Monthly Archives: April 2009

HB 119 has a strong heartbeat

Folks are hard at work ironing out the wrinkles on HB 119, should be made public soon.

Bless those who stepped up for our special needs kids.

Don’t Tread on Red Clay!

Lomghurst
“In 2008, the state spent nearly $120,000 on elections in 11 of the 16 school districts that have school board elections, while only 8,230 of nearly 600,000 registered voters voted”
http://bearglasgowobserver.com/2009/04/1222/

My bad I was quoting $160,000.00 a year on school board elections. However I counted 9,919 school board votes

2008
Sussex 0 votes
I seen no board election data on Sussex Board of Election site for data after 2005? However, Sussex has 8 contested board seats for May 2009

Kent 2392 votes

New Castle 7,527 votes
1640 votes for Appoqunimink
0 votes for Christina uncontested seats
929 votes for Brandywine
235 votes for Colonial
4,723 votes for Red Clay
http://electionsncc.delaware.gov/Red_Clay/rc_mbr08.shtml

Rep Longhurst 4, 723 votes in Red Clay, it appears we give a shit in Red Clay! Perhaps the legislators within the given school district might want to try to connect with their constituents. Don’t Trend on Red Clay! Don’t take our schools from us! Please !

Kilroy’s brain fart question?

Currently all school board members in Delaware are the only publicly elected state officials that do not receive financial compensation.

The legislators want to politicize school board even more by moving school board elections to the general elections.

If HB 117 becomes law I would request that a state referendum be place on the ballot of the first school board election tied to general election asking yes or no for a $200.00 per schedule board meetings and special session meetings compensation for school board members.

Would you support a $200.00 per school board meeting compensation for school board members?

Legislators to muzzle parents?

2008 there were 4,723 votes casted in Red Clay School Board Election ( 2 seats)
2006 there were 5,247 votes casted in Red Clay School Board Election (2 seats)
2005 there were 1043 votes casted in Red Clay School Board Election (1 seat)

Some of our state legislators cannot effectively encourage their constituents to vote in school board elections and feel it’s unfair to inconvenience them to get out and vote during a non general election. The people who currently come out and vote in school board election do so because they are involve and what to have a voice.

The move to push school board elections to the general election will effectively have people pushing buttons because they are there to push! Surely many will push buttons at the request of legislators or aggressive political party’s direction. I smell a big rat here in that moving the school board elections to the general election will give state legislators more “control” of school boards and public education.

So parents and community folks if HB 117 makes it law we need to unite and start demanding all local legislators to attend school board meetings within the representative or senate districts. If the want to run the schools maybe they should show up and see what’s really going on!

It took old Kilroy a little while to see their agenda which saving $160,000.00 a year is really a smoke screen. Why? Because if the legislators really cared about saving money in education they would get up off their asses and pass full financial transparency that could reduce wasteful and inefficient spending by millions.

If school board members work for no pay or financial compensation I think it’s fair to ask our legislators to work for 50% of current compensation or perhaps give up state funded healthcare!

Dear Delaware legislators do not muzzle our voice support it! Don’t setup elections to have your clueless political sheep to push buttons at you urging! Help us don’t hurt us!

HB 117 Voted Out of Committee :)

HB 117
Sponsor: Longhurst


Long Title:
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 14 AND 15 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SCHOOL BOARDS AND SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS.
EDUCATION


Committee: 04/29/2009

Committee Findings: The committee showed concern that aligning the school board elections with the general election would create an additional expense for school board candidates to campaign. This financial burden for a voluntary position could discourage many from running. Members also worried that changing the school board elections to coincide with the general election could politicize school board candidates. However, the committee also found that this bill would save the State of Delaware a substantial amount of money and increase the voter turnout for school board elections. The bill was voted out of committee.

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http://kilroysdelaware.blogspot.com/2009/04/are-legislators-blocking-moms-and-dads.html
April 05, 2009

“We’re talking a non-paid elected office, school board. We want to encourage parents to run, moms and dads! They don’t have the political know how to raise $20,000.00-$30,000.00 to run for school board during a general election. It’s hard enough for parents of school age children to feed them let a lone give major campaign contributions to ensure they have representation on a school board! Once again government want to save money and stick it to parents of school age children who struggle to have a voice in the process. Is that the hidden agenda, make it hard for parents to gain board seats? “

Delaware blogs are not gospel

Those who think Delaware blogs are news media outlets need to smoke dope.

Blogs are nothing more than personal or political soapboxes and are far from being journalistic. Look at them as if they were one big kitchen table with people sitting around bitching.

Speaking for Kilroy’s Delaware I can assure you my views and comments are laced with provoking comments to engage others. I do try to provide supporting facts such as links to sources or data. Much of what’s going on in the community particularly education and politics is subjective and open for individual interpretation. How can you have debates without negative and positive positions? Some blogs are two dimensional and are like reading the encyclopedia for entertainment. I can assure you all, I do take in consideration all comments and ones that are objective help me shape and reshape my positions and views. When I am wrong with facts please correct me but provide supporting evidence otherwise your comments are just opinions.

Rumors ?? Yea let’s not spread them because no rumor has ever proven fact, lol. Just as many of you prefer to staying anonymous bloggers aren’t going to reveal sources of the rumors.

Blogs including mine and those of the most intellectual do become a circus and absurdity making them purely entertainment. Blog loose all sense of legitimacy when the engage in cat fights and pissing matches among themsevles.

There are many people looking in our Delaware blogs from around the world and I am smart enough to our legislators and other in major positions (Lillian get back to work :)) weed through the blogs sifting out consistency in post and comments to conclude a consensus. Yea old Kilroy talks a lot of nonsense like he’s talking to himself however; old Kilroy knows the coded messages are reaching the attended target.

I realize my blog has a unique challenge to it aka my grammar and much of what I write is on the fly as I don’t sit-down to write a novel or article. I am content and know I’ll never win a Pulitzer Prize.

It cracks me up as some local bloggers think they are major political analysis but yet no one is knocking on their door with a job offer.

As far as Red Clay, sure we can point the finger at the district and throw stones at Bob A however, the biggest failure in the community is the community itself. We have relatively piss poor parental participation at our schools and certainly at board meeting. Yea yea Kilroy we have families! But, I see no organization among the schools PTA/PTO’s to ensure one representative is their taking notes to share with their schools. Folks/parents don’t rely on blogs even Kilroy’s as your source of Red Clay information. Get involve and get out there and you’ll see the truth. If you have a bitch then go to a school board meeting and pick up the microphones and give it to them straight! If you see concern issues or rumors pick up the phone and call the district or E-mail them.

Red Clay mushrooms grow better in the dark

I’ve expressed a concern and desire that Red Clay Consolidated School District digitally record public session of their board meetings. Currently the meetings are tape-recorded and not transcribed in full text. The minutes shared with the public are vague and topic driven lacking substance.

I would like to see digitally recorded public sessions of the board meeting and placed on the district’s webpage. Make note, these recordings would not be considered board approved minutes just audio of the board meetings for public benift. The printed minutes must be reviewed and approved by the board with corrections. This creates no addition work for the person responsible for completing the hard copies of the minutes for the board because it’s just the means of how the meetings are recorded.

I feel the public has a right to hear all proceedings and especially public comments that are water down to general topic. Another benefit to the board would be to those board members absent. Currently they have no means to review the meeting they missed or important board discussion that they may be asked to vote on at the next meeting or at a later date. The also would have the advantage of hearing questions poised by other board members re: presentations.

This is a likely response by the board, surely the few hundred dollars in such economic times isn’t being good stewards with the public money.

Supersized Red Clay? Not quite yet!

During Governor Markell’s address to the state legislators he conceded physically consolidating public school district has merit worthy of studying however, he showed sensitivity to the importance of local control. Markell did however communicate a sense of urgency in the consolidation of administrative services that are redundant across the districts. It sounds like his vision is not to reduce overall cost but to be more efficient at the administrate service level in order to shift those savings to the instructional needs.

In my opinion physically consolidating school districts will undermine parental involvement and shared decision-making. Certainly we do not want a supersized Red Clay School District. Parents have problems enough navigating within Red Clay current size. The community and parents struggle to have a meaningful voice in regards to decision-making. Our public schools have been highjack by those catering to political agendas and political bedfellows.

Exposing the financial books of any school district might discourage administrators from engaging in frivolous spending and that does add up however; full financial transparency might reveal more inefficiency. Also, suppliers of goods and services of a school districts such as Red Clay can monitors what the district is spending and perhaps when time for bid contracts they may come in with leaner bids. If I were a salesman of school supplies I would love to keep tabs on what schools are paying for goods and services. But more importantly funding for public school is provided by the taxpayers and public school are the property of the taxpayers. So, naturally it’s our money and it’s our schools and if a board member or district administrator doesn’t like it then move on!

Though Markell comments on education sounded upbeat don’t kid yourself as budget cuts are on the way! There is no way DOE can pull any consolidation of departments together in time to head of budget cuts. Also, do make not the school districts will need to make presentations to their board and the public. The boards will need to vote and approve any such procedurally changes.

As I said, come July 01, 2009 with or without legislation calling for full financial transparency I plan on working more with Red Clay. Doesn’t mean I don’t have concerns for full financial transparency. The bottom-line is I’ve blown my horn over and over and loud as I can could. Parents and the Red Clay community apparently don’t see the need for full financial transparency as I. Surely, they will understand once the state budget cuts take hold and reduction of services to Red Clay that will follow. Then legislation will be coming to a close and speaking out would like just blowing in the wind.

Brighter side of the picture, I know Red Clay is prime and ready to want to move forward. A new superintendent full of energy ready to take charge and new board members heading our way will help move Red Clay in the right direction. At least for sure one new board member is a given for Red Clay and hopes of two. However my commitment is working with those board members elected and “all” of the current board members and yes even papa crawfish.

Governor Markell is listening and It’s seems he is listen more to parents and educators than Skipper!

The ball is in the state legislators’ court an all eyes are watching!

To Karen Peterson, thank you for exchanging E-mails with me and I support you 100%. I now realize that you want the issue of physically consolidating school districts on the table to better see all options. I am glad you understand my concerns with impact on parental involvement and the possible negative impact if their were a supersized Red Clay.

HOUSE BILL NO. 90

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CREATING A SEARCHABLE BUDGET DATABASE FOR STATE SPENDING.

SPONSOR:
Rep. Lavelle & Sen. Bunting;
Reps. D. Short, Hudson, Manolakos; Sens. Simpson, Sorenson, Bonini


Kilroy’s Spin:
The call for full financial transparency has never been on the front burner like this year. The public wants it and the legislators hear the message however, will the legislators put their political party differences aside and deliver full financial transparency? One thing for sure all eyes are on those who vote against it.

Kowalko has interesting ideas

I was making my rounds this morning visiting the local blogs. Dana over at Delaware Watch has an interesting post and a link to Rep. Kowalko’s webpage. Kowalko has an interesting alternative to an 8% pay cut for state workers. Check it out.

Just a little side note, I have various communications with Rep. Kowalko and I have real warmed up to him as a state legislator. Yea, I busted on him during his campaign but that was me doing my GOP duty and now that I am not involved with political party stuff I can be more who I am, independent (no in political party sense but as an individual). Kowlako does seem grounded and true to his roots. Sure he might have to play the party stuff every now and then but he is quite centered on the issues and is an independent thinker.

I have no doubt Kowalko would to love to engage us all on the blogs however he and other elected officials are painted “politicians” and would be attacked just for that fact. It’s really a shame that here we are in such a technology enriched environment to improve our relations with legislators but the evil of technology plays against us. I really enjoy my private communications with legislators and others.

Markell the new Bush?

No doubt once the Delaware’s proposed budget cuts become reality Governor Jack Markell with be painted the poster child for financial misery.

I honestly don’t see Delaware’s economy rebounding in 3 and ½ years to bring back the level of state services of today. There will be expansion in the economy with job growth in the private service sector however we’re talking low paying jobs. I doubt very much if the economy will crawl back enough to give Markell a shoe-in for a second term.

After his speech today to the legislators Markell will be like a bleeding pig in an Amazon River full of piranha. No doubt the Delaware Republicans will be chewing at the bleeding flesh.

Markell knows the hard decisions that need to be made and the solution is not to tax his way out of the problem. I feel for those who will be required to take a pay cut and pay more for healthcare. I am in that boat and it’s hard.

It’s seems many bitch about government being too big but yet are we going to paint Markell that poster child for financial misery. Bush has been painted the same poster child for the world’s financial misery and I don’t see how we can pin such a label on Markell.

Don’t get me wrong now, I like Jack and never said I loved him! He has his weakness like failing to make that executive order ordering full financial transparency for public schools and DOE. The cat and mouse bullshit going on with our legislators over school financial transparency is just a waste of time and that time could be used elsewhere. Jack step-up and nip this shit in the bud!

Parents out there, education will take a budgetary hit and all the crying to your legislator won’t help. Now is the time to demand full financial transparency and I am not talking a witch hunt to see who is pissing money away. We need to see were real savings could be made! Red Clay proved with their backs to the wall they could come up with savings. Red Clay went from a multi-million dollar negative balance to repaying commercial loans and state loans in one year and coming out with a 4 million dollar carryover. This had nothing to do with funding from a referendum.

I honestly feel sorry for Markell but you know there is an old saying, be careful what you wish for. But I still find it comfort knowing Delaware has a CEO for a governor rather than a clueless politician.

Markell won the election based on his understanding of differential marketing but unlike selling widgets or cell pones it was Jack’s ass he was selling as he was the product. Now judgment day is upon Jack to delivery his ass. Honestly, Jack and I are alike, were both fools. However, what separates us fools in the amount of money in our pockets.

Good luck Jack and Matt.

The Day Delaware Stood Still

Tuesday, April 28, 2009, at 2:00 p.m Governor Jack Markell will address a joint session of our Delaware legislators.

Attracting quality teachers in Delaware

State panel OKs 50% hike in employee health premiums
By CRIS BARRISH • The News Journal • April 27, 2009

“The average monthly premium for employees nationwide is $280, according to state records and the Kaiser Family Foundation, which studies health care costs and issues. With the change, the average state employee in Delaware will pay $81 a month, and the maximum will be $193 — still well below average.”

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Update 12:45 PM Teach for America teachers not only don’t have to be certified teachers they don’t have to be education majors! So Red Clay will fire certified teachers with education degrees to hire non teachers with no degree in education!
Kilroy’s Spin
Looking to deliver Vision 2015’s calls for attracting quality teachers to Delaware, Governor Markell is poised to delivery that vision.

With the backing of his think-tank Governor Markell plans to raise teacher’s share of employee healthcare premium by 50%. Markell will follow up with a possible 10% pay cut for Delaware teachers.

He may order out the Delaware National Guard to secure Delaware borders in efforts to stem the flow on qualify teachers wanting to teach in Delaware. Illegal immigrants are fine in Delaware because they only take jobs the Elsmeretonians refuse to do.

Some current teachers who feel they are “qualified teacher” appear to be upset with the plan. However the writing was on the wall for about five years now, if they didn’t get their act together the state government will take action to attract new teachers even if it meant sweeten the $$ pie.

Governor Markell is so confident that the current so-called state certified and nationally board certified teachers aren’t the caliber of qualified teachers Delaware is looking for he signed on the Teach for American program. He supports the notion that newly college graduates who study in the field of education are more qualified than current state certified teacher in place. He is so confident that he’ll waive state certification for Teach for America.

As for me, I am not concerned because I know Skipper is a phone call away if Jack gets in over his head.

Parents of Red Clay don’t listen to teacher’s crying this is not fair! We must change the pay structure and healthcare cost to attract more teachers. As far as that nonsense of non certified teachers in elementary schools relax, if your child falls behind they’ll have plenty of time to catch up! Public school do go to the 12th grade and if you lucky you child can stay back a few years and the state won’t even charge you extra. It’s been rumored the Teach for America teachers will be assigned to inner-city high poverty predominantly African-American school and for some reason parents in these schools won’t complain.

Sunday Night Brain Fart

No doubt we’ll see the effects of global warning such as rising sea level and its impact on Delaware’s shoreline. It’s going to happen we know it!
Shouldn’t our state government “now” end all new construction of homes and business at the Delaware beaches? With added homes and business the state has to support growth in the infrastructure. Why not ask the scientist their analogy based on models as to where to target growth inland that wouldn’t be in the way of the impact of rising sea levels?

Yea Kilroy is wacked but when shit hits the fan it will be the taxpayers getting fucked! Millions of taxpayers’ dollars is spent on beach replenishment? For me, my house is elevated enough on the outskirts of Newport that once the Delaware River rises and washes out 95, I’ll have a great view from my second floor screened porch.

But for really when do we plan for all of this?