Following the crazy events at tonight’s School District Consolidation Task Force meeting, I emailed Speaker of the House, Pete Schwartzkopf. I wrote about what transpired at the meeting as well as some other concerns. I asked him to remove State Rep. Earl Jaques as Chair of the task force.
Good evening Speaker Schwartzkopf,
I wanted to let you know of some disturbing events that came up during the School District Consolidation Task Force meeting held at Smyrna High School.
As the Chair of the task force, State Rep. Earl Jaques brought up proposals stemming out of the Structures Subcommittee. One of those proposals, according to Rep. Jaques, was a mechanism by which the State Board of Education could used the Charter School Performance Framework for traditional school districts. This proposal went on to say the State Board could then use the results of that framework to decide whether a state takeover of a district was warranted. Another thing would be to force that district to merge with another district.
Multiple members of the regular task force, who attended those Structure subcommittee meetings, were unable to remember any circumstance where that option was even discussed. When asked for clarification on this issue, Rep. Jaques was unable to clearly remember which meeting it was at, jumping from Seaford to Cape Henlopen. He settled on a Cape Henlopen meeting. Upon review of the agendas for that subcommittee, none were held in Cape Henlopen.
The members of the task force were in complete shock over the very discussion of an idea like this. Rep. Jaques did say, when asked, the full task force would be able to vote on each proposal prior to the final report coming out.
As well, Rep. Jaques has commissioned reports for the task force without bringing it to a full task force vote. He has openly, and publicly, admitted to conversations with the Governor about having these reports done.
I believe, along with other task force members, that Rep. Jaques has overstepped the legislative intent of this task force and is holding non-public meetings for proposals that are outside the scope of the task force.
I would like you to look into this, and if warranted, have Rep. Jaques removed as Chair of the Task Force.
I would hope Schwartzkopf at least gives the courtesy of a reply on this matter.