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Board of Education Approves Operational Referendum Request
for February 13, 2024
At the November 11, 2023, regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting, the District Finance Committee (DFC) unanimously recommended that the District hold an Operational Referendum before the end of the 2023.24 school year. The Board of Education accepted the DFC's recommendation and voted to proceed with an Operational Referendum on February 13, 2024.
Five community members with expertise and experience in financial analysis, oversight, and management comprise the core of the District Finance Committee. In addition to the five citizens, one member of the Board of Education and one building principal serve as voting members. The DFC meets monthly to review the District's financial reports, provide recommendations and guidance to the Board of Education, and ensure transparency, accountability, and fiscal stewardship.
The Brandywine School District was the first school district in the State of Delaware to establish a District Finance Committee composed primarily of local community members. Using Brandywine School District as the model, the state now requires all districts to have similar financial oversight committees.
What is a Referendum?
Unlike surrounding states, Delaware school districts can only generate additional revenue for operations and capital projects if approved by a public vote, or referendum. The Delaware Department of Elections oversees the election process in which a simple majority determines the outcome. All public school districts must go out for an operational referendum every few years to keep pace with the increased costs of operations and programming.
While there are two types of referendum, Operational and Capital, Brandywine's February 13, 2024, referendum is Operational only.
- Operating Referendum
Operational Referendum funds cover the day-to-day costs of operating the District (e.g., textbooks, curricular resources, technology, transportation, sports, student activities, specialized equipment, employee costs, substitutes, maintenance of building and grounds, etc.).
- Capital Referendum
Revenue generated through a Capital Referendum is used to pay for the local portion of major construction projects (e.g., construction of a new school, school renovation, addition of classrooms or wing of a school, roof replacement, etc.). BSD's February 13, 2024, Referendum does not contain a capital request.
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- Operating Referendum