House Bill 50 Released From House Education Committee, State Rep. Mike Ramone is the Hero of the Day!!!!

On an 8-6 vote, House Bill 50 was released from the House Education Committee.  It’s next destination: The Delaware House of Representatives.  There is one man who controls this, Delaware Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf.  He can control when the bill is voted on in the House.

In a long and contentious committee meeting, representatives from both sides of the legislation gave testimony on why they felt their voice had merit.  Most of the public comments wanting the bill passed were parents, teachers, Delaware PTA, DSEA, and many legislators.  The opposition included Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Murphy, Delaware State Board President Dr. Teri Quinn Gray, State Board Executive Director Donna Johnson, Brandywine Superintendent Dr. Mark Holodick. the president of the Metropolitan Urban League, Jea Street, the head of school at First State Montessori School and others.

The heart of the debate though was between the sponsor of the bill, State Rep. John Kowalko, and the Chair of the House Education Committee, State Rep. Earl Jaques.  For nearly an hour, the two went back and forth with Jaques barreling questions at Kowalko, and Kowalko either answering or utilizing the services of the House Attorney to give legal advice.  In this battle of wills, Jaques came off as very condescending as if this was a personal battle between himself and Kowalko.

After all the public comment was over, the bill was finally up for a vote.  A motion was made by State Rep. Michael Ramone to table the bill.  This is done usually to save the bill instead of a no vote in committee which would kill the bill.  However, there were not enough votes to table the legislation.  Only six were in favor of this.  Ramone then made a motion to release the bill, and after seven votes, it was unclear what Ramone’s vote was, but he indicated that as the person making the motion to release the bill, that was his yes vote.  Jaques made him raise his hand as yes, and the bill was released.

I gave public comment, but due to a time constraint of two minutes, I had to cut much of my speech, but a copy of the full speech was given to each committee member for the public record, as well as a copy of the petition to support the bill.  This petition will continue with an updated version.  If you have already signed the petition, you do not need to sign again.  But please get the word out!

Governor Markell did not show up, but his Education Policy Advisor Lindsay O’Mara did.  At one point during the committee meeting, she was stopped from talking with State Rep. Mike Ramone, which is one of the House rules.  According to some chatter I heard prior to the meeting, Ramone was the wildcard with this vote.  But he came through in the end.

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Kevin Ohlandt

I am a proud parent of a son with Tourette's Syndrome and several other co-morbidities. I write on this blog to educate other parents so they know a bit more about not only special education, but all the really bad things that are happening with public schools in Delaware and the USA. We are all in this together, and if our children aren't able to advocate for themselves it's up to us parents! We need to stop letting companies run our schools, and demand our children get a proper education. Our Departments of Education in our states have become weak with fear from the bullying US DOE, and we need to take back our schools!

6 thoughts on “House Bill 50 Released From House Education Committee, State Rep. Mike Ramone is the Hero of the Day!!!!”

  1. Every single person did a wonderful job speaking out in favor of this bill. I’m so happy for this victory! Special kudos to you for all your hard work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go towards the end, but some surprises came through. A lot of us are trying to figure out the Yes votes as we speak. It was packed in there, but I was concentrating on whether or not Ramone voted yes or not.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have posted this elsewhere in this blog, but I’m just trying to get this info out there:

    I believe that Donna Johnson, Executive Director of the DEDOE, should recuse herself from commenting on a PARENT’s right to opt his/her child out of state testing for 2 reasons. (1.) She has NO kids. (2.) Her husband, Chip Riddleberger, is one of Jack Markell’s Constituent Relations Specialists. Anyone smell a conflict of interest here?

    Chip Riddleberger:

    Donna & Chip’s old wedding registry:


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