After a crazy failure for House Bill 50, the legislation was reconsidered with the originally failed House Amendment #2, which passed the second time around, and then the whole bill passed. Now it goes back to the Senate. Trust me, I’m confused, but maybe this will help. Timeline time:
House Bill 50 timeline:
3/12/15: Introduced by Rep. John Kowalko and Senator Dave Lawson
4/22/15: House Education Committee releases bill from committee, brings it to full House Vote
5/7/15: House Amendment #1 added by Rep. Sean Matthews removing “state assessment” and changing it to just “Smarter Balanced Assessment”, passes House
6/11/15: Senate Education Committee releases bill from committee for full Senate vote
6/17/15: Senator David Sokola adds Senate Amendment #1, changing “Smarter Balanced Assessment” to all “state assessments and district-wide assessments”, passes Senate
6/17/15: Senator Bryan Townsend adds Senate Amendment #2, allowing high school juniors to opt-out of the assessment, passes Senate
6/17/15: Senate passes House Bill 50, but because two amendments were added, it goes back to the House
6/23/15: Rep. Jeff Spiegelman introduces House Amendment #2 which takes away Townsend’s Senate Amendment #2, fails to get enough votes
6/23/15: House Bill 50 fails 2nd House vote, bill is dead
6/23/15: Rep. Spiegelman asks for reconsideration of vote on House Bill 50 under Delaware House of Representatives House Rule #41, House passes motion
6/23/15: House passes House Amendment #2
6/23/15: House passes House Bill 50 again
Now it goes back to the Senate. Whether it will be heard by next Tuesday or if it extends it until January when the 148th General Assembly is back in session is unknown. But what I do know is this. I blame all of this on three people: Rep. Earl Jaques, Senator David Sokola, and Senator Bryan Townsend. They have played games with this bill and do not care about parents. And from what I’m hearing Senator Colin Bonini had quite the chuckle after the bill originally failed in the House today. These are legislators who really don’t care about parents or their rights. I resisted Spiegelman’s amendment at first cause I just wanted it to pass, but he is absolutely right. He brought up a point I didn’t think of: what if the junior wants to opt out but the parents don’t want him to? That would set up some very thorny issues for all involved: student, parent, teacher, school, district, and even the state. So thank you for your wisdom on this one Rep. Spiegelman!
Our no votes on the 2nd House vote today are as follows: Dukes, Gray, Heffernan, Jaques and Q. Johnson. Not voting were Barbieri and Bolden. So all the no votes or absents are the same from the original House vote last month, except for the additions of Gray, Heffernan and Q. Johnson. What made them flip?
For the 2nd vote on the House Amendment, only Dukes voted no and Barbieri and Bolden didn’t vote. Three reps had left so there were three absent.
If I were any Delaware parent (I am), I would be absolutely livid at the games being played with this bill. Shame on Jaques, Sokola and Townsend for not caring enough about parents to even ask them about their bill-killing plans prior to their attempted hijackings. If I were Townsend, I might want to reconsider that run for Congress. You ticked off A LOT of voters tonight.