That didn’t take long! Yesterday, I received an email from the State Solicitor, Aaron Goldstein. This was in response to my assertion the Family Services Cabinet Council is a public body, subject to public meetings and FOIA. Which was based on research I did after the Attorney General’s office gave an opinion on my FOIA complaint to the Governor’s office about the council.
The heart of the issue stems around the disbursement of taxpayer funds. I alleged the council did just that based on what is written in Delaware state code. Specifically, §1605 of Title 14. But the State Solicitor did reference that section in his letter to me:
So this round goes to Governor Carney and the AG’s office. I still don’t agree with these glorified “staff meetings” being shut out of the public view, but until the laws surrounding Executive Privilege in Delaware change, the law is the law. Doesn’t make it a good law by any stretch of the imagination! I would think if you are going to all the trouble to make a “staff meeting” an actual council, you would look to see what is already in state code surrounding that very same council and solicit legislators to make changes around that language. But I guess that’s just me.
Led by Delaware State Rep. Kim Williams, a total of thirteen Delaware legislators wrote a letter to Delaware Secretary of Education about the recently announced match tax giveaway to Delaware charter schools. I wholeheartedly agree. FY2018 budgets have already been approved by local school boards, tax warrants have gone out to the three counties, and districts are still hurting from the budget cuts when Governor Carney signed the budget on July 3rd. I hope Secretary Bunting ends this ridiculous farce. Watch the charters try to sue the state if Bunting decides to drop it because THEY based their budgets on it. Sometimes I just want to scream at the money grabs going on in Delaware…
This is exactly why I don’t trust the Delaware Department of Education. Taking a nod from the Christina School District settlement with 15 charter schools last year, the Department has decided to let charters get match tax funds in a phased-out plan for district exclusions. Continue reading “Delaware DOE Screws Over Districts By Allowing Match Tax Funds To Go To Charters”
Thanks for State Rep. Kim Williams for getting the word out on this. Yes, this task force is meeting tonight. At Legislative Hall in the House Hearing Room on the 2nd floor. From 6:30 to 8:00pm. Come, give public comment.
I don’t know who the members are except for the following State Reps and Senators: State Reps. Earl Jaques and Joe Miro and Senator David Sokola and Brian Pettyjohn. I’m guessing since Dave is biking somewhere in Illinois or Ohio at this point, he won’t be there. That is an interesting group right there. I’m assuming Earl is the Chair of this cabal since he is the one funning the meeting. Come, or be square! We know the Delaware Charter Schools Network won’t have a membership because of Rep. Williams last minute amendment on the bill.
Seriously, whose idea was it to have meetings in the middle of the Summer? The Dept. of Education is the coordinator. So I just answered my own question, duh! Sorry for the late notice folks, but I literally just found out about this myself!
The United States Department of Education released their annual state determinations for special education the other day and Delaware obtained a “Meets Requirements” for indicators under IDEA Part B. For IDEA Part C, they were designated as “Needs Assistance”. Part B is for children ages 3 and up to 21, with disabilities, and Part C ranges from birth to 2 years old. I wrote last year how so many of these special education indicators are based on the state assessment: their scores and participation rate play a very heavy roll. I have neither the time or the patience to get into the nitty gritty with these determinations at a granular level. The feds don’t get it and our state doesn’t get it. I have no doubt the Delaware Department of Education will celebrate this and say “look how far we’ve come”. But since so much of this is based on the Smarter Balanced Assessment, I give it about as much legitimacy as a Mona Lisa forgery.
The Smyrna School District Board of Education is meeting tonight for what they are calling a “reorganization meeting”. Meanwhile, Superintendent Patrik Williams has flat-out responded to my two requests for the email addresses of the Smyrna board. I actually called most of the members earlier today, but none of them picked up. I did not leave messages.
What kind of school board, in this day and age, does not provide email addresses? Seriously? Patrik Williams seems to think he doesn’t have to provide those even though he is the secretary for their board. What is the point of having just phone numbers if no one picks up? Most Delaware school boards and even charter boards provide email addresses for their board members on their website. I know he saw my request for this because he responded to me on another matter.
At the board meeting tonight, I expect a decent crowd. The board may discuss discipline issues including votes on current issues, former students, and potential litigation according to their agenda. They do have other items on their agenda. Most school boards go into public session at the start of their meeting and then adjourn to go into Executive Session. Then they return and go through the public agenda. Time is allotted for public comment this evening. Bring tootsie rolls if you wish. The meeting will begin at 6pm at the district office in Smyrna at 82 Monrovia St.
J’s mother will be there along with others who are not happy with his situation and how the district handled it. I will be there. You should too.
He warned us. He put it out there for the whole world to see. Like an itch you just can’t scratch. But can we handle it if he does? Continue reading “Something Wicked This Way Comes…Could “He” Be Coming Back?”
Last night. The walkout. The fury.
I missed it. I got in my car and drove to Legislative Hall once the Grant-In-Aid bill was introduced and went to committee around 11pm last night. I arrived at Legislative Hall as the Capital police officer, the same one I see every single time I go there, told me it was over. He also said “They aren’t happy.” I went in anyways and got the scoop from Reps. John Kowalko and Andria Bennett. Continue reading “As House Republicans Storm Out Of Their Chamber, Delaware Citizens Held Hostage To Party Antics”