Wilmington joins civil action suit against Department of Education

City of Wilmington unites with a group of parents to challenge the closure of Moyer Academy Charter School.

The City has joined the fight by filing a lawsuit against the Delaware Department of Education. The lawsuit comes weeks after the Department of Education voted to close the school down.

Last week, Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams addressed education on ‘First’ and stated that he recently visited several area schools that ran into trouble.

“It amazes me anyway that people say schools are in trouble. The Department of Education should have known this quite awhile ago. All of a sudden schools are in trouble and everybody is blaming the teachers. I don’t believe in that Philosophy,” Williams said.

In the lawsuit, the City is urging the Delaware Department of Education to partner with Moyer Academy to address any academic needs. The mayor expressed his decision to support Moyer in more detail in a press release that came out on Tuesday.

“The economic viability of the City, and the safety of its residents, depends in large measure on the availability, within the City, of high quality public education, said Williams. We cannot idly sit by as another City high school is put on the chopping block to be closed.”

Alison May, spokeswoman for the Department of Education released a brief comment about the lawsuit. “We have not been served with the suit yet and do not have a comment at this time,” May said.

According to city officials, if Moyer Academy shuts down, more Wilmington children would be forced to take longer commutes. The mayor also suggested that students from Moyer Academy who live in the Christina School District would be forced to return to that District’s failing schools. Officials are also concerned about the commute for students who are normally bused out of the city to attend schools within the Colonial School District.

“Parents have been precluded from participating fully in their children’s education due to lack of transportation,” Williams said.

In the meantime, The City is demanding the Chancery Court immediately declare the Department of Education’s revocation of Moyer Academy’s charter to be void as well as give Moyer additional time to improve since the  school is already on the path of improvement now that it’s under new management.

“The availability of public schools in the City of Wilmington is paramount to the development of our children, who are fundamentally entitled to public high schools in their communities,” Williams said.

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