For those who attend the monthly State Board of Education meetings, their meeting today will look very different. With new members, a new President, and soon, a new Executive Director, the State Board will soon become a travelling a road show! What is on the agenda today?
Three members will make their debut today at 5pm in the Cabinet Room of the Townsend Building in Dover. New State Board President Whitney Townsend Sweeney, along with new regular members Candice Fifer and former State Rep. Vincent Lofink, will start Fiscal Year 2019 at 5pm for their July meeting.
Highlights of the meeting will include choosing a Vice-President for the Board, currently Nina Lou Bunting. Delaware Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting will give an update on Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security and the conditions of their probation.
The State Board of Education will vote on one regulation:
The Secretary is seeking the approval of the State Board of Education to amend 14 DE Admin. Code 1007 DIAA Sportsmanship. The amendments include adding definitions for the terms “DIAA” and “Executive Director” in subsection 1.1.; striking the terms “Administrative Head of School,” “Department,” “Guardian or Legal Guardian,” “Individualized Education Program or IEP,” “Legally in attendance,” and “State Board,” in subsection 1.1., as those terms do not appear elsewhere in the regulation; and revising subsection 2.3. , which addresses penalties for sportsmanship violations.
I did speak with the State Board’s Administrative Assistant, John Wolgamot, the other day. I asked him why the Charter School Office is no longer giving a monthly update at State Board meetings. He explained the State Board is attempting to make their meetings shorter and the Charter School Office will only give meeting updates when something big goes on, such as a formal review, modification, or a charter renewal. He also said there are candidates for the Executive Director position which the State Board will discuss in Executive Session.
I look forward to seeing this new board. Since John Carney became Governor of Delaware, 5 out of 7 State Board members have been his nominations. Some members have come and gone since. Since I started blogging four years ago, only one member remains since that time- Dr. Terry Whittaker. Other new board members since Carney became Governor are Wali Rushdan and Dr. Audrey Noble.
As per legislation passed in the General Assembly on July 1st, the State Board will hold meetings in the different counties, as well as their “home base” in the Townsend Building. No official schedule has been released at this point on where and when their meetings will take place. This was a recommendation of the Sunset Committee so parents, citizens, teachers, and students can attend more meetings. As well, the legislation allows for a non-voting student on the State Board as well as the Delaware Teacher of the Year, also in a non-voting capacity.
It is the dawn of a new day for the State Board of Education, and while I still wish the members were publicly elected, I do salute the changes made to the board and the ability for parents to attend more meetings!