One of the things I admire about State Rep. Kim Williams in the General Assembly is her strength amidst fellow legislators. I believe Kim puts forth legislation that will help the students of Delaware. While some may see her as one who opposes charters, that is not the case at all. She just wants equity. It is why she put forth the Enrollment Preference Task Force from House Bill 90 in the 147th General Assembly. It’s why she has legislation pending to finally fund basic special education students in Kindergarten to 3rd grade. It’s why she also put for House Bill 186, the charter school audit bill.
As I wrote in the following article yesterday, https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2016/01/15/dave-sokola-kicks-kim-williams-in-the-back-and-then-thrusts-the-knife-into-it/, it is obvious there are agendas afoot to stop Kim’s bill. The Delaware Charter Schools Network hates this bill. The cost isn’t anything that would force a charter school into bankruptcy. Maybe they won’t be able to buy a slide for a pool, or send their whole staff to dinner at a country club, but they can afford it. Don’t let the DCSN fool you! They are paid by the charters to protect them and to advocate for them, just as DSEA does for teachers. They have a lot of influence among the DOE, the State Board, and Rodel. In essence, they are lobbyists. Last year they started a massive letter writing campaign which I talked about in the above Sokola article. Turnaround is fair play, so another letter writing campaign in support of House Bill 186 started earlier today.
This bill actually does protect charter schools by helping to make sure the outright theft of school funds doesn’t go for personal use by corrupt employees, and those funds go to the classroom where they are needed most. I can’t for the life of me understand why Sokola and Jaques wouldn’t want that either. They will argue technicalities, but let’s be honest, they are protecting this bizarre charter school mentality where they don’t want to have the transparency they actually need to survive on a long-term basis. During discussion last spring for HB186, the State Auditor’s office told the House Education Committee the nature of the charter’s required yearly audits would not catch a lot of the financial malfeasance that went on at charters like Family Foundations Academy and Academy of Dover.
Please go to the letter writing campaign here: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/support-hb-186?source=direct_link&referrer=hb-186
As of this writing, it states 162 letters have been sent. To clarify, that is 162 sets. Each Delaware Senator is receiving this letters and there are 21 Senators. That is 3, 402 letters that have gone out today! That is amazing!