The Delaware American Civil Liberties Union has put out a message to all citizens of Delaware following the vote by the Wilmington City Council to ban all new charter schools in the City of Wilmington last Thursday night. Nancy Willing, of Delaware Way, has written the following:
Any parent in the state of Delaware who has experienced problems getting their child into a charter school or keeping a child in a charter school should contact the ACLU of Delaware! http://www.aclu-de.org/. The ACLU’s resegregation lawsuit is focusing on the actionable classes of either special needs or minority children but I would think they’d be interested in the testimony of any parent whose child was denied admission to a public charter school.
Sad to say, I know far too many people who should probably check this out if they haven’t already…
On the last day of the 147th General Assembly, Delaware Senator Dave Lawson threw out a teaser. It was the controversial Senate Bill 269. What made this bill controversial was that most people didn’t know it even existed. SB 269, if passed, would have eliminated Common Core from Delaware schools and would have prevented any federal, corporate or outside interference with Delaware education. The state would have been free to form its own standards for eduction, unencumbered by the US Department of Education breathing down its neck. As well, this bill would have put a stop to the “longitudinal data” collection by the Delaware DOE and the US DOE.
Will Senator Lawson put this in again? Say he did, and it passed, would Governor Markell ever sign off on it? And what would that do to the Common Core themed Smarter Balanced Assessment. Kudos to Senator Lawson for breathing some fresh air in the legislature. I’m looking for a repeat, and very soon!
In Federal IDEA Regulation, each state must have an advisory council for disabilities. In Delaware, that council is the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens, or GACEC. The group meets eight times a year to discuss issues with citizens for special needs at the George Massey Station building in Dover. But don’t let that number fool you, because there is a lot of work going way beyond their meetings!
The GACEC has many functions and committees that perform these tasks. The Policy and Law Committee will go through regulations that might impact the disabled in Delaware and will carefully review any pending or existing regulations or laws in the state. The Children and Youth Committee will look at different special education practices or services in the communities for children. The Adult/Transition Services Committee finds ways to make life better for adults with disabilities all over the state. Another committee called Infant/Early Child Care tackles needs for our tiniest disabled citizens and looks for ways to make their life better as well.
The group has sponsored recent campaigns such as the DelAWARE DisABILITY Hub website, serving adults in transition. Over the holidays and still continuing over the Winter is the Heart 2 Hugs program, which collects cold weather clothing for homeless children or those in foster care.
They recently met in November and just released their minutes from that meeting. I really like what I saw. From their November board minutes:
All public meeting minutes should be this detailed! As you can see, this group works very hard for the exceptional of Delaware. They are very thorough and committed to our most vulnerable of citizens!
The group meets again this Tuesday, January 20th at 516 W. Loockerman St. at 6pm in the George V. Massey Building in the executive conference room in downtown Dover. Come and check it out and learn what goes on behind the scenes in our state for Exceptional Citizens!
In a study done in 2011 by the Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council on bullying, the council found that 3.2 million students are bullied every year on a national level, and 3.7 million students engage in bullying behavior. As well, each school day it is estimated that 160,000 students miss school because of bullying. These are alarming statistics, and unfortunately students with disabilities are often the victims of bullying. The report states “The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees all students and adults have access to a “free and appropriate” public education. If “peer-on-peer” harassment infringes on this right, then schools, parents and state entities must be prepared to advocate and intercede on behalf of bullying victims. This position statement outlines the DDC’s stance on bullying students with developmental disabilities and possible courses of action to limit further bullying.”
In the 2011-2012 school year, there were 549 substantiated (determined to…