Opt-Out. It’s here, it’s real, and it may soon become law in Delaware. What started out as a resolution in DSEA last year has morphed into one of the hottest topics during this legislative session. We all know the House of Representatives voted 36-3 to pass a bill designed to codify parental rights to opt out. Will the Delaware Senate show similar gusto in the face of harsh opposition?
We will find out, but not the full effect, on Wednesday at the Senate Education Committee meeting. Sources are telling me House Bill 50 will be heard first in the committee. With numerous schools already done for the summer around the state, I expect a hearty crowd.
Meanwhile, the House will be voting in full for quite a few education bills on Tuesday. House Bill 82 w/Amendment #1 is about the Secretary of Education and his ability to rule on collective bargaining while giving authority to the Public Employment Relations Board. House Bill 146 is in regards to teacher educator license fees. And House Bill 148 would create the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission. Across the hall in the Senate, they will vote for SS1 for Senate Bill 79, which would create a task force to go over education data and privacy around it.
Meanwhile, House Bill 61 sits on the ready list, as it has the past three years. Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf needs to get this bill to a full vote. Maybe he isn’t aware how much the people do want a bill like this. Perhaps it’s time to make him aware of that…
At the Christina Educators Association meeting tonight, State Rep. and Chair of the House Education Committee in Delaware Earl Jaques told members that House Bill 50, the parent opt out bill, will not pass. My question to Jaques is this: how would you know this information when it hasn’t even been discussed in the House Education Committee? You are one of forty-one members in the Delaware General Assembly House of Representatives.
Here is my public challenge to you Rep. Jaques: If you are against this bill then you need to publicly explain to every single Delaware parent exactly why you are against it. It sounds to me like you have already made up your mind without any thought put behind it. This is exactly what we have seen from Governor Markell and the Delaware DOE for the past six years. Plowing ahead without any parent or educator input whatsoever is not a strategy, it is a problem. Now that the problems are getting a public face, then you need to defend your side of the argument. You were elected by the people of Delaware to serve the people of Delaware. Not Governor Markell or the Delaware DOE. I look forward to your response.