Delaware Governor Jack Markell sure was a busy guy yesterday. In the morning he was pimping the Rodelian Teacher Leader Project. But then he decided to defy the Delaware Senate and signed Executive Order #61. What did Jack do this time?
A couple of months ago, Markell’s Chief Ass-Kisser, Delaware Senator David Sokola, tried to get a bill going that would create a permanent steering committee for the Pathways to Prosperity program in Delaware schools. The bill made it out of committee, but never made it to the Senate floor in June. From what I hear, it wouldn’t have passed. It was not considered a priority and legislators weren’t fully sold on this idea.
So what does Jack do? He goes and says “screw you Delaware Senate. If you won’t do my bidding, I’ll just make it happen!” He did that yesterday with Executive Order #61. But not only did he give two very big screw yous to the Delaware Senate, but also disability advocates and Delaware parents (again). Because even though Senate Bill 277 didn’t make it to the Senate floor, an amendment was added which would have had two other members on this steering committee:
This amendment adds two members to the Pathways steering committee, one member from a non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of persons with disabilities and one member of the public who is a parent of a Delaware public school student.
I was at the Senate Education Committee meeting when this bill was discussed. I was the one who questioned why there were no parents on this steering committee. Sokola pretended it was a mistake parents weren’t on the steering committee with his obviously fake “Oh my gosh” face. As well, the Chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens noted there was no one representing students with disabilities on it. Thus, the amendment.
Look at the test of Jack’s “I can out-trump Trump” Executive Order and then compare it to the original language in Senate Bill 277:
Text of Executive Order 61
TO: HEADS OF ALL STATE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
RE: ESTABLISHING A DELAWARE PATHWAYS STEERING COMMITTEE
WHEREAS, in 2015, Governor Markell established the Delaware Promise, a commitment that the state will combine education and workforce efforts to provide opportunities for our students as they prepare to enter and advance in a career;
WHEREAS, Governor Markell’s administration has established “Delaware Pathways”, a collaborative workforce development partnership which will create a fluid relationship between our public education system, post-secondary education, non-profit, and employer communities to ensure that the pathway to college and a well-paying job is accessible for every Delawarean, and to help the state fulfill the “Delaware Promise” of ensuring that 65% of our workforce earns a college degree or professional certificate by 2025, and that all of our students graduate high school;
WHEREAS, a Steering Committee is necessary to ensure that the program’s long term sustainability and adaptation proceeds in a manner that aligns its offerings to the needs of the workforce and to the students and parents who participate, along with ensuring that the budgetary priorities of the program are identified and outlined in a transparent and collaborative manner;
WHEREAS, we must work to continue to expand access to these programs in order to provide Delaware students with the opportunity to earn an industry-recognized credential, early college credit, and relevant work experience in high-demand fields in our state and regional economies.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JACK A. MARKELL, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Delaware, do hereby declare and order the following:
1. The Delaware Pathways Steering Committee (“Steering Committee”) is hereby established to set the strategic direction of the Delaware Pathways work and provide recommendations for future development and growth of the program, and ensure that program offerings are properly aligned with current and expected employer demand.
2. The Steering Committee shall consist of 14 members as follows:
a. The Secretary of the Department of Education.
b. The Secretary of the Department of Labor.
c. The Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services.
d. The Director of Economic Development Office.
e. Chair of the Delaware Workforce Development Board.
f. The President of the Delaware State Board of Education.
g. The President of Delaware Technical Community College.
h. One superintendent of a public school district appointed by the Governor.
i. One superintendent of a vocational technical school district appointed by the Governor.
j. Two business representatives appointed by the Governor.
k. Three members of community or non-profit organizations appointed by the Governor.
3. Members serving by virtue of position may appoint, in writing and in advance of a particular scheduled meeting or on a permanent basis, a designee to serve in their stead and at their pleasure. Members appointed by the Governor shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
4. The Steering Committee shall, at least annually, and no later than January 15th of each calendar year perform at least the following:
a. Advise the Governor on the priorities, policy issues, and specific plans for the ongoing implementation of Delaware Pathways.
b. Review the policies of existing statewide programs and funding streams to make recommendations and take actions that align education, higher education, and workforce development programs in the state.
c. Provide guidance and leadership to agency staff involved in implementing this work for the development, expansion, and improvement of Delaware Pathways.
d. Set and track annual goals for Delaware Pathways.
e. Assist in convening stakeholders and increasing participation in Delaware Pathways programs throughout the state.
5. The Governor shall designate from the members one Chairperson of the Steering Committee. The chairperson will be appointed biennially.
6. Members appointed to the Steering Committee shall serve renewable terms of 2 years, except in the case of public employees who are not school district superintendents and who are continuing in the same designated position, and in the case of initial appointment terms, which shall be either one or two years.
7. The initial appointment terms of non-public employees and school district superintendents shall be either one or two years, such that three of the appointed non-public or school district superintendents shall serve a one year term, and the other four shall serve a two year term. The terms of each individual appointment shall be at the discretion of the Governor, but after the initial term is served the position shall be for a renewable term of 2 years.
8. The Steering Committee shall meet at the call of the Chairperson, but not less than semiannually.
9. Any vacancy occurring in the appointed membership must be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
10. Administrative support shall be provided by the Department of Education.
11. Nothing in this Order is to be construed to create a private right of action to enforce its terms.
This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.
Now, if I were a betting man, Markell is doing a few things here. One, he is laughing at the Delaware Senate. Two, he is setting things up for John Carney who is a big Pathways cheerleader. Three, he is fulfilling his Rodel promise (as well as whatever promise Rodel made to the Lumina Foundation). Four, he is padding up his own resume for his post-Governor job. And Five, he is fulfilling the “Dear Hillary” letter by setting Delaware up as a pilot state for the Pathways portion of this agenda. I underestimated Markell. I really thought he would start to quiet down in his final days. He is busier than ever. He is also a backstabbing and conniving jackass.
As for you Mr. John “I don’t respond to you little blogger” Carney, I have a feeling I’m going to have to start looking into you. A lot. I don’t think you are who you appear to be… You are running out of time to prove me wrong… It’s going to be a loooooooooong four years if this continues…