Two men are vying to fill a vacant seat on the Colonial School District Board of Education in elections being held on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.
The winner will finish the remainder of an unexpired five year term which runs until June 30, 2023.
Richard Schiller, Junior, was appointed to the vacant seat in November, 2020, and is now running to complete the term.
Schiller was a member of the Colonial School Board from 2013 to 2018.
Both Schiller and his opponent, Grandville Brown, were invited to participate in a virtual debate forum hosted by the Delaware PTA in late April.
Only Brown participated.
Brown said his son is a student in Colonial's Chinese Immersion program at New Castle Elementary School.
"He's really excelled in it," said Brown. "He's actually taught me some Chinese words."
But Brown said there are things within the school district that have him concerned as a parent.
"I was taken back a little bit and concerned over some of the proficiency percentages," said Brown.
"Thirty-seven percent proficiency in elementary schools, twenty-nine percent proficiency for middle school, and thirty-percent proficiency for high school, and this is just in literature.
"In math the numbers were even lower," said Brown. "Twenty-nine percent in elementary, sixteen-percent in middle school and only thirteen-percent in high school.
"I believe that these are some of the things that we could effectively try to come to the table and think of ways to improve those."
Brown is currently a case manager at the Center for Structural Equity where he works with students in high poverty areas and he said that allows him to understand the dynamic of equity.
"Equality we all know is everybody having an opportunity to go to school, that is equality," said Brown. "Equity is actually targeting the right resources for each student based off of their environment, the different barriers they have."
Brown also would like to see the district be more innovative.
"New faces with new ideas and new energy, that's what's necessary for now," said Brown, "you can't solve new problems with the same faces."