Delaware Governor Jack Markell is using his executive power in manipulative ways to make sure the opt out bill, House Bill #50, doesn’t move at all. The bill is currently waiting to be heard in the House Education Committee, led by State Rep. Earl Jaques. Jaques will not put it on the agenda. The House Speaker, Pete Schwartzkopf, has also been told by Markell to make sure nothing happens with this bill. Other legislators are ignoring requests from constituents or groups that want to speak about this bill. This is the Delaware Way.
A bill that would give parents the ability to speak out on behalf of their children is being thwarted by the Governor and legislators. The rationale behind this is to wait and see what happens with the assessment committee, which is the one the Governor and Jaques have been pushing to have the DOE and districts take a look at other testing in the state. This spin from Markell is just another one of his attempts to stop parent opt out.
Meanwhile, the threats from school officials to parents continue in Delaware. Principals and administrators are taking a hard line in many districts, and parents are feeling threatened and bullied. Aside from the districts and boards that have already allowed opt out, confusion between individual schools and their home district office seems to be par for the course.
This state needs this opt out bill so parents can feel safe. No parent should be treated this way. To this end, I am calling on every parent in the state to come to a press conference outside of Legislative Hall in Dover at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, March 25th. The abuses in our state towards parents, teachers, students, and schools cannot and will not continue.
The time has come for ignored parents to stake our claim on education in Delaware and make our voice heard. I invite any and all media to attend.