More Legislators Weigh In On DOE-RTTT Salary Scandal

I get newsletters from the House Democrats and the House Republicans.  In the email from the House GOP, legislators on the Republican side weighed in on the latest Delaware Department of Education stunt with the former Race To The Top positions the DOE funded out of vacancies in their budget.

With the inclusion of the eight Race to the Top staffers as part of the DOE’s permanent work force, Rep. Kowalko said the agency has added approximately 34 additional positions in recent years.  “This is not responsible shrinking of government,” Rep. Kowalko stated in his e-mail. 
“DOE officials knew the Race to the Top grants were temporary funding and yet they spent a portion of it hiring people they knew would eventually have to be paid by the state,” said State Rep. Kevin Hensley, R-Odessa-Middletown, who is also a former Appoquinimink School Board member.  “In my estimation, this casual disregard for public funding displays a disturbing level of hubris by agency leaders.”
State House Minority Whip Deborah Hudson, R-Fairthorne, concurred.  “The thing that struck me is that the DOE was able to absorb more than $900,000 in annual salaries using existing vacancies.  Any agency with that kind of excess fat built into its budget is an agency I think needs to be reviewed for its efficiency and effectiveness, especially given the funding challenges the state is likely to face in the next budget.”
January can’t come quick enough!  I hope the 148th General Assembly gives the DOE the shellacking they rightly deserve!  Can anyone say Sunset Committee?

Kilroy’s Legislation Up For Next House Education Committee Meeting

House Bill 61, the Kilroy’s bill, would mandate all school boards must digitally record their meetings and place the audio on their website within seven business days.  I’m crossing my fingers that the third time is the charm on this one!  Come and support Kilroy’s legislation as sponsored by State Rep. Deborah Hudson on May 6th at 2:30pm!

Agenda
HB 61 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS.  Sponsor : Hudson

HB 96 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SILENT ALARM SYSTEMS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS.  Sponsor : Miro

HB 82 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. Sponsor : Lynn

*agenda courtesy of http://legis.delaware.gov

Kilroy Will Be Happy With House Bill 61 But Only If The Transparency Gods Allow It To Get To A Vote!

Delaware State Representative Deborah Hudson has once again introduced a bill which would demand ALL school boards in Delaware digitally record their board meetings and make them available to the public.  It was also introduced in the 147th General Assembly as House Bill 23, but was never put out for a vote.  So let’s do the time warp again and pray this bill gets a full vote by the House and Senate and passes!  With all of the shenanigans made public by various charter schools in the past year, this is needed and transparency needs to rule the day as Kilroy would say.  I think this bill has much stronger muscle in the House this time, but the Senate will need some work.

What is interesting is who sponsored it last time and who is doing so now. We have Hudson and Karen Peterson as a co-sponsor.  Dukes, Baumbach and Kim Williams from the House stayed on.  From the Senate we have just Greg Lavelle.  Gone as sponsors from the House in House Bill 23 are D. Short, Miro, Peterman, Mitchell, Bennett, and Wilson; and from the Senate, Hocker, Simpson and Townsend have left.  But House Bill 61 does have new sponsors from the House: Briggs King, Hensley, Yearick, Bolden, Jaques, Lynn, Matthews, Osienski and Paradee, and the Senate: Bonini.

The actual wording on the bill looks the same as House Bill 23.  The only additional language is the part about executive sessions, workshops and retreats not being included as their are no votes at these sessions.