The Wilmington Education Improvement Commission will hold their next meeting on Tuesday, February 28th. On the agenda is an appearance by none other than Delaware Governor John Carney and Delaware Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting. This will be interesting!
This week, Carney gutted a proposed weighted funding formula for the FY2018 state budget stating there is no money for it. WEIC doesn’t work at all if the money isn’t in that budget either. The state is facing a $350-$400 million dollar budget deficit. In November, WEIC Chair Tony Allen publicly announced that if WEIC doesn’t go through he can foresee some type of legal action against the State of Delaware. Interestingly enough, WEIC member Meredith Griffin filed today to run for the Christina School District Board of Education for the election in May. That sets up that election for a four-person race with still another week to file for potential candidates. This week, issues of race and due process came up in Red Clay stemming from an incident at a basketball game between A.I. DuPont High School and Delaware Military Academy. Carney and Bunting are getting an hour to talk. That is actually a long time. I can’t say if I’ve ever heard Carney talk about education that long. I don’t know if all of these issues will come up at the meeting, but this meeting comes at a very interesting time. This will also be a big moment for Secretary Bunting as she is new in office and will be tasked with restricting the Delaware Dept. of Education.
WEIC and it’s earlier incarnation, WEAC, have been around for two and a half years. Eventually, WEIC presented a plan to send Christina Wilmington students to Red Clay along with several other initiatives throughout the state to improve education for high-needs students. After a long and drawn-out battle with the State Board of Education, WEIC’s plan turned into legislation. That legislation failed to pass in the Delaware Senate. New legislation extended the planning period for another year. But with this year’s budget deficit looking dismal, will WEIC get the bypass again? If it does, what will folks like Tony Allen and Jea Street’s next move be?
This could be a crowded meeting. Get there early. And what is up with five minutes of public comment? They may want to stretch that out!
Tomorrow is the biggest day in Delaware history since Washington crossed the Delaware! Not really, and that crossing was between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. But voters in the 10th Senate District will choose their new Senator: John Marino or Stephanie Hansen. I am really hoping they do the logical and sensible thing. First off, they need to get out and vote. Second, they need to vote for John Marino.
I won’t even play Pacman with all the crazy spending going on in this election. Both sides have spent gobs of cash on this election. The Dems are fighting for their triumvirate of state government control while the GOP is hoping for a slice of the pie. Caught in the crossfire are the actual candidates, Marino and Hansen. It comes down to choice, pure and simple. But this is NOT just a vote for John Marino, it is also a vote for Delaware. Eight long Markellian years have brought our economy down, our education to a standstill, and disenfranchised citizens up and down the state. Dem control led to Governor John Carney telling people in a virtual town hall the other night that we don’t have money to help low-income schools. We have a $350-$400 million deficit heading into the Fiscal Year 2018 budget. That’s nearly 10% of our budget. Can you afford a 10% reduction in your paycheck? I know I can’t. Delaware can’t either.
When one party has control, the other side doesn’t really matter. Majority rules, so they say. This gives us bad legislation and slush funds inserted into the state budget. This gives our schools less while they pay more. The Dems should be nervous. They realize their reign of power is coming to an end. They will use fear mongering about Right To Work as an excuse to vote for Hansen. God forbid we actually get compromise in Delaware! God forbid the two parties are forced to work together for the betterment of the state. Please, let’s keep one party in control so my quality of life suffers. One party control does NOT work. We are seeing this more than ever with our federal government. I am not a one party guy, but as Senator Brian Pettyjohn stated in a letter to the editor in the Delaware State News, it is about balance. We need to get the balance right. So tomorrow, if you live in the 10th, vote for John Marino. He’s a good guy who will stick by his principles no matter what. Don’t lump him in with all the rhetoric coming from the Hansen side.
For the first time in nearly a decade, a select group of people in the state can determine the future of Delaware. Will they choose the status quo which has put us in the very precarious situation we are in now, or will they vote for change and compromise and a shot at a better tomorrow for all and not the few? Delaware teachers: what has one-party control brought you? Delaware parents: do you like all the aggressive testing in our schools? Delaware citizens: Has the massive loss of businesses in our state helped you or your property values? If I lived in the 10th, I would vote for Marino. But I don’t. I can only endorse him. Again and again if need be. Delaware without one-party control can be a frightening thought. It is unknown what could happen. Our unions will shrivel up and die. That’s what the Dems campaigning for Hansen would have you believe. But what is very known is what one-party control has wrought, and it is not good. Get the balance right.