A piece of legislation purported to reform existing charter school law has been filed and House Bill 165 will have a public hearing in the House Education Committee on Wednesday. Contrary to normal practice the funding required for implementation of parts of this bill was allocated three weeks prior, in the JFC without any public input. This utter disregard for transparency and intellectual honesty further erodes any remaining public confidence in the political system.
More proof there is no accountability when there is no transparency! It’s time to stop blaming Governor Jack Markell and start holding Lt. Governor Matt Denn accountable for standing by pretending to be an advocate for transparency. Denn’s hand in helping block H.B.#35, the call for recording public session of public and charter school board meetings is more proof he is unfit to advance to governor.
The most offensive aspect of the proposed $2 million giveaway to a charter school “slush fund” is the very real fact that the percentage of public education funding provided by the state has consistently declined from approximately 68 percent in fiscal year 1990 to 59.7 percent in fiscal year 2010 and this reduction in the state percentage has resulted in a larger burden being placed on local funds and local property taxpayers. Since fiscal year 2008, state funding has been completely eliminated for a number of programs to the tune of $58.5 million dollars (Ref. Controller General’s report I received). In addition to these 10 program eliminations, districts have also experienced several reductions in base funding levels in the amount of $7 million. The Administration’s Educational Sustainment Fund budgeted to replace these $65 million in cuts totals $27.4 million, a woefully inadequate proposal.
I agree, cutting funding for programs like extra Reading and Math teachers and then create this charter school slush fund demonstrates Markell and Denn are out to undermine the traditional public school system.
But when and if the public decides to vocalize its anger I hope they consider that these enormous strains on the traditional school budgets is causing dramatic cuts and layoffs of paraprofessionals, (where are you on this DSEA?), who are sometimes solely responsible for ensuring that “special needs” children have adequate, necessary and effective ratio counts in these classrooms.
Rep. John Kowalko
House of Representatives
Rep. Kowalko, the public voice cannot be heard over the voice of special interest. As far as DSEA, a recent News Journal indicated Governor Markell said DSEA was on board with H.B. 165 but for some reason failed to get a quote from DSEA officials. “This bill has the support of many stakeholders, from DSEA to the Charter School movement,” Markell said. However, local school districts like Red Clay have unions/ association and have their own voice! There comes a time to take off the apron and put the cookie sheets away and man up! Those who are awestruck by the presence of Jack Markell and other elected officals need not represent their brothers and sisters. As far as Matt Demm, sure he is an amazing person. However, as Matt Denn bends-over to tie his shoes Rodel and Markell are filling his ass with the Wall Street ponzi scheme agenda. Matt Denn appears to be a follower not a leader! Anyone who blocks real advancements in transparency isn’t on the team of the people!
Rumor has it Rep. John Kowalko is a loose political cannon down in legislative hall. We need more outspoken legislators like Kowalko. His Republican counterparts all sit in the corner and cry a sad song like a elementary school chorus. As for fellow Democrats, many continue on their hands and knees to serve Jack Markell and Matt Denn looking for that political bone! Hats of to Kowalko for being the individual the people elected!