At the House Education Committee meeting today in Delaware, House Joint Resolution #12 which would have allowed the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission redistricting plan to move forward, was tabled. State Rep. Charles Potter, in his introductory statements, recommended the bill be tabled to add amendments which would otherwise have caused the plan to die in the House Education Committee. While no amendments have been added to the legislation as of yet, it is most likely in regards to the issue of property assessments. One of the recommendations of the redistricting plan is to allow the Red Clay Consolidated School District Board of Education to incrementally raise property taxes without a referendum. Many House Republicans oppose this. Once the amendment is added I will certainly put it up.
Several supporters of the bill gave public comment to urge the General Assembly to move forward. A few opposed the legislation based on inequality for students throughout the state. Many members of the House Education Committee were either not present or skipped the meeting entirely.
While some spoke about how this will provide extra funding for students with disabilities, there is no mention of this in Governor Markell’s proposed budget. I advised I support the bill if that funding is restored AND State Rep. Kim Williams’ House Bill 30 is approved to provide this essential funding for ALL students with disabilities in basic special education in grades Kindergarten to 3rd grade.
State Rep. Helene Keeley gave a very powerful speech before the committee voted about the situation with students in Wilmington and how the drug epidemic has ravaged the city. The committee will meet next week to discuss HJR #12 with the soon to be added amendment.