Opt-Out. It’s here, it’s real, and it may soon become law in Delaware. What started out as a resolution in DSEA last year has morphed into one of the hottest topics during this legislative session. We all know the House of Representatives voted 36-3 to pass a bill designed to codify parental rights to opt out. Will the Delaware Senate show similar gusto in the face of harsh opposition?
We will find out, but not the full effect, on Wednesday at the Senate Education Committee meeting. Sources are telling me House Bill 50 will be heard first in the committee. With numerous schools already done for the summer around the state, I expect a hearty crowd.
Meanwhile, the House will be voting in full for quite a few education bills on Tuesday. House Bill 82 w/Amendment #1 is about the Secretary of Education and his ability to rule on collective bargaining while giving authority to the Public Employment Relations Board. House Bill 146 is in regards to teacher educator license fees. And House Bill 148 would create the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission. Across the hall in the Senate, they will vote for SS1 for Senate Bill 79, which would create a task force to go over education data and privacy around it.
Meanwhile, House Bill 61 sits on the ready list, as it has the past three years. Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf needs to get this bill to a full vote. Maybe he isn’t aware how much the people do want a bill like this. Perhaps it’s time to make him aware of that…
This will be one busy education week at Legislative Hall in Dover, DE. Many education bills are moving to their next phase in the legislative process. Here is what’s on the docket:
Senate Bill 33 w/Senate Amendment #3: This is the legislation that came out of the IEP Task Force. It is up for a House vote, and if it passes, it goes to Governor Markell’s desk. I like this bill with one exception: they took out a part about parent groups at schools. Originally, it was supposed to be parents who first ask for an IEP will have an opportunity to meet with newly constructed parent groups at each charter school or district. Now it is only for “existing” groups. Even if Jack signs it, it won’t go into effect right away, so I would suggest parents get these “existing” groups going now. No one knows what to look for in IEPs more than parents who have been through the process.
At the House Education Committee meeting on Wednesday, June 3rd, at 2:30, the following bills will be discussed: Senate Bill 62: regarding transportation of students, House Bill 144: another transportation bill dealing with appropriations, House Bill 146: Kim Williams bill dealing w/waiving of teacher licensure fees, and House Bill 148: Helene Keeley’s bill creating the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission.
And last, but certainly not least, we have the Senate Education Committee meeting at Wednesday at 3pm. House Bill 50!!! Parent Opt-Out! Also Senate Joint Resolution #2: the evil assessment inventory resolution the DOE thinks will stop House Bill 50. Also Senate Bills #92 and 93, dealing with Autism, and Senate Bill #94, dealing with military identification for students w/military ties in their family.
If you plan on coming Wednesday, GET THERE EARLY and wait for the doors to open up if you want a halfway decent seat!