Senator David Sokola controls the agenda for the Senate Education Committee. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the parent opt-out bill, House Bill 50, on May 7th. All that momentum and fervor to pass this bill, and it now rests with one man to move it forward. In the meantime, Sokola and State Rep. Earl Jaques introduced Senate Joint Resolution #2, which would “direct the Department of Education to study student assessment testing”.
The Senate Education Committee next meets on Wednesday June 3rd, most likely at 3pm. Sources are saying Sokola will have HB50 on the agenda, but there are several education bills already scheduled so it could be delayed a week. But HB50 was introduced in February while SJR#2 hasn’t even been around a week. Yes, the testing season is almost over, but parents don’t want to wait around another year to have their schools stop acting like manipulative jerks when it comes to opt-out.
I’m going to say this now. If Sokola allows SJR #2 to be heard before HB50, several parents will voice strong objection to this. As I’m sure several legislators, organizations and teachers will as well. The Delaware Department of Education seems to think SJR #2 is the opt-out destroyer. For months, Governor Markell has been praising this “assessment study” to be the heart of the opt-out movement. He foolishly thinks parents are opting out because students are being tested too much. You don’t know Jack, Jack! We are opting out because of the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Not to lift the unions up like so many others are saying across the nation.
To let HB50 whither on the vine in the Senate would be a tremendous insult to the House. 36-3 on a controversial bill opposed by the Governor is not a “small but vocal minority”. The jig is up. The question is how many members of the Delaware Senate have been injected with the Markell kool-aid iv drip. THE biggest education bill of this legislative session demands to be heard. It’s your move Senator Sokola. But don’t think for one minute we will be fooled.