Five years ago the Christina School District was hiring teachers and spending money it said was needed to improve education.
What the school board later found out was that it was money that it didn’t have. They didn’t find it out until Dr. Joseph Wise took a job as head of the Jacksonville, Florida school district. The district had to borrow $20million from the state and make drastic cuts in order to stay afloat.
Now two school superintendents later officials from the school district gathered at the Porter Road elementary school to celebrate the final payment of the state loan.
Wise was replaced by current Secretary of Education Lillian Lowery. When Lowery went to Dover in 2009, Marcia Lyles was hired. She was the one who was able to celebrate the fiscal milestone.
Lyles says she is proud of the fact that during this period the district was able to build a new elementary school which created the space in other schools to allow for full day kindergarten. She also pointed out that the money used to pay back the loan can now be put back into the district for other programs.
WHYY’s Paul Parmelee was at the ceremony on Tuesday and spoke to Lyles.