The Delaware Senate just passed House Bill 50 by a vote of 15-6. The very controversial parent opt-out bill now travels to Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s desk. Will he sign it? Veto it? I just asked his Education Policy Advisor Lindsey O’Mara and she does not know what he is going to do.
If he vetoes the bill, he faces the wrath of many Delaware parents. If he signs the bill he is sure to tick off US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and a legion of corporate education reformers in Delaware. Whatever the result, the passage of this bill in the 148th General Assembly honors a parents right to opt their child out of standardized assessments in Delaware. It will also prevent schools or the state Department of Education from bullying or intimidating parents when they choose to opt their child out. It shows respect and tolerance of parent wishes which is the heart of the legislation.
Thank you to State Rep. John Kowalko and Senator Dave Lawson for sponsoring the bill, along with the Delaware PTA who came through time and time again. As well, the Delaware State Educators Association, and the hundreds of parents who fought very hard for this bill. This is a major victory and you should all be proud!