When the Delaware 148th General Assembly returns from recess on April 21st, five new education legislation submissions will be on their plate. These bills cover the authority of the Delaware Secretary of Education (currently Mark Murphy) and Labor Relations, the charter school enrollment radius, charter school applications being approved by the local school board before the Delaware State Board of Education, suicide prevention training for Delaware teachers, and immunization requirements in the event of an epidemic and how this would impact students who do not get immunized based on religious beliefs. All the legislation introduced can be seen below. The Mark Murphy Authority bill is sponsored by State Rep. Sean Lynn, the charter bills by State Rep. John Kowalko, the Suicide Prevention bill by State Rep. Valerie Longhurst and Senator Nicole Poore, and the immunizations bill by State Rep. Sean Matthews and Senator Bethany Hall-Long.
“I don’t know how much longer we can talk about the high-performing charter sector if there’s an asterisk next to some of them” because of the preferences, she (Jennifer Nagourney) says.
Jaques says the House Education Committee may consider legislation this spring to remove preferences from the admissions process.”
According to this article from Larry Nagengast on WDDE, the 148th General Assembly may see a bill introduced to get rid of charter school enrollment preferences in Delaware. Discussion in the article was around the whole charter school environment in Delaware, but this shocker towards the end caused my jaw to drop.
I think it’s great that Jennifer Nagourney with the Charter School Office at the Delaware Department of Education is taking a hard look at the reality of charters in Delaware, specifically Wilmington. With a pending ACLU complaint being looked at by the US DOE’s Office of Civil Rights, as well as clarification from a leading national charter school organization, the writing is on the wall.
At the last meeting of the Enrollment Preference Task Force, which stemmed out of House Bill 90, Alex Medler with the National Association of Charter School Authorizers told the task force any specific interest enrollment preference should only be used if it would allow needed students into the school, i.e. low-income, minority, special needs, etc.
Finally, Delaware State Rep. Earl Jaques says something that makes sense! One thing is for sure, this would change the conversation about choice in Delaware.
To read the full article, please go here: