Monthly Archives: December 2017

President Trumps economic success a windfall for Delaware state budget


Delaware’s projected budget surplus grows ever so slightly , The News Journal

Carney last year proposed a budget plan that he touted as a new path forward. His spending proposal relied on a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts, such as a hike in the state income tax coupled with a 4.5-percent reduction in each state agency’s discretionary budget.

Snap ! My bad ! Wasn’t Trump ! It was Governor Carney with the help of his band of taxing democratic bedfellows forcing citizens to fill-in the money gap Governor Markell caused.   But for sure, the expansion of the nation’s economy as a result of President Trump’s rolling back President Obama’s wrongheaded business hurting executive orders will yield Delaware legitimate cash. In comes Mike Matthew with hat in hand for $$$$ to fund after school Lego Clubs :). 


Rep Baumbach & Senator Sokola excludes charter school board members from their communist legislation to remove traditional public school board members

Section 1. Amend Subchapter IV, Chapter 10, Title 14 of the Delaware Code by making deletions as shown by
 strike through and insertions as shown by underline as follows and redesignating accordingly:
 § 1090 Removal From School Board
 (a) A member elected to a School board may be removed upon the affirmative vote of at least 60% of the membership of the State Board of Education with the approval of the Governor for any of the following reasons:

Charter school board members as we call them are actually appointed members of the charter schools’ ” Board of Directors”. Charter schools are corporations! Sen Sokola is slicker than dog shit! This his way of protecting charter schools at the same time cutting tradition public education off at the knees. Talk about unethical! Let’s just call this legislation Baumbach’s blunder a window into the real Paul! Shameful!

Rep Baumdick & Sen Suckola tells CSD Board Member John Young; Kiss Gov Carney’s Ass or We’ll Remove You!

Draft bill outlines way to unseat Delaware school board members Jessica Bies, The News Journal

Legislation circulating among lawmakers this week would allow an appointed board to remove Delaware school board members from office for perceived misconduct, incompetency or willful neglect of duty. 

The bill hasn’t been filed yet but is already causing a stir, with some accusing the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Paul Baumbach and Sen. Dave Sokola, of trying to oust school board members unwilling to side with Gov. John Carney on education policy and reform.

Folks this proposed legislation is about removing local public elected school board members from office who verbally oppose legislation supporting Governor Carney’s vision and goals for public education and no doubt Christina School Board member John Young is outspoken against many Rodel laced education reform proposals. 

Rep Baumbach and Sen Sokola is proposing legislation the undermines the voice of local voters who has the collective power to force out any local school board member(s), Public local school board members are public elected officials just like Baumbach and Sokola. I wonder! Should local elected school board members have power to remove other elected officials within their school district who opposes the will of local parents?

I am not surprised Sen. Sokola supports this legislation because he has been walking on his knees for the likes of former Gov. Markell and now current Governor Carney. But I am surprised the Rep Baumbach takes the lead on this legislation. Turns out Baumbach is just another guy who wanted to be elected to support the people. Paul infringing out local control isn’t what you were elected for. 

As far as John Young! John Young has more courage than any board member I’ve seen in my over 20 years of engagement in public education issues. John is not afraid to speak his mind on many wrongheaded education reform attempts coming from Dover. Don’t surrender John! Without board members who speak up parents don’t have a voice and children are victims of politically and corporate laced education reforms. Control and decisions whats best for children must be done at the local level and by decision-makers whose children are the most impacted. We cannot allow Baumbach and Sokola communist laced legislation to infect our local schools. Hitler’s and his ideology is dead and we need to keep it that way. If Baumback and Sokola wants to run this agenda they need to come out of the democratic party and put their arm bands on for all to see.

Delaware Rep Kowalko Speaks Out Against Baumbach and Sokola Communist Legislation

Dear all,

I was recently contacted to sign on to a piece of legislation (attached) that purports to set up a system for removal of elected persons from their positions as locally elected school board members. This legislation is a frightening overreach of authority, poorly thought out, and constitutionally questionable. I therefore took it upon myself to raise the public awareness of this proposal and how it could compromise and negate the intentions and wishes of the voters who elected said board members and would place their fates in the hands of an unelected, gubernatorial board that might have no allegiance to the voting public’s wishes. Therefore I am sending you this message that I sent to all of my colleagues and the Governor. Please share as you feel appropriate.

Representative John Kowalko



What happens to a local school board member who doesn’t play ball with Governor John Carney!



Delaware State Rep Kowalko puts Gov Mar-Carney in the corner re: Gov’s over-reaching Christina School District Plan

john kowalko 

Here is my statement made at the CSD board meeting last night and followed by my challenges to the Carney/DOE plan presented, in person, to Governor Carney at a meeting he called about a week ago.
Rep. Kowalko

I and 9 other legislators attended a meeting called by Governor Carney less than a week ago purportedly to discuss the proposed Wilmington school reform plan and MOU proposal. Since we weren’t given copies of the MOU and it doesn’t seem to be available any longer at the link the Administration provided I cannot offer or challenge some of the specifics. At this meeting the Governor suggested that the MOU draft submitted by DOE would be changed and this board is not bound by it and should draft its own MOU proposal. The deadlines for Board action that the Governor and DOE appear to be imposing are substantively unrealistic and impractical for such a complex consideration with so many unanswerable questions.

Having examined some of the initial proposal and the details and expectations it held has led me to conclude that this is not a well thought out plan, that raises more questions and challenges then it has answers for.

I distributed some of my points of concern to the Governor and DOE and have copies for you that I will distribute. Due to time constraints I will try to focus on only a few of my concerns that I hope you will consider at this time.

I find it particularly harmful and hurtful to the “Southbridge” community, families and children to propose closing Elbert Palmer, one of the true neighborhood schools in walking distance and accessible to this Wilmington community. I hope that this Board’s counter-proposal would support closing that tired old monolith known as Bancroft and refurbish Palmer, Pulaski and Bayard to use for the suggested K-8 reconfiguration.

I also implore this Board to pay heed to the massive costs (which the Governor personally refused to speculate on) in refurbishing or renovating in order to make these consolidations. You should be acutely aware that any promise of funding cannot be guaranteed. In fact I would urge you to recall this Administration’s recently passed budget with concurrence of this current General Assembly cut traditional public school revenues by more than $36 million. Restoring that $36 million in cuts and adding even a small percentage of the proposed renovation costs would be much more beneficial and effective for Wilmington students if allocated to create smaller classroom ratios and hire reading and math specialists.

As I’ve looked at this reform proposal and its details and drawing upon my 11 years of experience as a legislator I am forced to conclude that this is a no-win situation for Christina, this Board and the children of Wilmington. Its predisposition to fail will be used to scapegoat the district and further stifle opportunities for Wilmington students and their families.

Finally I would suggest that this Board consider that traditional public school funding has received reduced funding since 2009 now totaling over $65 million per year. Ask the DOE and Governor:
Who is going to pay for the renovations?
Who is paying for longer school days and school years?
Who is paying for vacation academies?
Who is paying for after-school programs?

And why aren’t Reading Specialists and funding for them part of this plan?
Points of disagreement to Carney:
1) If CSD does not approve MOU, more money will be taken from the District further harming prospects of Wilmington students and families. (“If it rejects the plan and fails to come up with an acceptable alternative, the agreement would be terminated immediately, resulting in the loss of any additional financial support for the district”).
2) Bayard/Bancroft are not appropriate buildings for little children even if renovated. Bancroft too old to make usable with renovations.
3) Trauma Training not necessarily (research?) effective but investing/funding 1 to 15 class size ratios would effectively improve the learning environment and outcomes.
4) Palmer became the first equity lawsuit in Delaware when Christina District (at Lowery’s behest) tried to close it 10 years ago.
5) Leaves no “Neighborhood Schools” for city children and in fact may violate the “Neighborhood Schools Legislation”.
6) Bancroft is far away from Palmer and Southbridge children who now walk would be unable to continue that practice.
7) Distinguish more specifically between renovate, refurbish and reconfiguration.
8) Why don’t we do things like “successful” districts? The most successful programs such as in New York and Massachusetts fund “reading specialists” and lower class ratios.
9) When the plan refers to “potentially” establishing “early childhood education” and “centers for students and families learning English” at a vacated Palmer are the planners aware that there are no ESL students at Palmer?
10) Have you considered neighborhood “gangs” being integrated from across Wilmington into the same building?
11) The suggested “Co-leadership” model re principals and assistant principals belies the reality that these two jobs have never had the same duties and have always had designated responsibilities and functions.
12) “Loan forgiveness stipend” to young and “inexperienced” teachers does not reflect any benefit to already established teachers who have devoted their careers to inner-city education and “Who” is paying for these loans?
13) “Who” is paying for “longer school days/year”?
14) “Who is paying for “vacation academies”?
15) “Who is paying for “after-school programing”?
16) Why aren’t reading specialists part of this plan and therefore WHO IS PAYING FOR “READING SPECIALISTS” SO THAT CHILDREN ACTUALLY LEARN TO READ?

Gov Carney’s swipe at teachers go unanswered by DSEA.

Christina to Carney: Give us until 2019 to consolidate Wilmington schools , The News Journal

Last week, parents at a public meeting said they didn’t understand why the state would want to crowd some of the Delaware’s most troubled students into two buildings. At Tuesday’s night meeting, state Rep. John Kowalko, D-Newark, also expressed doubts, calling Carney’s plan for Christina a no-win situation for the school district, school board and Wilmington’s children.

The sums of the entire conversation! PARENTS HAVE SPOKEN !! F U John Carney !  

Carney has made it clear he is not in favor of needs-based funding like that outlined in the last bullet point, in part because it gives extra money to school districts serving at-risk kids without holding them accountable for how they use it. 

And by consolidating  at-risk student population compounds the difficult task of teachers. Data supports school with poverty levels 30% or more have a greater chance of failing.  Carney wants to hold teachers accountable but does nothing to hold parents accountable. Children fail because adults fails starting with parents. If there is to be a comprehensive accountability plan it should include parent accountability. 

I am surprise DSEA sits in the dark and no step-up  and call out Governor Carney’s Trojan Horse plan to unjustly hold teachers accountable for student achievement when the baseline funding of at-risk school is inadequate from day one.

Governor Carney tipped his cards! This plan is about finding ways to hold teachers accountable with consequences. At-risk schools k-12 needs more teachers and lower class-sizes across  the board! If Carney want to  re-engineer  Christina School District and not offer the same for all at-risk student across the state he is defacing civil rights for all students. Why is an at-risk student in Christina more important than at-risk students in Red Clay or Brandywine? Delaware has a problem serving at-risk student statewide and it needs to be addressed statewide! Fund all public schools and charter schools the same way votechs are funded! That’s a start!