Delaware Governor John Carney and Delaware Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting will talk to educators, parents, and citizens tonight about education funding and the state budget tonight at 7:45pm. To be included on the call, you had to sign up yesterday by 2pm. I signed up on Tuesday. I will be reporting live from the Town Hall. What concerns me the most is not what Carney is saying. It is what he isn’t talking about…
With a budget deficit of $395 million dollars, something is going to give. Education funding is on the cutting block in Carney’s proposed “shared sacrifice” budget. Across the state, school districts and charter schools are grappling with what these cuts will mean to their own budgets. Neither districts or citizens seem to like the Governor’s idea of having school boards raise taxes without a referendum through the match tax. No one likes the idea of Delaware public school students getting less than they already have, especially children with high needs. Many districts are holding forums on what these cuts could look like: programs, a reduction in teaching staff, transportation cuts, etc.
This is a crazy time for Delaware. But in a few years, all of this should be a moot point. Delaware will be making a killing from their current race against time with Blockchain Technology. What is Blockchain? According to the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, it is this:
Distributed ledgers are mutual, shared ledgers. They create a single record of transactions among multiple parties, providing one immutable, “golden copy” of data that all parties see at the same time and can trust as valid. Consequently, parties do not need to maintain their own copies and reconcile with each other. Distributed ledgers are append-only databases that maintain a perfect, immutable audit trail of who did what and when they did it.
Part of Blockchain Technology is smart contracts, which the forum describes as:
Smart contracts are automated “if/then” software programs that self-execute when a specific trigger occurs. Online bill payment is a widely-used example of a smart contract. On the due date of your bill, the software springs into life and automatically pays your bill by executing the instructions you previously provided. Smart contracts automate workflow.
So how does Delaware fit in with this? At present, the First State is conducting trials for this new technology according to Nasdaq:
On top of that, Delaware’s blockchain trials have the potential to completely overhaul the system in Wall Street. Trades could be settled quicker and easier, with increased accuracy. The idea is to try using the distributed ledger system to take care of these transactions with the help of smart contracts that manage everything.
But even more important is the lucrative benefits Delaware will get out of this. According to Jeff Mordock with the News Journal,
First, it will keep Delaware’s $1.4 billion incorporation franchise competitive in the wake of increased threats from other states and even a few international jurisdictions. Delaware is home to more than 1 million corporate entities, including 64 percent of Fortune 500 companies. Those entities pay incorporation fees and taxes to the state, which account for nearly a quarter of Delaware’s budget. If those entities incorporate somewhere else, Delaware would have to make up that revenue elsewhere, including the possibility of raising taxes.
But Delaware wants companies to not only incorporate here, but also set up shop:
A second benefit, state officials say, is that it will put Delaware at the forefront of the blockchain revolution, encouraging developers of the technology to build and expand their businesses in the First State. Last year, corporations and venture capitalists invested more than $1 billion in blockchain startups, a market that is expected to hit $19.9 billion by 2025, according to Research and Markets, an Irish consumer data tracker.
Under Governor Markell, the First State saw many of these technology start-up companies come to the state. Governor Carney, while serving as Delaware’s sole U.S. Representative in Congress, also pushed Blockchain on Delaware. If you go back and listen to Carney’s campaign talk, you can read between the lines when he talks about the economy. So what, you might be asking yourself, does this have to do with education? I actually wrote about Blockchain and education last summer. I keep finding myself providing the link to this article over and over again because the same things keep coming up. Delaware already has the almighty wizards pushing changes to education policy, as I wrote in that article:
And then there are the roles the Rodel Foundation and BRINC have with all this. Rodel has been pushing digital learning for many years now. Rodel is a non-profit foundation in Delaware. Many states have these non-profits who say they are the bridge between the state educators and the corporations. They like to label themselves as the bridge between the two. In reality, they are the puppets of the corporations. They bring the corporate brainwashing into every aspect of the state education system and watch it slowly transform into a complete takeover for the corporations. These are the Business Roundtables and committees in every state. The Rodel Teacher Council, a very selected group of Delaware educators, from both traditional school districts and charters, is very big on personalized learning. In fact, they already have Delaware teachers pushing coding school in the classroom.
The pieces are in play for a complete transformation of not only the global economy, but also education. People are getting red herrings thrown their way and no one is talking about this. To get Delaware fully rolling on this, the Corporate Law has to change. But you better believe corporate attorneys are working on that piece as Mordock wrote:
The proposal is part of a package that largely comprised of small changes to the DGCL, said Matt O’Toole, an attorney at Potter Anderson & Corroon, and chair of the bar association’s Corporate Law Council. It is still being reviewed by the bar association and could be submitted to the Delaware General Assembly by the end of the month.
That end of the month is now here. I expect to see this kind of legislation any day now. The clock is ticking in the race for Blockchain, which Delaware is painfully aware of:
Politicians in other parts of the country, including Nevada, Connecticut and Rhode Island, have threatened to siphon some of Delaware’s incorporation dollars into their states. If another state were to take a mere 1 percent of Delaware’s incorporation franchise that would be a $10 million hit to the state budget.
Will we see Blockchain technology increase revenue for Delaware? If I were a betting man, I would say definitely. Will we see it slide over into the education arena? Yes. Smart contracts will automate everything in business. Education these days is becoming very big business. Imagine all the standardized test scores, data (including private student data), vouchers, and Pay for Success deals on the Blockchain. All those “Smart Contracts”. And then imagine the potential future from the article I wrote last summer, where students “learn to earn”. Look at everything Rodel and their teacher council has built up to with their Personalized Learning/Competency-Based Education push (which I have MUCH more to write about soon). The pieces are in play and behind the scenes, Governor Carney’s vision of “Public-Private Partnerships” is happening.
Delaware is in financial straits now. The conspiracy theorist in me says that is exactly where those in power want us to be. It is the perfect time to deflect and distract. This is how empires are made. While everyone is looking over there, at budget deficits and higher taxes, the corporations and power brokers are working behind the scenes to create a new reality. Smack dab in the middle of it is Rodel and the Delaware Business Roundtable. Future generations won’t remember times like these. They will be in a dystopian technology world with no escape.
So yes, I plan on listening to every single word that comes out of Governor John Carney’s mouth tonight. But will I accept everything he says as the Gospel truth? No. Look beyond the words and see the actions behind them. You can’t transform education without getting rid of the foundational building blocks of what exists now. Cut the funding, piece by piece, and something else takes its place. It is a slow and gradual change, visible only to those who can see the forest from the trees.
Teachers need to wake up, and wake up now! So do parents and citizens. The only way to fight the future is to KNOW the future. Venture capitalists and investors have created the future for years now, right before our very eyes. Delaware is a small state, but a very powerful one. By making the cuts to education now, it will save the power brokers from doing it later when Delaware is rolling in the bucks through the Blockchain. The best way to make change is to create the environment where change can flourish through wording like “shared sacrifice”. Carney has become very proficient at the red herring scenario that so many involved in education get sucked into. Folks are invited to the table without realizing they are the main course. What we are seeing now is Corporate Education Reform 2.0.