As Delaware state legislators are engaging legislation that would required all traditional school district, votech district and charter school boards to record public sessions of the board meeting all but one traditional school district in New Castle County voluntarily record their meetings. I urge the Appoquinimink school board to vote YES!
For years I kept dogging Red Clay to record their board meeting and a few years ago the finally supported Merv’s executive decision to request public session of board meetings be recorded.
My good friends over at Christina School Board and the amazing Freeman Williams said, we can take it one step further. Christina’s board amended their board policy adding recording of public session of board meeting as “board policy”. The first school board in the state to do so. Then there was Capital school board saying we’ll be the first in our county! As many know Kilroy has been lobbying all the school district in Delaware and have encourage charter schools to do the same.
My good friends at Christina gave the verbiage needed to take my fight to Dover. Rather than make the request for all traditional, votech and charter boards to record their meeting I lobbied state legislators to support legislation to required the Delaware State Board of Education to do the same and yes Rep Hudson was there for me and I submitted a rough draft of legislation which was assigned H.B. 26 “This bill requires that all public meetings of the State Board of Education be digitally recorded and made available to the public on the Department of Education’s website within one business day. The recordings will not be considered the official Board minutes. Red Clay Consolidated School District has been, as of September 2010, providing the public with digital recordings of their Board public session meetings via the District’s website. The Christina School District School Board enacted a policy to provide digital recordings of their public session meetings and expects to be online in January 2011. Jun 01, 2011 – Passed by Senate. Votes: Passed 21 YES 0 NO 0 NOT VOTING 0 ABSENT 0 VACANT, Mar 31, 2011 – Passed by House of Representatives. Votes: Passed 38 YES 0 NO 1 NOT VOTING 2 ABSENT 0 VACANT and Jun 08, 2011 – Signed by Governor
With the success of H.B. 26 it was onto H.B. #23 (Jan 23, 2013 – Introduced and Assigned to Education Committee in House). Mar 27, 2013 – Reported Out of Committee (EDUCATION) in House with 6 Favorable, 4 On Its Merits, Mar 31, 2014 – Reported Out of Committee (APPROPRIATIONS) in House with 5 On Its Merits. As you can see H.B. 23 hung on through 2014. It lost forward momentum because a group of charter folks didn’t like it including Publius. Rep Hudson bellied-up due to internal pressures of charter groups and apparently didn’t want to kiss the Speaker of House’s ass or that of his queen and was desk drawer veto by the Speaker. H.B. #23 became an internal political football and dies when at the end of the 174 General Assembly. Well it rose from the grave as H.B. 61 and sits in House Education Committee since March 24, 2015. Mar 24, 2015 – Introduced and Assigned to Education Committee in House. Current Status House Education Committee On 03/24/15.
Despite the inability of Delaware House to get the job done the call for recording board meeting marches forward. So far, Red Clay, Christina, Capital, Delmar , Brandywine, and Colonial school board record the public sessions of their board meetings. Appoquinimink is the only traditional school district in New Castle County that isn’t recording their meetings. I hopeful and encourage The Appoquinimink board takes action to make New Castle Count complete.
I sent an E-mail to the New Castle County Votech board to join the others and post recordings of their meetings. It’s my understanding the meetings are recorded but the recordings aren’t made public.
Many of us support returning our public schools back to local control that has been lost due to federal intrusion with Governor Markell by their side. We can’t have real local control without full transparency and we are in the digital age where technology is affordable to record and to access and listen to recordings.
As far as the charter school push-back, they are doing themselves more damaged than good. Pencader failed and order closed because even the new board refused to record their meetings and if they did the public would have seen the cancer that brought it down. Needed intervention could have been sooner than too late! Pencader Frank came in and pulled the curtains rather then opened the window. Charter schools are failing as soon as the get out of the gate and even with DOE Jenny’s world class crackerjack team. The charter school organizers want to blame the charter school naysayers for their failures by the fact remains, the charters that fail aren’t as transparent as those that exceed. Even with DE DOE at the CBOC table some charters play the shell game. Moyer stated during a previous workshop they had an AMX card and Jenny did nothing to investigate for possible misuse. Then the was the land deal !! Then there was not making public the state’s contract with K12.inc. I am sorry to disappoint some people but, no school should fail to the point of closure. Pencader folded and DE DOE knew Moyer was struggling and promoted Moyer as quality school for Pencader students left out in the cold due to Pencader’s closure . Now we have children exposed to two failing schools that were ordered closed. These kids should be given school vouchers to private schools.
I urge Appoquinimink’s board to approved recording public session of board meetings and posting those recordings on the district’s webpbage.