Last weekend, I reported Governor Carney nominated three new State Board of Education members and also nominated existing member Dr. Audrey Noble for President of the board. Due to health reason, Noble asked to be withdrawn from consideration. Instead, one of the three new State Board members Carney nominated was confirmed as the President yesterday.
Whitney Townsend Sweeney is the new President of the State Board of Education. As I reported the other day, Sweeney is an Investment Director at Schroders. She is a University of Delaware graduate and served on the Delaware Financial Literacy Institute. I don’t see much in terms of education background with Sweeney based on her LinkedIn profile. This will be interesting to see.
She will replace outgoing State Board President Dr. Dennis Loftus who resigned this month. As well, the two other nominees were confirmed by the Delaware Senate yesterday. They are former State Rep. Vincent Lofink and Candice Fifer. I look forward to meeting all three.
The General Assembly website does not indicate when Noble’s nomination for State Board President was withdrawn but shows it was introduced on 6/22/2018.
The Delaware Joint Finance Committee completely cut the State Board of Education out of the budget for FY2018. Also gone is the Teacher Resource Center. To repeat, as of July 1st, the State Board of Education in Delaware will be NO MORE! Other pass-through programs have been cut as well. So far, ten million has been cut in pass-through programs.
This will give the Delaware Secretary of Education, currently Dr. Susan Bunting, will have sole authority to approve or deny charter school applications, modifications, renewals, as well as regulations and any district restructuring in Delaware. This is big folks!
Updated, 7:29pm: From what I’m hearing, all these changes to the State Board of Education will be included in the epilogue language of the FY2018 budget. It will give Secretary Bunting sole authority over anything the State Board of Education had a vote for. This also includes appeals, i.e. Patrick Wahl’s fight with Brandywine’s Board of Education went to appeal with the State Board of Ed and he won. The Secretary would approve or deny any charter applications, revocations, formal review status, and minor AND major modifications. Regulations brought forth by the Dept. of Education and the Professional Standards Board would be handled by the Secretary as well.
This is a major shift in how Delaware education operates in this state. I included a list of ALL the cuts and reductions in another post with amounts for each. Which also included $1.5 million in cuts for the implementation of a Delaware Dept. of Education Employee Reduction Plan.
We can do it better ourselves but we won’t tell them that.
The Delaware State Board of Education could be shut down as of Tuesday. They face the Delaware Joint Legislative Overview and Sunset Committee. The State Board was put under review by the committee last year after some very rough years under former Governor Jack Markell. Many of the complaints circulate around their Executive Director, Donna Johnson. As well, many citizens and education organizations in the state feel the State Board has outlived their usefulness and just seem to perpetuate agendas brought forth by corporate education reform organizations such as the Rodel Foundation of Delaware and the Delaware Charter Schools Network. I wrote about their last meeting with the committee over a month ago. But I was able to be the sole attendee at a meeting yesterday where the State Board discussed their final meeting with the Sunset Committee and boy was it a doozy!
If you live in Dover, I would highly recommend not going to Grotto’s Pizza between 5 to 8:30pm on Monday. A lot of important education people will be convening on the establishment for a meeting about the Next Generation Science Standards. With that many powerful people going there after a school day when kids had been off for Thanksgiving break, expect a lot of food and spirits being ordered!
I’m curious who the “stakeholders” are. Cause I’m pretty sure parents are the most important stakeholders and I don’t recall seeing a public invite to their pizza party! Didn’t the DOE have all those town hall meetings in November to increase parent participation? But when it comes to determining curriculum for the students of Delaware, the parents are completely shut out of the process.
Updated: Commenter Dee has advised this is indeed open to the public and anyone is welcome to attend. Does this mean free pizza for Delaware? Not sure on that one. The flyer does say light refreshments. So that depends on your perspective. For myself, pizza is a light refreshment! I have updated the title as well. Thanks Dee!
A lot of bloggers seem to look at the threat from the DOE in regards to charter schools, but I am hearing the words “vocational school” come up more and more lately. It was a huge topic of conversation at the IEP Task Force the other night. Something to look into…