2015 had something happen that hasn’t happened in a long time. Parents voices were heard loud and clear with education, and the Delaware General Assembly acted on their behalf with House Bill 50. Parents also spoke out about bullying at Skyline Middle School in the Red Clay Consolidated School District and made a difference. I expect this trend to not only continue in 2016, but also to increase.
The General Assembly has a big choice in front of them when they return to session on January 12th. House Bill 50 WILL come up for a veto override. Will they listen to parents or will they stick with Governor Markell? Let’s be crystal clear: he has no intention of getting rid of the Smarter Balanced Assessment. The key to this will be the parents. They need to start emailing and calling their state senators and state representatives in their district NOW. On January 14th (not January 12th as previously reported), parents will rally at Legislative Hall in support of the veto override. Sponsored by the Delaware PTA, this will be big.
Democrat Governor hopeful John Carney has kept mum on his position with opt-out. Colin Bonini, the main Republican contender voted yes both times the bill came before the Delaware Senate. I’m hoping you have a hat trick on this one Senator Bonini!
I have a feeling as more and more parents become upset with the way special education is going for many of their kids across the state more and more of them will speak up. Many want to act but don’t know how or even if they can. It only takes one person helping another. Reach out to them and let them know there is no reason to be afraid to advocate for your child.
I’ve heard many parents tell me they won’t opt their child out unless a law is passed. There is NO law that could pass that could give or take away your constitutional and fundamental right to opt your child out. Know that, and act on it.
I personally want to thank all the parents who came to make their voice heard at Legislative Hall this year. No matter which side of the fence you were on, the important thing is you were acting in the best interest of your children. That is something to be proud of! Whether it was bills on Autism, or teen suicide prevention, or opt-out, your voices were heard. We will have a lot to fight for next year! And really stepping forward to help parents was the Delaware PTA. House Bill 50 would not have become the success it was had it not been for them. Let’s stop the Governor from disrespecting parents!