The Delaware Joint Legislative Oversight and Sunset Committee voted today not to Sunset the Delaware State Board of Education. Sunset would have shut down the board. I will write more details later since I arrived late for the meeting due to a prior commitment. As for the State Board’s Executive Director, Donna Johnson, the board voted for option one in regards to her role: The Board will present to the Committee a revised Executive Director job description to better align with the Board’s duties.
Issues surrounding public comment got a bit of discussion. The JLOSC voted unanimously that the State Board of Education shall allow public comment before each action item but with an amendment. Public comment may not be allowed during action items that have a pre-established and finite public comment period, such as regulations and charter school issues. The reason for this is because state code allows for this. Newly christened Senator Stephanie Hansen said during county council meetings in Sussex and New Castle Counties they allow for this because sometimes the public comment could affect a decision by the Council. State Board member Pat Heffernan said they are bound by the Delaware State Code. In my eyes, that is legislation begging for change as soon as humanly possible. The Committee agreed that information shall be sent to public libraries and schools with meeting information about the State Board of Education. A matter surrounding charter school approval and local impact was tabled so the State Board of Ed can give more clarifying information about their role on this matter.
I did not anticipate the JLOSC would shut down the State Board of Education. I surmised some items would pass and some wouldn’t. Without an apparatus in place to replace them it would be tough to figure out who should pass regulations. Once again, legislation could take care of a lot of the issues surrounding them. In a poll I put up the other day, over 70% of readers felt the State Board should shut down permanently. I write this with the caveat that my readership tends to align with what I believe more and the poll only had over a 100 voters.