Last Spring, one of the most controversial pieces of legislation was House Bill #454. This bill was a gift to Buccini-Pollen, a developer in New Castle County. It waived the Voluntary School Assessment tax for a large portion of the Concord Plaza development project. Not many were in favor of this present to the developer and eventually the bill was stricken. They felt, and rightly so, it would cost regular taxpayers more and it was a gimme to the developers. But behind the scenes, folks like Delaware Secretary of Education Dr. Susan Bunting were hard at work making sure Buccini-Pollen would get their waiver no matter what. Continue reading
After a crucial Senate Executive Committee hearing, Wali Rushdan was given a unanimous Senate vote for the Delaware State Board of Education about an hour ago.
The Senate Executive Committee met with Rushdan right before the full Senate vote. I must give props to State Senator Nicole Poore for tackling the elephant in the room. She just came right out and asked Rushdan about his affiliation with the Family Foundations Academy Board of Directors. Continue reading
Pre-filed regulation released today in Delaware’s General Assembly would have the Delaware Department of Education and the State Board of Education to write into Delaware State Code certain provisions to prevent discrimination against students and school employees. The House Joint Resolution, sponsored by State Rep. Deb Heffernan and State Senator Harris McDowell, states the following in the synopsis:
Directing the Delaware Department of Education, with the assistance of the Delaware State Board of Education, to promulgate regulations that prohibit discrimination in school districts’ employment practices or educational programs and activities for students on the basis of any legally-protected characteristic, including gender identity or expression.
Since the resolution is not “officially” filed, it does not appear on the list for the final House Education Committee meeting of the year, next Tuesday June 27th. It will be read into the record today during the House’s session and would be assigned to the education committee.
Updated June 22nd, 2:30pm: Click this link for the actual text of the legislation.
*Updated with new legislation, votes on the floor, and committee agendas for tomorrow
Confused by all the Education legislation floating around in Delaware? Can’t keep track of it all? Don’t worry, I can’t either sometimes. But I felt it was necessary to reestablish my old tradition of putting it all together. I will update this as the Delaware 149th General Assembly finishes off the first half of this session on June 30th and when they reconvene in January 2018. Below are all 50 of the education bills that have come up in the 149th General Assembly just this year alone. More legislation will come by the time it is all done on June 30th, 2018. Continue reading
My question is how many of these Senators even know what this bill means. Do they know what they are opening the door to? To be fair, all this bill does is allow Blockchain technology into Delaware corporate law. The word “education” does not even appear in the bill. Blockchain would allow for secure transactions. It also allows for secure dataflow. But who owns that data? If it is meant for one business or one person, does that business or that person own that data?
What happens when a student’s standardized test data, medical information, discipline record, and attendance become a part of this permanent record? What happens if that information is wrong? How do you go about correcting it? Who puts information in this distributed ledger? There are so many unanswered questions about this technology. For businesses and corporations, I get it. But when it comes to the eventual distribution to ALL people, my red flags go way up.
The Senate passed Senate Bill 69 with 20 yes and 1 not voting (Senator Bryant Richardson). I’m not sure why he chose not to vote. There was hardly anyone else during this vote. A handful of lobbyists and that was about it. I did see the primary sponsor, Senator Bryan Townsend, leaving Governor Carney’s office shortly before the Senate convened.
There was a flurry of activity at Legislative Hall today. Pro-lifers and some pro-choicers caused a long line to get in. I guess nobody told them that arriving at 2pm does nothing because the House doesn’t vote on bills until after they go to Caucus. Which they are still in since the House isn’t back in session yet. I went for the SB69 vote and got back home a little while ago. Many of the pro-lifers left.
I did have some chats down here. I heard some rumblings about a few things. One of them being a school district consolidation bill that is floating around. I haven’t seen it yet.
I did have this conversation:
I just wanted to let you know your analysis is always right. I read every article you put on your blog.
Yeah, but does HE read it? (pointing to Governor Carney’s office)
He doesn’t read your stuff. He doesn’t have time for that. But I know his education policy advisor does.
That is always a comforting thought. The most powerful political guy in the state doesn’t read my stuff. How assuring! I know Jack did. Jack read everything that had his name on it, good or bad. This led to a conversation about the time I sang for Jack Markell. When asked if I was going to make a song for John Carney, I answered my singing days are over. But you never know…
State Rep. Earl Jaques’ new tax ’em without a referendum bill was officially introduced today. House Bill 213 was assigned to the House Education Committee.
I heard some people having extreme agita about Senate Bill 50, Senator Harris McDowell’s love fest for Del-Tech. Which would mimic how vocational school districts are funded for minor and major capital projects. It would also give Del-Tech’s board the, you guessed it, ability to raise property taxes without a referendum for these projects. Yes folks, they want us taxpayers to now fund community colleges and their pet projects as well!
State Rep. John Kowalko introduced House Bill #209 which would prevent the abuse of epilogue language in the state budget. Kowalko’s bill would prevent the “waivers” that occur every single year which go against Delaware state code. Think of the Charter School Transportation Slush Fund as just one example of this abuse.
I can’t imagine what State Rep. Jeff Spiegelman was thinking when he introduced House Bill #194 which would eliminate the senior tax credit for anyone born after 1967. I can’t imagine too many Republicans would be on board with this, but they are all Republican sponsors on the bill. That tax credit was something I was looking forward to. Thanks for that Jeff! It still has to pass. Can’t imagine that happening with all this talk about budget deficits and “shared sacrifice”… insert sarcasm here…
I saw some faces from yesteryear as well. Always good to chat with people I didn’t think I would see again. I see on social media that some people I know were there today and I didn’t even see them. Maybe next time.
That’s it for now folks. In the coming days I’m going to have to list ALL the Delaware education legislation floating around. I used to keep track of this stuff daily but it is a lot of work.