With Brandywine's vote, the WLC will have the 2023-2024 as a planning year, per the amendment.

WLC gets another planning year after Brandywine vote

Jarek RutzHeadlines, Education

With Brandywine's vote, the WLC will have the 2023-2024 as a planning year, per the amendment.

With Brandywine’s vote, the WLC will have the 2023-2024 as a planning year, per the amendment.

The Wilmington Learning Collaborative’s governing council got its wish and will now have an additional planning year after the final vote to amend the signed memorandum of understanding was approved Monday night.

The collaborative, made up of nine city of Wilmington elementary schools across Christina, Red Clay and Brandywine school districts, was waiting on Brandywine’s board to approve the 2023-2024 school year as a planning year.

Red Clay and Christina’s boards voted for the amendment earlier this month.

MORE: Learning Collab seeks permission to extend planning period

According to the amendment, the next school year will be the “initial phase for implementing initiatives, policies and programs by the collaborative.”

The year will also consist of the group conducting a needs assessment and root cause analysis, which will include evaluating  district practices, school practices and community and partner supports impacting city students.

One of the main reasons the collaborative asked for another planning year was because it took them about eight months in its initial planning year to hire an executive director – Laura Burgos – to help direct the 15-person governing council. 

RELATED: ‘I’m ready to go’ says WLC’s first exec. director Burgos

The amendment also pushed back when performance requirements for the collaborative will need to be set, which will now be March 31, 2024.

The signed agreement states that the group will be accountable to each district for improving student outcomes, and goals will be set collaboratively through mutual written agreement by the participating districts and the governing council.

Originally, those were to be set by March 31, 2023, but now the collaborative has another year to create metrics to measure its success and the improvement of student outcomes.

Brandywine’s board also voted to approve the district’s budget for this upcoming year. 

The 2023-2024 budget is $228.8 million, an increase of $11.8 million, or 5.4%, over last year’s 

The most significant increase in budget is due to $6.8 million of additional funding allocated in the state budget for fiscal year 2024 for state salary increases as well as increases in anticipated unit growth.

That increase was primarily driven by Gov. John Carney’s decision to give a 3% salary raise to all educators, and an additional 6% increase to those that work with students in classrooms. 

Brandywine’s board also approved a certificate of necessity request for $88,095,778 for major renovations to Mt. Pleasant Elementary and Mt. Pleasant High School, which are 91 years old and 65 years old, respectively.

“A combination of major systems replacement and various code violations make these renovations necessary,” the request states. 

The Department of Education must approve or deny the state funding request, which should happen by November 1. 

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