Senator Dave Sokola needs to step-down from Senate Education Committee

Attached is letters of support for Pike Creek Charter School submitted to DE DOE on June 04. 2013 at the public hearing for Pike Creek Charter School see page 51.

“In my capacity as a State Senator who represents the Newark and Pike Creek areas and as the current Chair of the Senate Education Committee, I believe that this proposed charter school will be an asset to the community and is the kind of unique innovative program that is consistent with the legislative intent of our Charter School Law. Having been involved in the creation of the Newark Charter School, I understand the challenges and rewards that are possible from the creation of a new charter school. In my opinion, the proposed Pike Creek Charter School will be able to meet those challenges head on, and will be able to share in the rewards that are made possible through the hard work of the charter school and its students”

Pike Creek is within Senator Sokola’s Senate District and sure he has an obligation to his constituents. However,  injecting his role as Chair of the Senate Education Committee sends a poor message to parents of traditional school students. Sokola’s letter goes on to brag how he was involved in the creation of Newark Charter School leaving out he was a former board member of Newark Charter School while serving as state senator. Our state representatives should have a non-bias position when it comes to public education in relationship to charter vs tradtional. Senator Sokola is clearly bias towards charter schools. At best his letter of support should have come as a citizen not the a state senator and the Chair of the Senate Education Committee. 

It was Senator Sokola who lead the charge to repeal Title 14, Chapter 2, Subchapter I Section 207 which called for a “written” educational impact study prior to a vote on any legislation regarding public education.

§ 207. Legislative educational impact statements. Repealed by 73 Del. Laws, c. 312, § 334, effective June 25, 2002.

Sokola led the charge to repeal this law so that he could push his agendas through without regards to impact of the given legislation. Is there written impact study on the effects Pike Creek Charter School would have on surrounding Red Clay traditional schools or other charter schools? All legislators need to refrain from such open bias support of charter schools! The message Sokola sends to traditional public school children is too bad re: impact this new charter school will have on you! Yea sure many will seek the opportunity to attend this new charter school. However, there is a negative impact on traditional schools.

I am pro school choice and if the parents and students want charter schools more power to them. Senator Sokola needs to step-down from the senate education committee or at-least it’s chair. And if he wants to blow his horn for charter schools so be it but do it as a non elected official or an elected official with such leadership influence. However, he shouldn’t use his position as leverage as he does in this letter to DE DOE. And you can bet when / if H.B.#23 makes it to the Senate Education Committee Sokola will not be in favor of it as his charter buddies take offense to it!

Good luck supports of Pike Creek Charter School and be on the lookout for some other news!  

Here is what DE DOE said in their Final Report May 21. 2013:

The Accountability Committee concluded that the Founding Group and School Leadership met the standard.

The Accountability Committee concluded that the Education Plan section did not meet the standard based on the following subsections:

The Accountability Committee concluded that the Performance Management section met the  standard with a condition (see Training and Support for Teachers in Data Use)

The Accountability Committee concluded that the Staffing section met the standard with conditions based on the following subsection:

The Accountability Committee concluded that the Staffing section met the standard with conditions based on the following subsection:

The Committee discussed the Applicant’s response to the Preliminary Report and determined that the response was satisfactory.

The Accountability Committee concluded that the Governance and Management section met the standard.

Parent and Community Involvement
The Committee discussed the Applicant’s response to the Preliminary Report and determined that the response was satisfactory. 

The Accountability Committee concluded that the Budget and Finance section did not meet the standard.

Of course in Publius eye I am anti charter school which is not the case! Apparently the DE DOE Accountability Committee has concerns with budget and finance issues and concerns about education plans! One would think the recommendation to approve this charter would be no! We cannot afford another Pencader disaster and taxpayer bailout! Like a build, charter schools need a good foundation to stand strong and tall! 

Senator Sokola says in the closing of his letter, “It is with great enthusiasm that I make this recommendation, and I urge your most serious consideration of the Pike Creek Charter School application”. Surely Sokola read the final report of May 21, 2013 which was prior to this public meeting on June 04. 2013. In spite of the deficiencies cited by the committee Senator Sokola seeks approval of this charter application! Like I said, he is bias and even when there are financial concerns he puts special interest and friends before obligations promised in his oath of office! 

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15 responses to “Senator Dave Sokola needs to step-down from Senate Education Committee

  1. John Young

    Reblogged this on Transparent Christina.

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  2. So, Dave Sokola support charters not having to be fiscally approved to run?

    He appears to be the most odious of politicians with anti-taxpayer positions like this.

    Like

  3. barbara J. Finnan

    He also was the architect of the current Charter school law, and remains as arrogant as ever.

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  4. And who owns the building where legislators are pushing through a slush fund for charter school building?

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    • not us, apparently.

      Like

    • Publius e decere

      Johnny,

      CSD has its own white elephant. No not you, but that was funny. I meant the industrial building CSD owns and which has sat vacant for years. If there was ever a waste of public funds, your board is the poster child for it.

      Publius

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  5. purchased before me, all I have done is vote to sell that albatross in an act of fiscal responsibility, meanwhile you support CSD BOE members that did the buying.

    You are hilarious.

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  6. I know facts get in your way sometimes, but they gotta come out.

    Like

  7. Publius e decere

    OK I’ll take the bait and agree that keeping the Albatross building is preferable to keeping the Albatross board member. Catching my meaning Johnny “A”? So you voted to Ditch the building? And could not get a majority on your board to agree? Against my better judgement I will even help you here — tell me when the vote was so I can look up the roll call and diss the Keepers.

    Publius

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    • No, the majority agreed with me. Building is for sale.

      Guess what though, it’s all posted online in our concise minutes, so go look it up yourself.

      Like

    • Publius e decere

      Ok, be opaque — it is your privilege. So you have is up for sale? My neighbor has his house up for sale for $2 million and it hasn’t sold in years — is that a bad market or a naive price? Bottom line is that there is a price at which your building will sell tomorrow. You are avoiding that market reality to avoid the embarrassment of wasted public money by your board. Just my opinion, but probably right in the mark.

      I’ll go look for your “vote” but if I can’t find it within 15 minutes then I’ll assume you are intentionally hiding it behind the “fog” of board minutiae. Especially since you refuse to produce a link. Ready set go.

      Publius

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    • Publius e decere

      Ok little man, I found it. Obtusely logged without a current link on your website but whatever. If you want to consider it “transparent” who am i to rain on your pity parade. But it is clear that the decision to sell was made in — 2009. Atsa right, four years ago. And still sitting on it? Seems like you — have — no — follow-through. Let us know which decade you plan to sell it in. Really.

      Publius

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    • Publius e decere

      Bought in 2005 for –what–$10 ?? Really? NCC parcelview must have been given bad information by the transaction parties. A transparency issue for sure. Since it was 4 years rancid when you voted to sell it (a no brainer) and four additonal years have passed with no action (a no ability to manage ‘er) I can assume by third grade inference (trying to respect your limits) that you are equally rancid and inept in rectifying this boondoggle.

      The building has been siting idle for eight years. Wake up John, it is a loss. Take the pain and the public heat. You should have taken what you could get four years ago. Wait four more years and you’ll go negative and have to pay someone (SuperFund?) to take it off your hands. Dithering has cost you any credibility you might try to salvage from this ossified ineptness. Just sayin’ —

      What exactly IS your MBA worth? You sure as heck are not applying it at CSD.

      Publius

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