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Governor Carney Vetoes Charter School Attendance Bill

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House of Representatives
Governor-Elect John Carney (D-De)

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. John Carney has vetoed a bill that would have prohibited Delaware charter schools from giving enrollment preferences to children living within a 5-mile radius.

Carney announced the veto Thursday, saying in a statement that he believes sponsors wanted to expand students' options and boost diversity, but the bill "unfairly excludes some of our most vulnerable students."  He says it created a new standard that limits options for at-risk students in the Christina School District portion of Wilmington.

Critics say the geographic preference excludes minority and low-income students, while others say it helps maintain a neighborhood-school atmosphere. The bill applied to all charter schools but was aimed at Newark Charter, a predominantly white, high-performing school with a long waiting list of more than 3,000 students.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.