Delaware State Board Of Education May Survive After All…

Last month, I reported the Delaware State Board of Education was done.  The Delaware Joint Finance Committee took their funding away from them.  Many assumed they were toast.  We were wrong.  It appears the Delaware Department of Education will pick up the tab.  So there will be more State Board of Education meetings in the future.  And there is big news on that front as well.  Starting in July, their meetings will begin at 5pm.  Which means, you know, teachers and educators and working parents can actually go to these meetings.  As well, they will have public comment before each action item (except those which have a formal public comment period, such as charter school stuff and regulations).  Unless the Joint Finance Committee or the legislators deny the funding to DOE to do this.

So what happened?  The changes to Delaware Title 14 would be monstrous.  They would have to change up a lot of things.  While some thought things could change in the epilogue language of the state budget (which I oppose in and of itself), it is not an option.  New laws would have to come out granting the authority to the Delaware DOE.  While those could happen, it would be a headache and a half to get them in play between now and June 30th.

There was talk during the Joint Sunset Review meetings about the State Board taking on one or two new members.  With that being said, and probably because of all the confusion surrounding if they should even exist, Delaware Governor John Carney never nominated anyone to take Jorge Melendez’ place on the board.  So there could be changes to the membership.  I am hoping for some folks with more resistance to the Rodel way of thinking.  I haven’t heard anything about Donna Johnson going anywhere.  The Executive Director role is chosen by the State Board of Education President which is currently Dr. Teri Quinn Gray.  She was appointed by former Governor Jack Markell.

The State Board of Education is still under Sunset Review by that legislative committee.  Prior to the announcement about their funding, the committee agreed to hold them over until next year.

What Is The Joint Sunset Committee & How They Could Hold The DOE Accountable

There is a mechanism already in place within the Delaware General Assembly to hold a state agency accountable and to even see if they are really needed.  While this process wouldn’t begin until June of 2016 at the earliest, it would last way past Governor Markell’s remaining term as Governor.  And without his protection, and God willing, a new Governor that believes in true accountability, we could actually do the right thing here.

JOINT SUNSET COMMITTEE

What is Sunset?

    Sunset is the periodic legislative review of agencies, commissions or boards. The purpose of the review is to determine whether or not there is a genuine public need for the agency and, if so, determine if the agency is effectively performing to meet that need. Typically, an agency, board or commission is reviewed once every seven years.

Who Guides the Sunset Process?

    The Joint Sunset Committee (JSC) is responsible for guiding the sunset process. The JSC is a 10 member legislative body composed of 5 members of the Senate appointed by the President Pro Tempore; and 5 members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House. Assisting the JSC is a staff analyst who develops the reports used by the JSC to draw conclusions about the agencies under review.

Joint Sunset Committee (JSC) Sunset Review Process Timeline

JointSunsetCommittee

Who are the members of the Sunset Committee?

Members

Senator Nicole Poore, Chair (D)
Representative Gerald L. Brady, Vice-Chair (D)
Representative Andria L. Bennett (D)
Representative Stephanie T. Bolden (D)
Representative Timothy D. Dukes (R)
Representative Jeffrey N. Spiegelman (R)
Senator Ernesto B. Lopez (R)
Senator Brian G. Pettyjohn (R)
Senator David P. Sokola (D)
Senator Bryan J. Townsend (D)

Time to get a petition going… stay tuned!