Students in Delaware May Bring Something Home This Week That Is Very Puzzling **UPDATED**

Earlier this year, the Delaware 148th General Assembly passed Senate Bill 94 and this was signed by Governor Jack Markell on 8/4/15.  This bill is to help keep track of students who may have military in their family.

This Act requires the Department to develop a regulation for the identification of a “military-connected youth”. The Act further provides that this identification is not a public record, is protected by the federal Family Educational and Privacy Act and shall not be used for purposes of determining school achievement, growth or performance. The purpose of this identification is to ensure the necessary individuals at the school level are aware of any military connected youth for services and supports.

The exact area that was added to Delaware code is as follows:

Amend § 122(b), Title 14 of the Delaware Code

(27)  Developing a process for districts and charter schools to annually identify enrolled students who is a “military connected youth”. For purposes of this section, a “military-connected youth” means having an immediate family member, including a parent, step-parent, sibling or any other person residing in the same household, who is on active duty in; serving in the reserve component; or recently retired from of a “branch of the United States armed forces.” For purposes of this section, “branch of the United States armed forces” means:

(1) United States Army;

(2) United States Air Force;

(3) United States Marine Corps;

(4) United States Navy;

(5) National Guard;

(6) United States Coast Guard;

(7) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; or

(8) United States Public Health Service.

The identification of a “military-connected youth” shall not be used for purposes of determining school achievement, growth, or performance. Provided further, the identification of a “military-connected youth” is not a public record under Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act [Chapter 100 of Title 29] or any other law and shall not be made public by any person, except as permitted under the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g. et seq. Rules and regulations on this subject shall be proposed by the Secretary subject to approval by the State Board of Education.

Parents may see a form in their child’s book-bag with the following information:

“Impact Aid” or “Federal Impact Survey Card”: It asks for “Pupil Data” and “Employment Data (Uniformed Services Only)”.

This is not a bad thing and it is designed to help students who have connections to the Military.  This way if someone is deployed all of a sudden, or something happens, the school will know and be able to help the student out. 

Updated, 9:54pm: I reached out to the Delaware DOE on this and they said this is NOT connected w/Senate Bill 94.  I did find out WHAT “Impact Aid” is and I will post something tomorrow about it…

This Week At Legislative Hall: IEP Task Force Bill, Parent Opt-Out, Assessment Inventory & More!!!!

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!

House Bill 50 & Senate Joint Resol. #2 To Collide At Senate Education Committee on 6/3

Here we go.  The agenda for the Senate Education Committee meeting on 6/3 at 3pm has been officially announced.  Here’s where it’s going to get real crazy, very fast.  Both House Bill 50, the parent opt-out bill, and Senate Joint Resolution #2, what the DOE feels is an alternative to opt-out with the assessment inventory, will go head-to-head in this committee.  Start emailing them now, cause this one is going to be a doozy!  Further complicating this is Senate Bills #92 and #93.  They are great bills dealing with Autism, but they will demand a lot of conversation.  Or, the committee will say these are awesome bills and pass them fast.  You never know.  Either way, this is going to be a packed chamber.  Opt-out parents, DOE, State Board of Education, lobbyists, parents of children with Autism, school officials, other government agencies, and so forth.  Get there early!

Chamber: Senate

Chairman: Sokola

Location/Room: Senate Hearing Room

Date/Time: 06/03/2015 03:00:00 PM

Revision Num: 1

Agenda

SB 92 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EDUCATION AND AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER.
Sponsor : Henry

SB 93 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATED TO CREATING AN INTERAGENCY COMMITTEE ON AUTISM AND THE DELAWARE NETWORK FOR EXCELLENCE IN AUTISM.
Sponsor : Henry

SB 94 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO A MILITARY CONNECTED IDENTIFIER IN DELAWARE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Sponsor : Bushweller

SJR 2 DIRECTING THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO STUDY STUDENT ASSESSMENT TESTING.
Sponsor : Sokola

HB 50 w/HA 1 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EDUCATION ASSESSMENT.
Sponsor : Kowalko


Student-Military Connection Data Tracking Senate Bill 94 Will Help Many Students in Delaware!

Senate Bill 94, introduced yesterday by Delaware Senator Brian Bushweller, would allow tracking of a student with ties to the military.  But it can’t violate FERPA, or be used for accountability, or anything that could cause problems for the student.  But it would only be used by local districts to know of any military connections.  Okay… why?

According to Dr. Terri Hodges, President of the Delaware PTA, the reasoning behind the bill is this:

The Delaware PTA Military Outreach Committee began work on this issue a little over a year ago with a coalition of stakeholders and Sen. Bushweller to bring the issue of military awareness to the forefront in Delaware. We proposed a data tracking system to identify military connected students. The primary purpose behind this proposal was to bring awareness to the unique needs of military connected students and how those needs impact them academically, emotionally and socially. The majority of military connected students in Delaware attend schools off base, including in New Castle and Sussex. However, due to the lack of awareness and understanding of military culture and lifestyle, most of our schools are not aware of or familiar with the resources available for these families. The students are labeled as behavioral problems and do not receive appropriate interventions. Part of the problem is that non DoD schools have no way to identify military connected students so that they can channel those resources to those families. This is the purpose of the Bill. During our research phase, we worked with other state PTAs in states that have already passed similar legislation or are in the process of developing similar legislation.

So the idea behind the Bill is really to have a process to identify military connected students for the purposes of providing appropriate resources and supports specific to military families, like mine that attend a non- DoD school.

Hope that helps. Anyone interested in learning more or working with our Military Outreach Committee can contact me.

Originally, I thought this legislation was odd, but thanks to Dr. Hodges for explaining it to me.  This actually makes a lot of sense, and I support this 100%!  Please read the legislation below: