It was one of those blink and you miss it moments. In the midst of budget negotiations in the early hours of July 1st, the Delaware House of Representatives voted again on House Concurrent Resolution #39 after Senator Colin Bonini added an amendment in the Senate. The bill passed the Senate but because the amendment was added, the House had to vote again.
Bonini’s amendment removed charter schools from being a part of any district consolidation discussion. When the bill came back to the House, State Rep. Kim Williams added another amendment which would remove the Delaware Charter Schools Network from membership on the district consolidation task force. It was a logical amendment. If charters didn’t want to be a part of the discussion, why would they want membership? The amendment barely passed with 21 yes and 20 no. The sole Republican yes vote came from State Rep. Jeff Spiegelman. Democrats who voted against it were Earl Jaques, Melanie Smith, Larry Mitchell, Quinton Johnson and Pete Schwartzkopf. None of those Dem votes really surprise me. Some who voted yes surprised me, but I have seen similar votes with charter related bills this year so perhaps there could be a shift in thinking on that front.
The Delaware Department of Education is the support agency for this task force. While no meetings have been scheduled at this point, the final report is due to the General Assembly by January 30th, 2018. I expect this task force will get going at some point later this summer.