next month, our community will have the opportunity to attend several informational meetings to learn more about the upcoming May 5th referendum. Our next meeting will take place on April 23rd in the Banneker Elementary School cafeteria at 7:00 p.m. and another is scheduled for April 28th at Milford Central Academy at 7:00 p.m. Prior to those dates, we will be presenting at a number of business/organization meetings and will have information tables at the Bunny Hop on March 27th at Milford High School, the ALS Night at the Senior Center on March 28th at 6:00 p.m., and the Bug and Bud Festival on April 25th.
This referendum is extremely important to all of our children for it will help us build a new high school to ease overcrowding across the district, make room for growth, and offer more opportunities to our children. Our elementary and middle schools are becoming seriously overcrowded with more students moving into the district each month. It is important that we address this issue as soon as possible. The longer we wait, the more expensive new construction becomes and the longer it will take to get the matching funds from the State to build a new school.
A successful referendum will mean smaller class sizes for your children and appropriate classroom space for teaching and learning. A failed referendum will mean severe overcrowding in the elementaries and middle school and the possible elimination of enrichment programs across all grade levels. Over the past two years, we have already cut budgetary lines for all of the buildings and the district office by 30%. We have eliminated one secretarial position, one custodial position, and one administrative position at the district level. We have not added any new programs and, in fact, have had to cut things like after school tutorials and summer school for the majority of our children. We need your help in passing this referendum on May 5th. We want to maintain the current educational opportunities we provide for all children, and we want more. We can do this, but not without your help and support.
Milford operates its schools with a per pupil district expenditure of $11,387. Just in Sussex County, the per pupil expenditure range goes from $16,739 (Sussex Tech) to $9,766 (Delmar). Milford is 7th out of 8 districts. We are very careful with the funding our tax payers provide for us. I promise you that we will always continue to be frugal in our spending, and if we are successful with the referendum, we will build the best possible school for our future at the very lowest cost that I can negotiate.
Thank you in advance for your support. I hope you get the opportunity to come out to a future meeting, but if you cannot, please feel free to email me at Pkohel@msd.k12.de.us or call me at 302-422-1600 with any questions. Most important, however, is your vote on May 5, 2015. Voting will take place at Morris Early Childhood Center, Banneker Elementary, Mispillion Elementary, and Ross Elementary Schools from 10 am to 8 pm.