House Education Committee Minutes from 3/25/15: TFA, DOE, & Special Education Funding

The 3/25 Delaware House Education Committee meeting was a bit more subdued and calmer than previous ones, but it had a lot of activity going on.  Read the minutes from the meeting which discussed Senate Bill 31 and it’s amendment and the sunset period for Teach For America, House Bill 34 and the Delaware DOE’s timing on enforcing regulations, and House Bill 30 which would give basic special education funding for special needs students in Kindergarten to 3rd grade.

Bill To Give K-3 Students Basic Special Education Funding Clears Through Delaware House Education Committee

At the Delaware House Education Committee meeting today, Delaware State Rep. Kim Williams’ House Bill 30, which would allow students with basic special education needs to receive extra funding in grades Kindergarten to 3rd grade, was unanimously released rom the committee.

The bill’s next stop is the House Appropriations Committee due to a $10 million fiscal note attached to it.  My take on this: this should have never happened in the first place in Delaware.  Part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), reauthorized in 2004, states schools must have adequate resources available for students on an IEP.  Delaware, in my opinion, is in Federal violation of this part of IDEA ever since Governor Jack Markell issued his Executive Order for needs-based funding and this necessary allotment didn’t go to these students.

Several parents have reported their children were denied IEPs in Delaware during these pivotal school years.  The fact that there was no extra funding available for these students has caused many parents to wonder if this was why.

Several Delaware Superintendents voiced their support for the legislation indicating it would give these students the supports they need, especially since the rates are climbing for students with disabilities.  Merv Daugherty, the Superintendent for Red Clay Consolidated, said his K-3 students in his school district are bigger than some of the other Delaware School Districts.  No representatives from charter schools or charter school organizations spoke up about the legislation and it did not appear any were in attendance.

State Rep. Kim Williams & Thousands of Special Needs Children Need Your Help

House Bill 30 in Delaware will allow funding for basic special education funding for students in Kindergarten to 3rd Grade.  Previously, this funding wasn’t there for these students at this critical point in the development of their disabilities.  The problem is there is no funding based on Governor Markell’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2016.  Right now, in Delaware, the Joint Finance Committee has been meeting to make changes to the budget.  These special needs children need your voice Delaware.  They need to know they will be taken care of in our schools.  Please read Kim Williams message to Delaware and then email the appropriate people below.   Then, please spread this message from the top of the state to the bottom.  From the shores to the Maryland line.

Good Evening, I am writing to you tonight to ask you to send emails to JFC and the House and Senate Education Committee members. House Bill 30 was filed, this bill will fund basic special education for kindergarten through third grade, currently there is no funding in place. I have provided a link to the bill below. An email needs to be sent to the legislators below (it can be one email to all); they are the Joint Finance Committee and the House and Senate Education Committee members.  The House and Senate will need to release the bill from the education committee in order for the bill to be voted on by all members of the House and Senate; the bill will start in the House Education Committee. The Joint Finance will decide if this bill gets funded. This bill will provide additional teachers in kindergarten through third grades and will also help reduce class size in these grades. We all know early invention is so important, please assist us in getting this bill passed. Let me know if you have any questions. I need as many people to send emails. Thanks -Kim

Johnson, JJ (LegHall)
Heffernan, Debra (LegHall)
Carson, William (LegHall)
Smith, Melanie G (LegHall)
Miro, Joseph (LegHall)
Kenton, Harvey (LegHall)
McDowell, Harris (LegHall)
Peterson, Karen (LegHall)
Bushweller, Brian (LegHall)
Ennis, Bruce (LegHall)
Lawson, Dave (LegHall)
Cloutier, Catherine (LegHall)

Jaques, Jr, Earl (LegHall)
Williams, Kimberly (LegHall)
Barbieri, Michael (LegHall)
Bolden, StephanieT (LegHall)
Heffernan, Debra (LegHall)
Lynn, Sean M (LegHall)
Matthews, Sean (LegHall)
Osienski, Edward (LegHall)
Potter, Jr, Charles (LegHall)
Dukes, Timothy (LegHall)
Hensley, Kevin S (LegHall)
Kenton, Harvey (LegHall)
Miro, Joseph (LegHall)
Ramone, Michael (LegHall)
Sokola, David (LegHall)
Henry, Margaret Rose (LegHall)
Hall-Long, Bethany (LegHall)
Marshall, Robert (LegHall)
Poore, Nicole (LegHall)
Townsend, Bryan (LegHall)
Pettyjohn, Brian (LegHall)
Lopez, Ernesto B (LegHall)

Representative Kim Williams
19th District
302-577-8476 Wilmington Office
302-744-4351 Dover Office
Twitter: @kimwilliamsde

Markell Makes Sure Rodel Buddy Gets $10 Million In Budget Funds But No Special Education Funding & Cuts To Seniors?

Governor Jack Markell, you really don’t care what happens in your last two years in office.  But you did make sure your Rodel buddy got confirmed by the Delaware Senate:

148th General Assembly
Nominee Information
Frederick Sears,II
Nomination Title:    Director of the Diamond State Port Corporation
(Board/Commission Name)

Status: Confirmed

First Name: Frederick
Middle Intial:
Last Name: Sears
Designation: II
Date Read In: 01/08/2015 Hearing Date:
Length of Term: 3 years Term Expiration Date:


And then in your 2016 budget speech, you announced you were cutting tax breaks to senior citizens, but you are giving $10 million to the company your Rodel buddy is now leading?  For a  crane and “infrastructure spending”?  And yet the priority schools will only get $5 million in funding over three years? How about using that $10 million for the elderly, or for the special education funding through House Bill 30 which is needed much more than a crane.  Corruption abounds in this state…