Kathy McGuiness: Why The Idea Of Her As State Auditor Is Beyond Frightening

Who is Kathy McGuiness?  Yes, she is running for State Auditor.  But who is she really?  Is she true Blue or is she Red for convenience sake?  Who are her best friends and why would that make it VERY dangerous for her to win this election?  She wants to be a state auditor.  Someone whose job is making sure other state agencies don’t break the rules.  But her alliances and allegiances beg the question and puts her on a very slippery slope.  And I’m not just talking about the slopes in Park City, Utah. Continue reading

Uh-Oh! Financial Trouble At Delaware Charter Schools Network?

In a recent email to parents, the Delaware Charter Schools Network asked parents to donate money to keep them going. They have been around for well over a decade now and they have never tried to raise funds like this to my knowledge. They normally receive funds from the Delaware charter schools that send annual dues and grants from other non-profits like the Rodel Foundation or the Longwood Foundation.

As we end the week, we begin something new! As the only Charter Support Organization in Delaware, the Delaware Charter Schools Network advocates for and supports all of our schools – but as I have told you all before, we cannot do it alone. We need support too. To that end, today we are launching our first-ever crowdfunding campaign! Our goal is to raise a total of $20,000 to help us with programming that we provide.

Because it is our first campaign, we thought it might be easier to break this into milestones – and our first is to raise $5,000 in the first week. Would you consider becoming one of our first supporters to help make it happen?

While $20,000 doesn’t seem like a ton of money for a non-profit, I have to wonder what the sudden need is for extra money? Did the rent go up at 100 W. 10th St. in Wilmington? Did they lose funding from one of their grants? Are some charter schools deciding not to pay their dues?  Did their lobbying costs go up?

On the website for this campaign, it talks about how DCSN holds the Public School Choice Expo each year up in New Castle County. It appears they will have two in New Castle County, one in Kent County, and one in Sussex County this year as well.  The campaign, hosted by a company called Funderbolt, isn’t listed on the DCSN website which I found rather odd.  I would think they would put a link to it on there as well if they need this money so bad.  Even more odd, for a crowd-funding organization devoted to raising funds for schools, they can’t even spell the word “philanthropy” right.

To date, the campaign received three donations totaling $75.00.

While it is certainly legal for DCSN to hold this kind of campaign, and other organizations like the Delaware PTA rely on parent dues for their existence, this kind of outreach is unprecedented. Is this a sign that the charter world in Delaware is struggling?  Or did Kendall Massett see the cash-cow that is Basis Charter Schools in Arizona where they ask parents for $1,500 a year to “support teachers”?

15 Who Made An Impact In 2015: Senator Bryan Townsend

Senator Bryan Townsend had a big year!  Not only did he introduce tons of legislation that actually passed, he also announced his run for Congress.  He has many running against him, but the slot John Carney filled as the US House Representative will have a new person come January 2017.  Will it be Townsend?  This is really a guess at this point.  His main opponent appears to be State Rep. Byron Short, also a Democrat.  This will be one hot primary!

On the education side, Townsend introduced legislation that would increase the requirements of the Delaware Secretary of Education.  This was done as a result of former Secretary Mark Murphy’s severe shortcomings in the Delaware Department of Education.  On the data side, Townsend sponsored a few bills that would protect student data.  He did vote yes for the controversial opt-out bill, House Bill 50, but not without a introducing a potential stumbling block along the way.

When House Bill 50 hit the Delaware Senate the first time, Townsend introduced a legislation to allow high school juniors to opt-out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  By the time it went back to the House of Representatives, many Republicans felt this could cause a slew of problems with parents who might want their teenager to take the test.  Eventually, the House voted the amendment down and House Bill 50 passed the House again, and then the Senate again.  As we all know, Governor Jack Markell vetoed the bill, but it may come up for an override when the legislators come back in January.  How will Townsend vote if that happens?

Recently, Townsend has been supporting Governor Markell’s decision to allow Syrian refugees into Delaware.  Following the Paris attacks and the recent shooting in San Bernardino, California, many folks in Delaware oppose this.  Will Townsend be able to overcome this on Election Day?  It will be interesting to watch.  What do you think?  Does the newer Senator have what it takes to beat the established State Rep?  Or will one of the Republicans running come from behind and do the unthinkable?

House Bill 50 On Senate Agenda For Thursday 6/25, Sokola Does Not Want This Bill In An Election Cycle

That was extremely fast.  House Bill 50 is on the Senate agenda for tomorrow, June 25th.  For someone who dragged this bill on and on, he sure is putting the fast track on it now.  Is that cause he is up for re-election next year?  If I were him with all the bad press he has been getting on the blogs lately, I wouldn’t want this bill shadowing me going into campaign season.  But will he allow the bill to reach Markell’s desk, or will he place even more amendments on it?  We will find out tomorrow.  From the http://legis.delaware.gov website….

Note : PLEASE NOTE: Thursday, June 25, 2015 – HB 140 – (Sen. Sokola) SJR 5 – Sen. McDowell HB 50 (Sen. Sokola)