On August 8th, Delaware Governor John Carney signed Senate Bill #242 which allows the State of Delaware to enter into Pay For Success contracts. The legislation sets the parameters for how this will work. In a nutshell, an investor or organization pitches a program to a state agency and fronts all the money for it. If the program is a success, the state pays them. If it fails, they are out. How will this work in public education? Continue reading
Two bills closely tied with public education passed in the Delaware House of Representatives today which clears them through the General Assembly and await Governor Carney’s signature. Another bill passed but goes back to the Senate due to an amendment.
Senate Bill #234, which gives the Delaware Secretary of Education the ability to suspend a teacher’s credentials due to an arrest from abuse or other egregious crimes, passed the House with a 41-0 vote. As written in the synopsis of the bill, this will… “include situations involving felony crimes against children or where there is a clear and immediate danger to student safety or welfare“.
Senate Bill #242, which will establish Pay for Success programs in Delaware passed with 39 yes, 1 no, and 1 absent. The sole no vote belonged to State Rep. Rich Collins. An amendment placed on the bill in the Delaware Senate would create a working group to explore how Pay For Success would be implemented in public education, both early childhood education and K-12 education. I am still torn on Pay For Success but this would allow some time for the Working Group to really take a look at how this would work to make sure it didn’t conflict with existing federal laws (such as IDEA) and to set up parameters. Pay For Success is where an outside investor would come in, pitch a program with measurable outcomes, and if approved, would set out on this program. If the program works with those outcomes, the State would pay the company back. If it doesn’t, they wouldn’t. The bill sets up Pay For Success for all state agencies.
Senate Bill #172, which is meant to increase the transparency of education funds, passed the House but an amendment clarifying some language on the bill which causes it to go back to the Senate for a final vote (provided they don’t put any amendments on it). That bill passed in the House with 41 yes votes.
On the Senate side, they passed House Bill #268 which deals with Senior property tax credits, but due to an amendment placed on the bill in the Senate, it will go back to the House.
Finally, Delaware Governor John Carney signed both the budget bill and a bill giving one-time bonuses to state employees and retirees. Both the Bond bill and the Grant-In-Aid bill will come up for a vote on the last day of the Delaware General Assembly, Saturday June 30th.
Sometimes you just have to make some noise. But it turns out I wasn’t the only one. Last evening, before I even began writing my article about Senate Bill #242 needing changes, State Rep. Kim Williams and Senator Jack Walsh were already in discussion about placing an amendment on the Pay For Success legislation.
The amendment forms a working group to basically set the parameters for how Pay For Success will work in not only Early Childhood Education but also public education (K-12 schooling). While public education was not directly mentioned in the bill, it left it open. This amendment codifies and puts in writing how this will be moving forward. I am VERY pleased with this outcome and I salute Williams and Walsh for doing this! I don’t tend to get heated up over legislation like I did in my early blogging days. It took me by surprise but I felt it was important and I am very glad that others saw some of my same concerns and acted on it.
The amendment passed the Delaware Senate with 17 yes, 4 absent. Senate Bill #242 passed with 18 yes, 3 absent.
This Amendment requires that specific procedures be established for Pay for Success contracts that involve early childhood education or public education. This Amendment also creates a working group that will make recommendations to the Office of Management and Budget regarding these procedures.
Because charter schools are corporations, and Delaware state code states all corporations get a 3/4 majority vote for any budget funding, Senator Colin Bonini introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution #39, which would create a working group to look at this issue.
This is actually a very smart move. The budget bill requires a simple majority vote, but since this bill funds the above-mentioned corporations, the entire budget bill is being looked at. The resolution passed with a unanimous vote in the Delaware Senate.
The group would begin on August 1st, 2015, and the report would be due to Governor Markell by 12/31/15. I’m not exactly sure what this would do for charter schools in particular, as well as Del. State and Univ. of Delaware. Could this group change the way charters are funded? This could be very interesting and one to watch!