This statement is attributable to Kathleen MacRae, Executive Director of the ACLU of Delaware
May 24, 2017 Wilmington, Delaware
Today is a victory for democracy and free and fair election in Delaware. The Court of Chancery, in its just released opinion, said that the ACLU of Delaware and lawyers from the law firm Shaw Keller LLP proved at trial that Red Clay Consolidated School District violated the Delaware Constitution’s Election Clause in order to secure a favorable result in the special election it held to raise school taxes in February 2015.
We agree with the Chancery Court that there is "dysfunction in Delaware’s system for funding public schools.” We believe that Delaware’s system of school financing is badly broken. As the Court observed, among other things, property assessments are based upon 1983 property values.
The ACLU of Delaware fully supports adequate and equitable funding for our schools at a level that allows them to meet their constitutional obligations. Our schools should not be forced to choose between holding free and fair elections or facing budget shortfalls that prevent them from fully and efficiently educating our children.
School district and other officials up and down state are now on notice that Red Clay’s conduct crossed the line. The ACLU of Delaware will continue to be vigilant in our efforts to protect voting rights in all elections, no matter our opinion on the outcome of the voting process.