Fulton plan good for students, taxpayers

April 30, 2013

After a decade of questions over the alignment of Milton’s two elementary schools, Cape Henlopen school board is finally tackling the issue head on.

Superintendent Robert Fulton told the board it is time to address the racial and economic divide at the two schools, and the board appears set to take up the task.

Fulton called on the board to realign grades, establishing H.O. Brittingham Elementary as a K-2 school and Milton Elementary as a school for grades 3 to 5.

The board has taken no action, and no time table has been established, but Fulton said the district should move forward with realigning attendance even without a referendum for new school construction.

Fulton emphasized the board will hold a series of community meetings to get input from the public before instituting changes. In addition to realigning the two Milton elementaries, Fulton’s plan calls for expanding Beacon and Mariner middle schools to eliminate the need for modular classrooms and then building a fifth district elementary school at a site yet to be selected.

After that, the district would address whether new elementary buildings should replace old ones in Rehoboth, Lewes and Milton. While the plan itself differs from a proposal made by the district’s school facilities task force, Fulton called his plan a win-win because it is based on information gathered by the task force over months of meetings.

He said the new plan should garner community support because it’s simple, yet it addresses the short-term and long-term needs of Cape kids. It should also come as a relief for district taxpayers, who would fund only one elementary school in the short term, not the four new schools and one renovation earlier proposed.

With or without voter support for new schools, Fulton’s plan addresses the long-ignored issue of racial and economic imbalance at Milton’s elementaries. This board and this superintendent deserve credit for their decision to take a long-needed step in the right direction to end this problem.

  • Cape Gazette editorials are considered and written by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Dennis Forney, publisher; Trish Vernon, editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor emeritus; Laura Ritter, news editor; Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor; and Nick Roth, sports editor.

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