Delaware Public Media

Carney vetoes controversial charter school access bill

Jul 20, 2017

Gov. John Carney has vetoed a controversial bill regarding access to charter schools.

The bill would have removed the five-mile radius requirement for enrollment in Delaware charter schools. Instead, it would have allowed any student to attend a charter school as long as they lived within the “geographically contiguous” school district.

But critics said that language would have kept some inner-city Wilmington students from attending Newark Charter School, since they live in the only non-contiguous district.  

In Governor Carney’s announcement to veto the bill Thursday, he said the legislation unfairly excludes some of the state’s most vulnerable students.

“For too long, these students have attended schools that are not meeting their needs,” Carney said. “This is a serious issue that is much larger than this bill.” 

He said that if the bill simply removed the five-mile radius requirement, he would have signed it.


Wilmington City Council President Hanifa Shabazz expressed praise for the governor’s veto in a statement.

She hopes Governor Carney won’t dismiss Wilmington Education Improvement Commission’s (WEIC) plans.


"It is our fervent hope that Governor Carney will exercise his leadership to further discussions about the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission’s (WEIC) plan that would reduce the number of school districts in the City of Wilmington and provide a weighted funding formula for the high-poverty segregated schools that the state has created," Shabazz said in a statement Thursday.