Tonight at a full Delaware PTA meeting, members overwhelmingly voted for a resolution passing parent opt out in Delaware. They are also fully supporting House Bill 50, the parent opt out legislation introduced by State Rep. John Kowalko and State Senator Dave Lawson in February. They are also sending PTA Members to the Parent Press Conference outside Legislative Hall on April 1st to discuss these matters.
The Delaware PTA held their meeting at the Eden Support Services Building in the Christina School District with many members in attendance. Yvonne Johnson with the Delaware PTA said “We are happy that parents are using their voices and using their right to make the choice. Parents are much more educated on the issues now and if parents are confused about these issues, they should definitely educate themselves.” Johnson said there were quite a few parents on the fence, but voted for the resolution after hearing the pros and cons of the issue. There was one sole no vote at the meeting.
More details will be announced tomorrow in an official press release from the Delaware PTA.
Delaware State Representative Deborah Hudson has once again introduced a bill which would demand ALL school boards in Delaware digitally record their board meetings and make them available to the public. It was also introduced in the 147th General Assembly as House Bill 23, but was never put out for a vote. So let’s do the time warp again and pray this bill gets a full vote by the House and Senate and passes! With all of the shenanigans made public by various charter schools in the past year, this is needed and transparency needs to rule the day as Kilroy would say. I think this bill has much stronger muscle in the House this time, but the Senate will need some work.
What is interesting is who sponsored it last time and who is doing so now. We have Hudson and Karen Peterson as a co-sponsor. Dukes, Baumbach and Kim Williams from the House stayed on. From the Senate we have just Greg Lavelle. Gone as sponsors from the House in House Bill 23 are D. Short, Miro, Peterman, Mitchell, Bennett, and Wilson; and from the Senate, Hocker, Simpson and Townsend have left. But House Bill 61 does have new sponsors from the House: Briggs King, Hensley, Yearick, Bolden, Jaques, Lynn, Matthews, Osienski and Paradee, and the Senate: Bonini.
The actual wording on the bill looks the same as House Bill 23. The only additional language is the part about executive sessions, workshops and retreats not being included as their are no votes at these sessions.
The D.C. Charter board turned down a request by BASIS charter school to expand. The board was concerned about attrition. BASIS said it needed more revenue.
The interesting parts of this story:
1. Charters were supposed to meet the needs of at-risk students. BASIS requires students to pass AP courses.
2. The school keeps the tuition if the students return to public schools. “The city’s funding rules allowed BASIS to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in per-pupil allotments for the students it lost after Oct. 5, while the schools that received those students got no additional money.”
3. The school’s rent is going to nearly double next year. Somebody is cleaning up with public money. “The BASIS lease was structured so that this year’s rent, about $1.1 million, will nearly double next year to $2 million.”
On Saturday May 16th, the Tourette Syndrome Association will be holding it’s first Tourette Syndrome Awareness Walk of Delaware. The location is Glasgow Regional Park in Newark, Delaware. You can either participate as an individual, join a team, or create a team.
Sponsored by the Tourette Syndrome Association, this walk will help spread awareness and understanding of the disability that is widely considered to be one of the most often misunderstood disabilities in the world. Please come out and help spread awareness! To register, please go to the following website:
As a father of a son with Tourette Syndrome, I can say this disability is extremely challenging at times. It can manifest itself in many different ways, and is usually accompanied by several co-morbidities which can include ADHD, OCD, ODD, anxiety, depression and others. While nobody knows the exact cause of Tourette’s, whether it is genetic or environmental, those involved know there needs to be more public awareness and tolerance of this disability.