Daily Archives: April 9, 2014

Rep Hudson joins the good-old “R” boys RE: H.B.#293 SNAP Food Police

147th General Assembly
House Bill # 293

Primary Sponsor:

D. Short

Additional Sponsor(s):    Rep. Dukes & Sen. Lavelle


Reps. Hudson, Briggs King, Gray, Kenton, Outten, Spiegelman, Wilson

Introduced on :


Long Title:



The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also referred to as “the food stamp program,” assists eligible low-income individuals with the purchase of food.  This Act, known as the Delaware Nutritional Improvement Act, seeks to bring the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in line with other state programs and initiatives aimed at improving the health and welfare of Delawareans.
SNAP benefits are paid entirely with federal funds, but the costs to administer the program are split between the federal and state government.
As is the case with another jointly administered state-federal programs – the Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC) – this Act seeks to require SNAP benefits to be used solely for the purchase of healthy foods identified by the Department of Health and Social Services as having beneficial nutritional value.  This will not only improve the efficiency of such expenditures but it should also improve the well-being of recipients, as well as potentially reduce health care expenditures.
Using the WIC guidelines as a starting point, this Act instructs the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) to draft a list of approved foods.  The DHSS shall create the list with the goal of expanding on the WIC designations to improve selection and increase affordability.  Under this Act, future SNAP benefits could be used only to purchase items designated as having beneficial nutritional value.
Because the SNAP benefits are paid with federal funds, this Act would not become effective until the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture grants a waiver allowing its implementation. The status of this waiver may be obtained from the Director of the Department of Health and Social Services.

WTF?????? Rep Martha Steward Hudson wants to control the SNAP menu for the poor from her Greenville kicthen! 

SNAP benefits are paid entirely with federal funds, but the costs to administer the program are split between the federal and state government.

So now we increase state cost to police SNAP making sure poor people aren’t eating Twinkies! 

Section 2.  The Department of Health and Social Services shall draft a list of foods, food products, and beverages with proven beneficial nutritional value.  The Department of Health and Social Services shall use the Women, Infants, and Children Program guidelines as a basis for drafting this list, and shall expand on that list with a focus on improving selection and affordability.

Damn Debbie! Having a little problem making ends-meat on state Rep salary? Worry these people are eating better than you? 

The DHSS shall create the list with the goal of expanding on the WIC designations to improve selection and increase affordability.  Under this Act, future SNAP benefits could be used only to purchase items designated as having beneficial nutritional value.

Yea Debbie who do those young unwed mothers think they are buying potato chips!

Folks this is the dumb-shit Republicans do to ensure they don’t have control of the House or Senate or becoming Governor.

All this shit about the intrusion of ObamaCare yet Debbie and the good-old “R” boy says, no way Delaware’s poor are going to eat potato chips and Twinkies on my watch! And there is Lavelle in the mix! This legislation adds a layer of oversight that must be in part funded by the state. So obvious these legislators want to put one in the eye of poor people! I wonder Debbie, are you going to help fast-track this legislation to get it to a vote by the end of June?

Colonial School District making good on transparency: Board recordings available and something AMAZING!

Here is the link to Colonial School District’s audio recordings of the public sessions of their board meetings. FYI the only traditional school district in New Castle County that doesn’t voluntarily record their meetings is Appoquinimink. Shame on Appo! Red Clay does! Christina does! Brandywine does! Colonial does! Damn even Capital does! And even Delmar does! Shame on Appo!  

Here is something amazing Colonial does and has been do for year; See page 16 of February’s monthly financial reportFYI! Colonial is the only district that reports monthly credit-card purchases by cardholders withing the district and line-item expenditures. Amazing!

Megacharter update: capacity balloons to 2800 students

the seventh type

The Longwood Foundation-sponsored Community Education Building will accept another round of applications this spring for occupancy in the fall of 2015. This round of applications is for middle and high schools only. Current tenants are Kuumba Academy (K-8) and Academia Antonia Alonso (K-5), which will move in by this summer.

Since its announcement in 2012, the planned capacity of the building has ballooned to 2800 students.
. This comes at a time when six charters are up for either initial approval or expansion this spring. One of them (Great Oaks) has met with CEB about locating in the building.

A while back I wrote:

…northern Delaware is in fact on the cusp of a dramatic charter expansion not approved by any voters. […]The underlying risk is that a greatly expanded charter presence would harm traditional public schools, at worst turning them into second-class dumping grounds and forcing Districts to…

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Cost of Putting in A Single Charter in Wilmington


The new Charter School of Wilmington will be 2800 students.

Christina District currently sends out $3701 per every child it sends to charters.  That amount varies depending on district, but just to get an idea, let us use that figure.

The new school will take 2800 students….   Therefore 2800 students times that dollar amount equals $10,362,800…  This amount to paraphrase Ross Perot in the 1992 campaign, will act as a giant sucking sound siphoning off of all 4 districts created out of the desegregation debacle.  Christina, Red Clay, Colonial, and Brandywine….

Systemwide those 4 districts currently have 55,794 students….  Subtract the 2800 out of them, and systemwide there are now 55,294 students left…

The loss of $10,362,800 across those 4 districts of 55,294 boils down to an average loss of $196 per student.

Go to the state’s website, click on your district, click on your school… Your student population…

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News Journal missing the mark on charter school vs public school debate

Why do Delaware parents pick charter schools? Our View /News Journal

Public schools have been, are and will be the backbone of the American education system. However, for generations, people with money could sidestep any faults they saw in the system by sending their children to private schools. However, since the advent of laws allowing charter schools, middle- and low-income parents have had the ability to leave the public school system as well. Most likely, these parents do not see themselves as leaving the system. They are just trying to get a better education for their children. The parents, in other words, are voting with their feet.

Instead of complaining, the public school establishment and their legislative supporters should be asking why.

People who run private businesses study their customers. When the customers stop coming back, the business operators find out why and do something about it. They do not blame the competition. As one businessman recently put it, Pepsi does not try to shut down Coke when the customers stop drinking Pepsi. Pepsi fights back.

Do the leaders of Red Clay or any other public school district know why parents want to take their children out of the district public schools? The districts cannot blame the growth of charter schools on the flight of middle-class white parents. Many of the charter schools are extremely attractive to lower-income minority parents.

Why? What prompts them to leave? What attracts them to the charter schools? If the school leaders know what the reason is, why isn’t it on the table for discussion? Suppose the problem were discipline in the classroom or curriculum. Shouldn’t that problem be the topic for discussion? Shouldn’t the legislators be trying to assist the school administration to find a solution for the problem, rather than complaining about alleged unfairness?

We applaud the legislators for their concern, but they would have a better argument if they could speak to the parents’ concerns as well.

And there’s the proof the News Journal is missing the mark and has no clue what drives the debate.

What attracts parents to charter schools is a “controlled” environment conducive to teaching and learning via rules not afforded traditional public schools.

Charter schools are permitted by law to set admission preference specific to the needs of the schools philosophy to the extent they can require entrance test and signing academic and  behavior contracts. It is “illegal” for traditional public schools to deny access to any student living within the school’s feeder-pattern. Also, if the student is disable and academic challenged traditional public schools are required by law to accommodate.

Why would a parent want their child in a learning environment where student behavior mirrors street behavior and the teacher has no real authority to remove those disruptive students? As you see with Moyer:

The New Maurice J. Moyer Academy 
Board of Directors’ Meeting 
Student Cafeteria Main Building 
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 
6:00 PM – 7:15 PM

b. Assistant Principal’s Report – overview of school progress and area of improvement in discipline, transportation, athletics as well as culture and climate. 
i. Suggested Saturday detention from 8-11 am – after brief discussion, the Board recommended instituting a Three (3) Strikes Policy in addition to the current “Zero Tolerance Policy” of immediate expulsion for such things as fighting, drugs and weapons; the Three Strikes Policy would result in an immediate 5-day suspension for belligerent behavior such as, use of profanity, willing defiance, disrespect to staff, etc., and after three repeated infractions, scholars will be expelled. 
1. The board voted unanimously to accept this recommendation with parent notification.

Can any public public school district expel a student and walk away from legal responsibility? Why are traditional schools required to provide alternative placement / programming for disruptive and Moyer not?

I’ll admit one of the biggest problems with traditional public schools is many superintendents think their board members are subordinates and want to run agendas parallel with Governor Markell’s agenda which is nothing but a train-wreck!  Sadly Red Clay’s superintendent was a cheerleaders for Race to The Top and allowed himself to be a Markell lap dog! Sure you gotta do what you gotta do for the money! But in the end how much money is RTTT costing the taxpayers but more importantly what is the real damaged to traditional public education RTTT causing. Expansion of charter schools are noted within the fibers of RTTT and the overall Washington intrusion.   

People who run private businesses study their customers. When the customers stop coming back, the business operators find out why and do something about it. They do not blame the competition. As one businessman recently put it, Pepsi does not try to shut down Coke when the customers stop drinking Pepsi. Pepsi fights back.

Such a fucked up analogy! Let’s go with it! Coke represents charter schools and Pepsi tranditional schools. Coke aka charter schools doesn’t have to follow FDA laws and rules where as Pepsi aka public school has to adhered to them. But it get’s better, FDA has one set of rules for Coke and another for Pepsi.

If the playing-field was leveled between charter schools and traditional public schools on admission rules whereas with charter parents complete an admission application form with their and their child’s name and address and phone number nothing else and put into a lottery system manged by the state or non bias independent party so-called successful charter schools might not be so successful!

Unless laws aren’t changed allowing charter schools to cherry-pick students and allow to expel or counsel-out students at free-will whereas traditional public schools aren’t, unchecked growth of charter schools will cause traditional school building to become surplus and to charter advantage. The law allowing charter schools aka “must” have access to unused space in traditional schools was tactfully written in with foresight of know the day will come charter schools would be the hand to force them closed. The uni-brow is a smart cookie!  Envision an all charter school public school system. What would we have? We would have no local referendums and a system where legislators will set the local school tax-rate like they do with votech schools. I guess the upside would be greater turnover in legislative hall.

The News Journal has this one WRONG!

Yikes!! 20 stabbed at a PA high school

At least 20 stabbed at Pa. school; suspect arrested Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY

One student was in custody Wednesday after at least 20 students — and possible one adult — were stabbed in classrooms and the hallway of a high school in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh.

Four of the most seriously injured victims were taken from the school by helicopter, KDKA-TV reports. The station said emergency officials indicated that one of the victims was in his 60s, indicating that the person was a staff member of teacher..

What does college ready mean? Governor Markell claims ready means if a student took the SAT

University of Delaware -SAT Scores, Cost and Admissions by Alan Grove / About.com College Admssion

Data Source: National Center for Educational Statistics 2012

Graduation and Retention Rates:

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 92%

  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 67%

  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 80%

We hear so much about college-ready but what does that mean? Just because more students take the SAT due to it being free, completing a college application and even getting accepted to a college doesn’t mean they are “ready.” It’s no secret that many high school graduates don’t read or have math skills equivalent to a high school level. I guess what I am saying is, be careful how you yell success or in this case “college ready.”

The University of Deleware is a selective public university located in Newark. About half of all applicants will not get admitted, and successful applicants tend to have grades and standardized test scores that are above average. In the scattergram above, the blue and green dots represent accepted students. You can see that the majority of successful applicants had high school grades of “A-” or better, combined SAT scores of 1650 or higher, and ACT composite scores of 23 or better. Your chances of receiving an acceptance letter are best if you have an “A” average amd SAT score over 1750.

So wouldn’t the better indicator for college ready be SAT scores not the number of students within a high school, district or state who took the SAT? As for state standardized test, those test are unreliable to be serious indicators for college readiness. In the case of Delaware were you have an obsessive egotistic governor sowing seeds for life after public office who has his hands in “generating” outcomes one might question Delaware’s data.

Percent of Applicants Admitted: 59%

And what % of that are in-state Delaware “public” high school students?

Costs (2012 – 13):

  • Tuition and Fees: $11,682 (in-state); $28,772 (out-of-state)

  • Books: $800

  • Room and Board: $10,758

  • Other Expenses: $1,500

  • Total Cost: $24,740 (in-state); $41,830 (out-of-state)

Let’s put students of affluent aside and focus on our not so affluent students. $24,740 a year for in-state ins’t very affordable. Yea yea loans and scholarships! The reports on college loan debt appears indicate more loan are needed than full scholarships are given. Then there is Delaware’s college SEED for two-year community college. If the employment rate of four-year graduates in their field of major is 50% I wonder what it is for two-year community college graduates.

Delaware Governor Jack Markell claims Delaware’s economy suffers because we can’t compete in the global economy with an uneducated workforce. Year after year Delaware universities and colleges graduates students ready for global economy! However, with all the demands from industry (Markell claims) were are those jobs? Markell’s answer is college students are picking the wrong majors as if the global markell is calling for hands-on technical degrees, people who can operate factory / assembly-line technology requiring highly functional math and science skills. Markell proclaims we need more math and science teachers! Well the way Markell demoralizes traditional public school teachers and hold charter teachers up as more superior, education is getting to be a turn-0ff for those college students considering the education field. I am certain that there are many public school teachers around the United States telling their own children not to go into public education. Governor Markell is on the wrong end of the equation. Surely he can work with educators and industry. However, his micro managing and installation of Rodel clones in the Delaware Department of Education and allowing greater federal intrusion into local decision-making is counterproductive. He should be selling the successes of those student who graduate from Delaware colleges and universities to industry as encouragement to say Delaware is ready, come setup business in Delaware. Governor Markell has failed as a governor and he rather dream of the future where he doesn’t have to be accountable to the present. Then there is Matt Denn the flower girl throwing rose pedals in front of Governor Markell as he walks his obsessive ego trip! Denn proclaims Markell is his mentor!        

So Arne Duncan is coming to town today and the mainstream media has their editor’s marching orders! Historically in Delaware when it comes to Governor Markell the mainstream editors handout rose color sunglasses to their reporters and remind them of Governor Markell’s connections to the business community. Delaware mainstream media walks on eggshell as not to be too critical of Markell’s failures in public education as it looks bad for the Rodel’s of the world who are the local media’s bread and butter re: advertisement revenues.  So sad!