A week ago, the IEP Task Force Bill was left on the table after proposed changes on charter schools in the bill caused a firestorm of controversy on the Delaware Senate floor. Now, the bill has passed the Delaware Senate and will go to the House Education Committee. With all the hoopla about the charter school changes, the bill is essentially the same as its original format, with the following overview of Senate Amendment #3:
This Amendment makes a number of changes to better implement the recommendations of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Improvement Task Force. It adds new emphasis to the law requiring that notices to parents must be in writing. It clarifies that charter schools and school districts have similar obligations in educating students with disabilities and that charter schools have an ongoing obligation to have a designated staff person trained in the legal requirements of educating students with disabilities. It provides clearer protections to those advocating for students with disabilities by adding the protections existing under Delaware’s whistleblower laws. Finally, it adds a specific task force recommendation that progress on transition-related goals be regularly reported.
The sole nay vote rests on the shoulders of Senate Minority Leader Gary Simpson, of Milford. While I don’t think this will cure-all of the special education woes in Delaware, I think it’s definitely a good start. But what is happening with extending the task force? Matt Denn, the Chair of the task force, has seamlessly transitioned from Lieutenant Governor to Attorney General. While his new role is certainly larger and more challenging, perhaps he could nominate a new chair and get this ball rolling again. The momentum and attention are there!
To take a look at ALL the education bills and resolutions in the Delaware 148th General Assembly, please go here: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/delaware-education-bills-148th-general-assembly/