Daily Archives: April 3, 2013

Modification of Delaware truancy law working it’s way to being law #netDE Eedude

147th General Assembly
House Bill # 24

Primary Sponsor:

Barbieri

Additional Sponsor(s):    Sen. Townsend

CoSponsors:

Reps. Hudson, Q. Johnson, Miro, Mitchell, Scott; Sens. Ennis, Henry, Poore, Sokola

Introduced on :

01/24/2013

Long Title:

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SCHOOL ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS.

Synopsis:

This Bill implements recommendations from the Truancy Task Force by changing provisions of the Delaware Code regarding compulsory attendance and when a truancy case must be brought to the Truancy Court. Specifically, school attendance requirements shall apply to enrolled students through grade 12 and the school shall refer a case for prosecution after the 20th day of unexcused absence by a student. The amendments will provide for earlier intervention by the Court as well as providing a mechanism to address the needs of truant students past grade 5.

Current Status:

Out of Committee   On   03/27/13

Full text of Legislation: 

(in HTML format)

Legis.html

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Full text of Legislation:

(in MS Word format)

Legis.Docx   (Microsoft Word is required to view this document.)

Fiscal Notes/Fee Impact:

Not Required

Committee Reports:


House Committee Report 03/13/13 F=5 M=5 U=0—->Committee Report
Senate Committee report 03/27/13 F=0 M=5 U=0—–>Committee Report

Voting Reports:


House vote: () Passed 3/14/2013 5:09:00 PM——->Voting Record

Actions History:

Mar 27, 2013 – Reported Out of Committee (EDUCATION) in Senate with 5 On Its Merits
Mar 15, 2013 – Assigned to Education Committee in Senate
Mar 14, 2013 – Passed by House of Representatives. Votes: Passed 36 YES 0 NO 0 NOT VOTING 5 ABSENT 0 VACANT
Mar 13, 2013 – Reported Out of Committee (EDUCATION) in House with 5 Favorable, 5 On Its Merits
Jan 24, 2013 – Introduced and Assigned to Education Committee in House

Kilroy says, follow up form these post:

Delaware legislators getting serious about truant student! Gold star from Kilroy #netDE Posted on March 9, 2013 by kilroysdelaware

Delaware legislators taken school truancy law more serious #netDE Posted on January 24, 2013 by kilroysdelaware

Do you support accelerated academic programs in Delaware schools?

147th General Assembly
Senate Bill # 27

Primary Sponsor:

Sokola

Additional Sponsor(s):    Sen. Peterson & Rep. Scott & Rep. Heffernan & Rep. Ramone

CoSponsors:

Sens. Ennis, Henry, Lopez, Venables; NewLine, Reps. Carson, Briggs King, Hudson, Q. Johnson, Miro, Outten, Paradee, B. Short, D. Short, Spiegelman, Walker

Introduced on :

03/22/2013

Long Title:

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ACCELERATED ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

Synopsis:

This Act would authorize the Department of Education, pending available funds, to offer competitive two year start-up grants to public schools for the purpose of developing new programs for students capable of performing accelerated academic work.

Kilroy’s says this one is a keepers! (good thing) However, will the Delaware School Board Association come out screaming underfunded and unfunded mandate? Like they did with recording school board meetings! Hey Jimmy Olsen give the DSBA a call on this one and plaster it in the News Journal! But for real, the $$$ is a tall order to fill in contrast to buying digital recorder for school board! I wonder if their were enough students suit for such a program in a given school could it be workable with existing staff? Call it extreme honors classes! Just think the CSW overachievers could be out of high school in two year! Maybe this could be a part online and classroom course! 

Child support payments to Delaware public schools? Kind of! #netDE #edude

147th General Assembly

House Bill # 27

Primary Sponsor:

D. Short

Additional Sponsor(s):    Rep. Scott & Sen. Pettyjohn

CoSponsors:

Reps. Briggs King, Dukes, Gray, Kenton, Miro, Smyk, Spiegelman, Wilson, Baumbach, Bolden, Carson, Q. Johnson, Keeley, Potter; Sens. Lavelle, Hocker, Lopez, Peterson, Simpson, Sokola, Townsend

Introduced on :

03/07/2013

Long Title:

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 30 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO STATE TAXES.

Synopsis:

This bill allows school taxes and property taxes to be collected by tax intercept. The current law specifically prohibits school taxes from being collected by tax intercept. Currently millions of dollars of property taxes are owed to school districts and local governments and such taxes are difficult to collect.
Tax intercept programs have been successful in collecting child support and other obligations owed the State and will help collections for education and other taxes.

Current Status: Out of Committee   On   03/13/13

Kilroy says, wage attachments and withholding of tax refunds to cover outstanding school taxes due school districts? Go for it!

The News Journal shows Kilroy some love re: digital recordings of school board meetings #netDe #edude

School boards should adapt to the digital age, News Journal Opinion Our View Apr. 2, 2013 10:43 PM

Sometimes government proposals are wrongly framed. For example, a General Assembly bill would require the state’s school boards to record their meetings and then post the recordings on their websites. It has been presented as, at best, a burden of open government, or, at worst, another unfunded mandate imposed by the state on the school districts.

Either view, of course, is nonsense.

This is the digital age. More than half the teenagers in the schools these boards run are probably walking around with smartphones that have enough computing power to record and post every district meeting in the state.

We are acting as if recording and posting a school board meeting is some incredibly ambitious technological dream. Most likely all the high schools in the state have more than enough professional-level equipment to do the job at this moment.

The question should not be: Wouldn’t this be great? Instead, it should be: Why haven’t the school boards already done this?

Even so, the prime sponsors of the bill, Rep. Deborah Hudson and Sen. Karen Peterson deserve credit for their effort to drag Delaware government a step or two forward into the digital age. It is unfortunate that their bill would require the districts to do this. Congratulations to the Red Clay, Christina and Capital districts for voluntarily doing so already. Shame on the others.

Perhaps only a few residents will listen to recordings of board meetings. Is it, therefore, only a small matter? No. Every bit of transparency in government is important. So why not do it now?

And in deed if the classrooms can advance into the digital and multimedia age surely the school boards can do the same!

Red Clay, Christina and Capital school districts voluntarily record their meetings and they are all the better for it! And sure we criticize these districts from time to time but we must admit, they gave us the information to do so!

For the most part state legislators aren’t regulars at local school board meetings. I know of one who is, Rep Kim Williams. The recordings can be listen to at anytime and those listening can freely move to any section of the recording of interest to them. Even legislators can better stay informed by listening to theses recordings. They can even access them via smart phone and listen on their drive to Dover or even in legislative education committees. NJ’s Jimmy Olsen can listen as he eats his bucket of crawlfish! I know of school board members going back  to listen to board discussion to better prepare themselves for the board vote that often follows at the next meeting.

One of the best aspect of these recording deemed not official board minutes is they are place online within seven days of the board meeting. Currently written board minutes aren’t provided to the public until after the board approves them at their next meeting 30 days later. Parent and community can better be prepared to address the board of critical issues with pending votes. Currently with printed minutes and the waiting game parents and the community step-up too late, after the board vote. 

At at time democrats and republicans are divided in Washington D.C. we have Delaware legislators working in a bipartisan way at the request of the public to deliver real transparency. Education reform is on the front-burner and parents, community  and even state legislators are in the dark  with reform agenda that some are deep-seeded in Wall Street agendas! Capitalism is fine however, education funding shouldn’t be a feeding-ground for capitalist serving themselves. There is a concern for the cost of  digital recorders that somehow breaks the district bank yet millions are spent on redundant education consultants and thousands on retirement parties for school administrators! It seems it’s always for the kids but when in comes to real transparency there is push-back.   

If we can’t step-up and provide better transparency of our public schools there will be no hope in seeing real transparency of government. When public schools fear scrutiny there must be something within to protect from prying eyes.   

County Executive Gordon and Wilmington Mayor Williams need to confront Jack Markell

Most of us who who are engage in the education issues are still studying the Gordon and Williams letter to the school superintendents. The letter coming on the heels of the Jea Streets letter at first was thought to part of a one-two punch at Christina school board! However, though it might echo some of Jea Street’s underlying concerns about the condition of education particularly Wilmington minorities, the Gordon and Williams letter could have some sincerity within. However, no disrespect to Doc but I don’t like Gordon and Williams advising which consultant should be used unless. If this type of consultant is needed there must be a review process of all potential consultants in this field.

Much of the concerns within the letter really needs to be addressed by state legislation, DE DOE and / or Governor Markell. Sadly as for Governor Markell his head is up his ass and his efforts to reform Delaware public schools only compound the concerns. To date Markell is the worst governor on education this state has seen!

The letter seems to be underlined with seeds of a Wilmington school district with mayoral type control. But I must say this, the mayor needs to take control of the streets (crime) before engaging in the classroom. But for sure demand action on the state and district part where needed.

The neighborhood school issue was cited and not to be rude and crude but the Neighborhood Schools Act was to pacify suburban whites who benefited in a more positive way. All the new schools are being built in the suburbs to accommodate and enhance school choice and that good old feeling of going to a school closest to home. Wilmington taxpayer are suckers ad their school taxes went up to pay for these new schools. Red Clay has no “traditional” middle or high school in their portion of Wilmington and there seems to be no intention of addressing that “need”. Red Clay does a great deal of one-way busing out of Wilmington and some city students ride past the closest school to one further away! However, there are those on Red Clay school board are sensitive to the school assignments and I am hopeful. If we are to address these concerns honestly perhaps their needs to be some soul searching among those charged with serving our children’s education needs. We can’t formulate plans to serve these children based on color or zip code! The white status quo has rule the playing field to long and I see many acting in bad faith in regard to the intent of the Neighborhood Schools Act that appears to have been a smoke screen for the status quo to have their way.

Here are a “few” of my post on some of these concerns:

Delaware legislation enslaves Wilmington students Posted on March 9, 2011 by kilroysdelaware

The purging of black students continues at Red Clay’s Conrad magnet school Posted on December 30, 2012 by kilroysdelaware

Red Clay denied neighborhood student to Conrad Posted on February 25, 2011 by kilroysdelaware

Re-segregation ! Got that covered.

Red Clay super Merv is being put on the hot-seat re: resegregation issues Posted on May 22, 2012 by kilroysdelaware

Markell the resegregation enabler Posted on January 15, 2010 by kilroysdelaware

Is Red Clay’s Dickinson High feeder map deceiving Wilmington’s minorities? #netDE #edude @destateboarded Posted on March 12, 2013 by kilroysdelaware

Is Delaware following a dangerous national trend: de facto segregation ? Posted on December 15, 2012 by kilroysdelaware

Delaware Gov. Markell leaves out NAACP re: Charter School Task Force Posted on August 23, 2012 by kilroysdelaware

Delaware Neighborhood School Law failed Wilmington. Posted on February 3, 2011 by kilroysdelaware

It’s time to give Wilmington a school district Posted on October 25, 2009 by kilroysdelaware

The time has come to stop preaching to the choir and come to the realization the answers to Wilmington’s education concerns must come from state legislation realigning the school district within Wilmington and address the de facto segregation in Wilmington. Governor Markell seems not to be concern with Wilmington concerns other than charter schools are the answer! He doesn’t get it, charter schools in Wilmington are near 100% black, 100% poverty and 100% at-risk students! Its like warehousing black children to keep them out of the hair of affluent whites in the suburbs. Traditional public schools in Wilmington aren’t that far behind! Choice school was to be an equalizer yet the state legislators failed to require “transportation”. Without provided transportation many poor children whose parents lack adequate transportation are locked-out choice schools. If students musts be bused out of Wilmington why don’t we give them better choices that includes transportation

Children of highest academic need should always get first choice. After-all, isn’t reform about closing the achievement-gap? Does using Ttile 1 and other supplemental funding meant for at-risk to enhance non at-risk students education fair to at-risk students? It’s time to get back to targeted assistance rather school-wide! I urge Gordon and Williams to put the fire under Jack Markell’s ass to address these problems that he promised to during his first campaign for governor! The district superintendents aren’t the go to persons 

I hope Gordon and Williams weigh-in on recording school board public session meeting! Those recordings can be helpful to both Gordon and Williams but more importantly to the parents and community, the owners of public schools.  

Lois Lane has a nice blog post about U of D faculty senate meeting recordings

Listen online: The University of Delaware’s faculty senate recordings  Posted on April 2, 2013 by Nichole Dobo

I ran into the University of Delaware faculty senate’s transparency. They post more information online than many state agencies. Check it out …………….