A bill is circulating among Delaware legislators that would give school boards more power with raising taxes. In my view, this is just another way to shift state funding to local school boards. The bill hasn’t even been given a number yet and it is important to know it is only in circulation, which means State Rep Earl Jaques is looking for sponsors. I heard, through that infamous Delaware grapevine, that Senator David Sokola is on board. Funny how Sokola didn’t mention this at all at the Education Forum the other night. The pending bill is dated 5/11/2017 and given that Sokola is the Chair of the Senate Education Committee, he would definitely know about this.
I said it yesterday, and I’ll say it again: watch out for stealth legislation coming out between now and June 30th that will most likely tick a lot of people off. The Delaware Education Hunger Games just went up to a new unbelievable level!
Updated, 2:52pm: State Rep. John Kowalko just released the following statement about this bill in circulation:
In one of the most blatant attempts to shift the blame and the costs for the irresponsible and destructive $37 million cuts to public education, Senator Sokola and Representative Jaques, chairs of the Senate and House Education committees, are circulating legislation that purports to enable local school boards to fund rather than cut a number of necessary programs. The elimination of these programs, due to the proposed funding cuts, will spell disaster for the children, educators and public school districts. This bill is a blatant attempt to shirk the Legislature’s responsibility to adequately fund public education and seek the necessary revenue to do so. The taxpayers should not overlook the additional fact that the proposed $37 million in cuts will not include $6 million that is left to the charter schools to fund these same programs. The prime sponsors of this proposed legislation, who have been less than aggressive supporters of equal treatment and funding between charter schools and traditional schools, instead seem to feel that the public will find tax increases imposed by a volunteer (unpaid) board of elected citizens as palatable. I imagine that another benefit will be to disguise and hide the fact that the General Assembly is abdicating its responsibility and authority to raise revenue for public services not to mention that any school board choosing to use such authority would probably doom the chances of success for any future referendums, regardless of their legitimacy.
4 thoughts on “Exclusive: Pending Legislation Would Give Delaware School Boards MORE Authority To Raise Taxes Without Referendum”
I support this bill with one major caveat: only after the boards are elected with this an as enumerated power,not before.
I understand what you are saying. Do we have one big election where candidates run for whatever length of term is remaining?
Or, as John said on Facebook, make it so the law isn’t effective until 2023 so all new school board seats go through their cycle.
I say give me a comprehensive bill package that pulls back odious law affecting this issue. For instance, the law that prohibits land use planning councils from considering school capacity when they deliberate on new residential development tracts. The off set in lieu payment is WOEFULLY underfunded.
And promise me that the state will fulfill WEIC along the way. City people are up in arms over Sokola’s carve out for NCS. That Sokola omitted this bill from his discussion on Monday is unconscionable.
I have more but mainly will say NO WAY is this an appropriate piece of legislation without full statewide local public vetting.
I am glad this is hitting the fan before the Democratic Party Convention….just wait.