My Email To Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf & Senator Patricia Blevins About House Bills 186 & 61

After seeing the stunts pulled by the Earl Jaques with House Bill 186, the Academy of Dover State Auditor report, and the very deliberate attempts by the Delaware Charter Schools Network to kill the bill, I decided to start digging into charter school board minutes yesterday which is how I found out the information on Odyssey Charter and Thomas Edison Charter School.  By the time I published that information, I was pretty livid and disgusted, so I emailed the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate to get both House Bill 186 AND House Bill 61.  This is what I wrote:

Good Evening Rep. Schwartzkopf and Senator Blevins,

I wrote two articles on Exceptional Delaware tonight about two Delaware charter schools, Odyssey and Thomas Edison.  All my information was obtained from their own board minutes.  These charters, along with Academy of Dover, Family Foundations Academy and Providence Creek Academy and two other unnamed charters are all having huge financial issues as well as investigations by Tom Wagner’s office.

Rep. Kim Williams has been monitoring these situations since last December when Family Foundations Academy was revealed to have fraud and waste going on with spending by their two heads of schools.  She very wisely introduced House Bill 53, then House Bill 154, both of which were folded into House Bill 186.  After a week of being in limbo, the bill was finally released from committee today.  I am asking you both a huge favor here, and I know I have no position to make this request.

I am asking Rep. Schwartzkopf to place this, as well as House Bill 61 (allows for recording of all school board meetings) on the agenda for a House vote tomorrow, and if it passes, that Senator Blevins suspends Delaware Senate rules and petition these bills out of the education committee and have them on the agenda for a Senate vote before midnight on June 30th. 

While we are cutting funds from services that desperately need funds, our charter schools are running amok.  And these are only the ones we KNOW are doing stuff to warrant an investigation by Wagner’s office.  For some reason, they are protected by organizations like the Delaware Charter Schools Network who may or may not know about many of these financial improprieties. 

If we truly want to make Delaware education a top priority, it starts with oversight of our schools.  This is beyond the point of absurdity.  Thank you very much for your consideration on this matter and I pray you will make the right decisions here for the good of Delaware students.

Kevin Ohlandt

If you would also like to see this action taken, please call Schwartkopf at (302) 744-4531 or email him at Peter.Schwartzokpf@state.de.us and call Blevins at (302) 744-4133 or email her at Patricia.Blevins@state.de.us and let them know you want votes on both of these very important bills.  And I strongly recommend doing this prior to 2pm today!

Senator Sokola Is Disgracing Parents With His Foul & Disgusting Games On House Bill 50, Email Him Now!!!! #supportHB50

Delaware Senate Joint Resolution #2, directing the Department of Education to do an inventory of assessments and to form a “discussion group” surrounding these issues unanimously passed the full Delaware Senate today.  As well, Senate Bill 122, directing the State Board of Education to look at reorganizing school boundaries and district lines passed the Senate 19-1 with one member not voting.

What is interesting about this is these two bills, along with House Bill 50, were all part of the agenda for the Senate Education Committee yesterday.  House Bill 50 took up most of the meeting, Senate Bill 122 was given public comment by Tony Allen with no other members of the committee present except for Senator Sokola, and SJR #2 was not even discussed except as a counter to HB50 by opponents of the opt-out bill.  But Senate Bill 122 and SJR #2 were both released from the committee in time for the Senate Legislative Session yesterday, put on the agenda for a full Senate vote today and passed.  Meanwhile, no word on House Bill 50 being released from the committee.

At this point, I do not believe anything coming from Senator Sokola.  He is railroading this bill.  I know others will vouch for him, but this is deliberate.  I am not going to be patient, nor should any parent who has endured the disrespect and intolerance by the heads of both education committees in our General Assembly who will side with corporate interests and the DOE over fundamental parent rights.  I had a long conversation with Sokola last evening, and at no point did he come out in support of HB50 or did he state why he wanted district assessments added to HB50 as an amendment.

These people do not want parents to exercise their rights for their children, and they have bought off legislators to continue to peddle their outright lies and intimidation.  We all know who they are: Rodel, the Delaware Business Roundtable, the Delaware Chamber of Commerce, and more.  NO MORE!

We need as many people as humanly possible to email Senator Sokola and cc the Speaker of the House, Patti Blevins, and feel free to unleash your displeasure with the Senator who would care more about data and rigor than the best interest of children and parental rights.  This is ALL on Senator Sokola’s dirty hands right now, and the Speaker of the House needs to see this.  Their emails are as follows:

David.Sokola@state.de.us

Patricia.Blevins@state.de.us