I had a sneaky feeling this was going to be the outcome on this bill. While Senate Bill 161, sponsored by State Senator Gerald Hocker, passed the Delaware Senate last week, it did not have the required votes to get out of the House Education Committee. Since the bill passed last week in the Senate, a growing chorus of opponents to the bill reached out and feel this kind of decision should be made by local school district boards of education. They did not feel this should be a statewide decision. Currently, some districts in Sussex County already begin school after Labor Day. Once the official details on the vote count in the House Education Committee come out, I will update this article. It appears only 3 or 4 of the legislators in the committee were in support of the bill which is far short of the But for now, it appears there will be no more action on this controversial legislation.
Senate Bill 161 had a good ride, and I thought it may have a shot. But many of the members of the House Education Committee are fervent supporters of local control as opposed to state control. We can consider this matter closed. Until the 149th General Assembly that is!
Almost two weeks after the Delaware Senate narrowly passed a bill which would mandate all Delaware schools would begin after Labor Day, the bill is heading to the House Education Committee on Wednesday, June 28th. The underdog of the 148th General Assembly received a boost of life when the Senate passed the bill with an 11-10 vote. The majority of the votes were not split between party, but rather location in Delaware. Most of the New Castle County Senators voted no while their counterparts in the Kent and Sussex counties voted yes. If we see a similar pattern with the House, this bill is going to Governor Markell’s desk by July 1st at the latest! It will be interesting to hear the state union’s (DSEA) take on the bill since they will have to represent each school district. Out of Delaware’s 19 school districts, only 6 reside in New Castle County.
Other bills that will be heard are House Bill 374 which would limit the term of school board seats to four years instead of five and Senate Bill 199 dealing with educator licensure and certification.
The Delaware Senate passed State Senator Gerald Hocker’s Senate Bill 161, which would prevent Delaware public schools from opening before Labor Day. It barely passed though. 11 voted yes while 10 voted no. Many of the no votes were from Senators who live in New Castle County, while most of the yes votes live in Kent or Sussex County. It can be rare to see a Delaware bill split based on the location of the legislators, but this one definitely fits that scenario.
The bill will now make a trip to the House Education Committee. If it is released from committee, it will be interesting to see how the vote splits in the House. But they better hurry as the legislative session ends on June 30th!