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Delaware school districts

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K-12 Education in Delaware
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Education facts
State Superintendent: Mark Murphy
Number of students: 128,946[1]
Number of teachers: 8,587
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:15
Number of school districts: 44
Number of schools: 221
Graduation rate: 80%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $12,685[3]
See also
Delaware Department of EducationList of school districts in DelawareDelawareSchool boards portal
Education policy logo.jpg
Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Delaware
Glossary of education terms

Delaware is home to 221 schools and 128,946 K-12 students.[4]

Quick facts

State school administrators

  • State Board of Education
    • Secretary Mark Murphy, Executive Secretary
    • Donna Johnson, Executive Director
    • Dr. Teri Quinn Gray, President
    • Jorge L. Melendez, Vice President
    • Gregory B. Coverdale, Jr.
    • G. Patrick Heffernan
    • Randall L. Hughes II
    • Barbara B. Rutt
    • Terry M. Whittaker


The following table displays the state's top five school districts by total student enrollment.

Student enrollment
1.) Christina School District
2.) Red Clay Consolidated School District
3.) Brandywine School District
4.) Colonial School District
5.) Appoquinimink School District


See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Delaware as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[5]

Demographic Information for Delaware's K-12 Public School System
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 622 0.48% 1.10%
Asian 4,421 3.43% 4.68%
African American 40,793 31.64% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students 81 0.06% 0.42%
Hispanic 16,846 13.06% 24.37%
White 63,876 49.54% 51.21%
Two or More 2,307 1.79% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

In the news

Special education inconsistencies

A June 2014 progress report conducted by the U.S. Department of Education revealed that the assistance being given to special education "needs intervention." The state of Delaware was given the low mark after the national department revamped how it oversees states' compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. California and Texas were also given the same rating. The largest issue in Delaware was the percentage of special-needs students who didn't take the reading portion of the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) test. In the eyes of the Department of Education, this means they aren't holding their students to a high enough standard. If Delaware stays in this category for three years, the state could face corrective action and even the loss of federal funding. Sen. Greg Lavelle called the results of the report "embarassing," while Marie Anne Aghazadian, director of the Parent Information Center of Delaware, said, "Obviously, these results are not good [...] But I don't think it's a disaster." The state did better when it came to education for children from birth through age two and earned a "meets requirements" in that area.[6]

State law

Common Core

Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The Delaware Department of Education adopted these standards on August 19, 2010, and implemented them during the 2012-2013 school year.[7][8]

School board composition

School board members are elected by residents of the school district. If it becomes necessary to fill a vacancy (except for expiration of a term), the school district will inform the public and the Department of Elections that conducts elections for that specific school district that the vacancy has occurred no later than five business days following the vacancy. School boards in Delaware generally consist of five to seven members, elected to five-year terms. Elections are held annually on the second Tuesday in May.[9]

District types

Delaware operates both public school districts and 12 private charter schools. There are also a few schools that constitute their own school district, such as the Family Foundations Academy, Gateway Lab School and Prestige Academy.[10]

Term limits

Delaware does not impose statewide term limits on school board members.[11]

School board elections

Upcoming elections

See also: Delaware school board elections, 2015

A total of five Delaware school districts among America's largest school districts by enrollment will hold elections in 2015 for eight seats. All of the elections are scheduled on May 12, 2015.

The district listed below served 61,999 K-12 students during the 2010-2011 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Click on the district name for more information on the district and its school board elections.

2015 Delaware School Board Elections
District Date Seats up for election Total board seats Student enrollment
Appoquinimink School District 5/12/2015 1 5 9,214
Brandywine School District 5/12/2015 2 7 10,801
Christina School District 5/12/2015 1 7 16,303
Colonial School District 5/12/2015 2 7 9,711
Red Clay Consolidated School District 5/12/2015 2 7 15,970

Path to the ballot

A qualified person wishing to become a candidate for election to the board in a public school district in Delaware must:[12]

  • Complete a candidate filing form, have his/her signature notarized and submit the form to the Department of Elections
  • Complete the Certification of Intention form and mail it to the Office of the State Election Commissioner Office
  • Be qualified to vote in public school elections within the school district
  • Not have a paid position that is subject to the rules and regulations of the school board
  • Have not been convicted of embezzlement of public money, bribery, perjury or other crimes

Campaign finance

Delaware state law does not require candidates with campaign contributions less than $1,000 to file a campaign finance report. However, if the campaign receives or expends more than $2,000 (including any contributions or expenditures by the candidate) before the end of the year in which the election for such office is held, the candidate must notify the Office of the State Election Commissioner within seven days of the receipt or expenditure which brings the total to more than $2,000. The candidate must then form a committee and file all required reports with the Campaign Finance Section of the Office of the State Election Commissioner.[12]

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. National Center for Education Statistics, "State Education Data Profiles," accessed August 15, 2013
  5. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  6., "Feds: Del. 'needs intervention' on special ed," June 24, 2014
  7. Common Core: State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State,” accessed July 12, 2014
  8. Delaware Department of Education, "Department of Education Common Core Priorities," July 23, 2012
  9. Find Law, "Delaware Code - Title 14: EDUCATION," accessed July 9, 2014
  10. State of Delaware, "Delaware Education," accessed July 9, 2014
  11. Electronic School, "Survey of the State School Boards Associations on Term Limits for Local Board Members," accessed July 9, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 State of Delaware, "School Board Member Filing Packet," accessed July 9, 2014