Suckers! Governor Carney vetoed the 5 mile radius bill. Big deal. We all knew he didn’t really have a choice. But don’t think for one second Senator David Sokola and Newark Charter School Head of School Greg Meece didn’t plan all of this the second the bill went into circulation. Did any of you think for one second Meece would give up his beloved 5-mile radius for NCS? Come on! This is Delaware Politics 101 folks!
This was never about Wilmington students. This was ALWAYS about Newark Charter School. They do NOT want anyone outside of their 5-mile radius crossing that line. Sokola knew the bill had legs so he found the perfect amendment to kill it: exclude the Wilmington portion of Christina. It would get all the civil rights activists going off and it worked like a charm. Lest we forget, this is the same State Senator who messed around with the opt out bill every single chance he could. How many of us were there when he scheduled many bills during a Senate Education Committee meeting and the opt out bill, House Bill 50, was delayed for a week? Remember the whole “Assessment Inventory Task Force” crap? That was him. Remember the charter school audit bill which was fantastic under State Rep. Kim Williams’ original incarnation until he got his charter-dirty hands on it. And what about House Bill 399, the bill that would have given teachers a choice of using the Smarter Balanced Assessment or other tests for their evaluations? He put so much crap in his amendment and watered it down to nothing. This is classic Sokola.
Don’t believe for one second that NCS had issues with transportation logistics. They didn’t want the 5-mile radius to go away. Period. That’s all this was ever about. I have no doubt Sokola was cheering me on when I wrote about how his version of House Bill 85 would result in a massive lawsuit against the state. This is what he does. He turns gold into poison ivy. But all the clowns up in Newark keep voting him back in over and over again.
As for Meece, he is never going to change. He loves the fact that HIS school is the “best” in the state. He loves the fact it’s the biggest as well. And he has stacked the deck with the sibling enrollment preference. That way all his favorite families can keep bringing their kids there. He might throw a prize our way by taking in some special education kids. Make it look like he is trying. But he isn’t. He’s just playing the game. And with Sokola by his side, he always wins.
Everyone on social media is talking about Carney and Wilmington. How Carney did or didn’t help Wilmington kids with his veto. Do you really believe Carney didn’t know what Sokola and Meece were up to the entire time? See the game for what it is folks. It isn’t about change. It’s about the status quo.
Lucky for Sokola, he got to go on a cross-country bike ride with former Governor and good buddy Jack Markell. They are somewhere in middle America right now, sweating their hineys off in spandex. I have no doubt Meece is thinking “Yes, we win again!” while wondering if he should go for a threepeat on Blue Ribbon status so he can brag that they are 1 in 5 trillion schools who ever got the hat trick. They played all of us for suckers, again. And they will do it again. As long as Sokola has his little amendment followers and enough whine to go with his charter cheese, this scene will play out again. And again. And again. I don’t have a doubt in my mind that Meece and Sokola ever worried about this bill at all. Gravy!