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(Oh Hi! It this Senator Greg Lavelle’s office?)
Why, yes… why yes it is… It is Senator Greg Lavelle’s office…
(Great, for a second with all the dogs howling, I thought I’d gotten a wrong number. Anyways, can I speak to him?)
Well, he’s on the floor right now, giving a speech (they always say that even when they know he is in the bathroom), could I take a message for you?
(Sure, if that is easier, no problem. Do you need my name?)
Why yes, that would be so helpful… And if you could leave a return number, perhaps he might give you the opportunity to speak with him directly…
(Why yes! I’d like that… Ok, you ready? Got a pen?)
Why yes… I do… I actually got a Penn State…
Oh yes, it’s a pen with the Nittany Lion engraved on it.. That’s why instead of a pen, I said Penn State..
(OK, if you are ready… My name is Ima Gregs-Wurstknightmare.. I hyphenated it when I got married. I thought it was great back then, you know, liberating, but it gets tiring now. Wish I simplified it..)
Oh i love that name… It is sooo forceful… I like it a lot… Ok what do you wish to tell him…
(Tell the new Senator from the fourth district, that if he doesn’t vote to kill HB 165, I’ve got his whole district up here ready to recall him and vote Katz back in… )
Oh, I so hate that bill too. It’s a complete bunch of garbage. Who ever made it up needs to spend some time in an unlicensed, uninspected, and uncertified IRF outside Middletown after his constituents get their hands on him… What a complete waste of time HB 165 is… I’m sure Greg will tell his friend Charlie to shove it, and you certainly don’t have to worry about him being in support of HB 165.. you see, I bought Greg a new collar. He used to have a choker collar, and boy, would his throat hurt when Charlie yanked on it.. But now, it is just leather and exerts a gentle tug… I’m sure Greg won’t care about Charlie now; he’ll be glad to vote his conscience against that piece of garbage… He loves being a Senator so much; he thinks he’s the pope, you know…
(ok, so you are sure Greg will get the message? I don’t have to say it is segregationist? It is unfair to existing charters who have to compete against new ones now who unlike them, get capital funding? I don’t have to say that those students in rural schools will suffer twice as much? I don’t have to say this bill will make Wilmington’s school options separate and very unequal? I won’t have to say that this bill lowers all Delaware students test scores over the next 8 years?)
No, I got that… you already said what we needed to hear…
(And what was that?)
That if Greg Lavelle even thinks of voting in favor of HB 165, then next year he is going to be pummeled with that vote all the way up until Election Day. He is going to be known as the new KKK Grand Dragon, the Puppy Mill owner who sold Mike Vick his dogs, the Grinch who stole Christmas, the Peter Pettigrew who sold Delaware downriver, and that guy, what’s his name, right on the tip of my tongue… use to live on Elm Street, was in the movies a long time ago… Oh gosh, can’t remember him...
(Wow, you hear very well)
Oh we’re used to it. Seems like no one is happy with his votes anymore… Thank you for calling. We’ll be sure to tell him you called to tell him to vote against HB 165…
(Well, thank you for listening so closely. Look forward to the final resort… Good bye! ((click))(click)(click)(click)(click)…
For those in other districts, this is for you… Find your Senator here…
And then once you know his name, go here, and click on his email and you will be directed to his website which has the phone number. If you want to use the email instead, go ahead…
This is in spot 6 tomorrow on the Senate Side. This is the famous bill were the Board did not approve the Governor’s recommendation, and he replaced them, getting the vote he needed.
This bill is solely to allow an Alabama firm to come into Delaware and perform health care and be the exception that never gets licensed, never gets inspected, and never gets a citation. If this wasn’t America, and the building wasn’t in Middletown just under the flight path of Summit Airport, with the tiniest bit of imagination, this could be a concentration camp and we’d never know. A place to take kidnapped school board officials, kidnapped in the dead of night, feed them truth serum then throw their bodies into the Appoquinimink marsh.
it is extremely bizarre, really. The company is legit in Alabama, they own rehabilitation homes down there, but if this were new with no track record, I would almost think it were to become the top secret detention center. Now I’m joking for those who can’t tell the difference, but that joke is brought on by these lines in the bill. … HB 89.
(4) “Health care facility” shall include hospital, nursing home, freestanding birthing center, freestanding surgical center and freestanding emergency center, whether or not licensed or required to be licensed by the State, whether operated for profit or nonprofit and whether privately owned or operated or owned or operated by a unit of State or local government. The term also includes continual care communities and any other nontraditional, long-term care facilities identified by the Department of Health and Social Services or the Delaware Health Care Commission. …………. The term also shall not include any freestanding inpatient rehabilitation hospital.
What? WHat! WHAT?
If this bill passes a freestanding inpatient hospital is not a medical facility…
If it is not a hospital, then what is it…. (here is the fun part…)
c. “Freestanding inpatient rehabilitation hospital” shall mean a facility that satisfies, or is expected by the person who will construct, develop or establish the facility to satisfy, the requirements of 42 C.F.R. § 412.23(b); provided that, if such facility is not paid under the prospective payment system specified in 42 C.F.R. § 412.1(a)(3) within 24 months after accepting its first patient, then it shall not be considered a freestanding inpatient rehabilitation hospital under this section. No freestanding inpatient rehabilitation hospital is subject to the Certificate of Review process, and thus no such hospital shall have any license or authority to operate denied, revoked or restricted on the grounds that a Certificate of Public Review has not been obtained.
This bill allows the Alabama firm to build a facility with no inspections, and if found they are killing patients to feed to other patients, their authority to operate still cannot be denied, revoked or restricted….
Is this wise?
Delaware is being held hostage. The firm is stating that they won’t come unless they can get no inspections and no state agency can shut them down. Quentin Johnson and Jack Markell want the business so much, they are catering to this one companies demands.
Meanwhile all other IRF’s get inspected, injected, detected, neglected, and all kinds of stuff that they gotta do….
Buried in HB 165 is this line.
(l) Charter schools shall have the same access to conduit bond financing as any other non-profit organization, and no State or local government unit may impose any condition or restriction on a charter school’s approval solely because the applicant is a public charter school. It is the further intent that a charter school shall apply for conduit funding to issuers within the State of Delaware unless more favorable terms may be found elsewhere.
This means that local Board of Educations have no say if a charter school can come in and disrupt their district. No say at all,
The also means that a large megalithic charter school corporation, can get free funding courtesy of taxpayers to build a new school, just as a public school district would get free funding to build a new school. As mentioned earlier, this is just like the Wal*mart Corporation asking that the state to finance their new store, so they can move into a local territory and begin wiping out all other local businesses…
Very little attention has been focused on how this affects other charters. The above reference to Wal*mart should make it startling clear.
If you are an existing charter school, perhaps associated with a church or non profit, you are probably making payments every month, on the start-up loans you required to begin.. (These loan payments are not on the charter schools government checkbook because they are paid by private entities.) You are probably doing the best you can with your limited resources. You have big plans of what you wish to accomplish when the loan is paid, and you again have that payment amount available to reinvest into your school. Big plans.
Now with only a year left on your loan, a large charter conglomerate moves into your district and sets up 4 Charters. It pays no start up costs because they are funded by HB 165. The minute it opens, or September 1st, it has unlimited resources to compete against you. It can offer football. You can’t. It can offer a chess club, you can’t.. You lose a student or two to this new opportunity, and suddenly you are down $20,000 a year and must cut back. Of course cutting back creates more opportunity for the megalithic charter corporation to steal more students away from you.
We often talk of charter versus public. We’ve never even once talked about new charter schools wiping out existing charter schools. It would be one thing if the new charter conglomerate were to do so, with the expense of loan repayments at least evening out the playing field for the small school competing with it. But to give the big megalithic charter a free building, free start up costs, all out of taxpayers dollars when there are banks lined up to loan money,… is simply unfair.
The referee (Markell, Rodel, DOE, charter lobbyists, Jacques) in the match, is blowing the whistle for only one side…
This though unfair, happens a lot in government. Quite often laws are put in place by who you know, and how much you get for your vote. The only way justice gets done, is when those with a backbone of courage, step up and say “no”…
9 did in the House and 31 didn’t. But we know far less about the damage this bill would do then, than we do now.
It is a terrible state of affairs when a legislator will give a corporate megalith the unfair advantage over a religious or non-profit organization. It is sickening … really.
In today’s New York Times some of the big questions get answered.. Who is looking at all that data? It’s not the government as we were led to believe…
“I’m very concerned that we have government contractors doing what are essentially governmental jobs,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said last week.
“Maybe we should bring some of that more in-house,” the House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, mused.
It’s a little late for that. Seventy percent of America’s intelligence budget now flows to private contractors. Going by this year’s estimated budget of about $80 billion, that makes private intelligence a $56 billion-a-year industry.
For decades, the N.S.A. relied on its own computer scientists, cryptographers and mathematicians to tap, decode and analyze communications .. Then came Al Gore’s internet. The NSA could not keep up. In 2000, James R. Clapper Jr., now the director of national intelligence, decided to shift away from its in-house development strategy and outsource on a huge scale.
It does. Here’s why. First, it is dangerous to have half a million people — the number of private contractors holding top-secret security clearances — peering into the lives of their fellow citizens. Contractors aren’t part of the chain of command at the N.S.A. or other agencies and aren’t subject to Congressional oversight. Officially, their only loyalty is to their company and its shareholders.
With billions of dollars of government money sloshing around, and with contractors providing advice on how to spend it, conflicts of interest and corruption are inevitable…
Third, we’ve allowed contractors to conduct our most secret and sensitive operations with virtually no oversight. This is true not only at the N.S.A. Contractors now work alongside the C.I.A. in covert operations (two of the Americans killed in Benghazi were C.I.A. contractors; we still don’t know who their employer was). Contractors were involved in secret and highly sensitive operations that by law are reserved for government operatives.
Whereas you privacy was originally thought between you and the government which was scary in itself… now we understand it was between you, your government and 500,000 private citizens just trying to make a buck anyway they can… Checked your bank balances lately?
(We told you to vote NO for the Patriot Act and its subsequent renewals… What were you all thinking?)
Charter Schools have been around for 19 years. In Delaware there are currently 18. Over those past 19 years there have been twice more charter schools who’s applications did not make it. There was one which did make it but was so bad it got closed down this year. There is another all think should close, but as of right now, it still remains open.
When people say Charter Schools are great, they have one particular charter school in mind. Those good schools have few minorities; those good schools have few people below the poverty line. There is a reason they do. They are not just “lucky” They get to chose who comes and who can’t. If public schools could do the same, there would be no problem with education as we speak.
So what happens when you have all one’s good schools able to pick and choose who gets to enter, and another set of schools who by law, must take all the rest? What happens to that very bright precocious young child living in East Side, Hilltop, West Side, or South Bridge, who, through no fault of his own, has to go to public school because the waiting lists have far too many affluent people on them?
That is why HB 165 must be tabled. This is a pro-segregation bill. Building a school is expensive. That is why today there aren’t more charters. HB 165 will give state funding to private investors to build private schools. Not non-profit schools, but for-profit schools as well.
Although Charter schools have a right to exist under current law, to fund them at the expense of existing public schools hurts only those students who can’t make the cut into Charters. School funding to School Districts under Markell has decreased each year during his tenure.
Historically our most challenging students, the very ones who most need extra funding, are being cut off by the current Department of Education. What we have right now is so much better than the environment we shall suffer after HB 165 passes.
To date, this is the biggest segregationist bill passed by the Delaware’s House of Delegates since the Civil Rights Act was implemented in 1965. It is now before the Senate. It has hundreds of lobbyists pouring into legislative hall to pull for it and it will pass, unless you choose to do something about it. Only you can stop it now. Martin Luther King didn’t die in vain. The time to act is now, before this Wednesday.
I hereby give the News Journal Permission to copy and paste this on their front page, just as they did the talking points handed down from the administration. My screed will get far more readers attention, and make far more sense.
Kilroy brings up a very interesting point. One hears nothing about Charters for a whole year, then, as if on cue, The News Journal publishes 5 op ed pieces supporting a single piece of charter legislation. However this time, we know they also have in their mailbox (if not immediately deleted) a large number of letters very critical of charters. They have been sent to them for a long, long time. One does not see these very effective criticisms of the Charter School operations.. One does see patsy, smootchy, fluff, with no more substance than a high school cheer… “Yeah Charters, Yeah Charters, Go, Go, Go!”
Is this an attempt to mold public opinion? Absolutely.
Is this being done on purpose? Absolutely.
Just wanted to bring it up in case you were not aware of it? have you written your 200 word letter to the News Journal? If so, let us know what happened to yours?
There is one piece all these Charter Op_Ed pieces fail to tell you. If you go across the best rated educational districts in America, the best never allowed in Charters. Just that alone is saying something….
Charter Schools are Education’s heroin.
Please note. At the beginning of this legislative session, Jack Markell kept all the tax increases in, except one, for those making over $60,000. There was a lot of talk about the need for a higher bracket, talk that perhaps in Delaware it should start at $1 million. It could then be accurately called a millionaires tax. Delaware’s Gatsby Tax has a nice ring to it….
This year, their rate was shifted from 6.95% down to 6.75%, then in future years it drops to 5.95%. Per every $100 million assessed in income, that is a loss of $1 million dollars coming in. Based on Budget estimates this tax cut will cost Delaware $68 million a year… This all happened at the beginning of the session.
Now with 6 days left in this year’s session, today, we get the announcement that we need $80 million dollars in new taxes.
Gov. Jack Markell has offered (mighty nice of him) legislators a selection of more than $80 million in tax and fee increases to spend on roads, beaches, parks and waterways, but already legislators are rejecting some of the ideas. Markell included a 5-cent increase in the gasoline tax…
Other ideas including upping document fees charged when Delawareans purchase a car (aka a sales tax on new car purchases), expanding the hotel accommodation tax so it applies to beach rental properties, and increasing vehicle registration fees and highway tolls. Excerpt from News Journal (why bother linking to it; most of you don’t subscribe anyways). See Real News at Delaware Liberal.
This had to be planned all along! Cut the tax on the wealthy at the top, wait for the last minute, then call an emergency and slap regular people with $80 million dollars worth of fees… just averaged out to every Delawarean,(including every child so per family it is much higher) that is an increase of $80 dollars spread out over the year… If your take home pay was say, $30,000, it will now effectively be $29,920…
You are losing $80… Why? Because the General Assembly was USED. Tricked by a switcheroo….
Here is what should happen. The Democratic Majority in anger against being made into a fool by their governor of the same party, should ramrod over the dead bodies of Republicans, a 10% marginal tax rate on all those making over $1 million a year! And put it defiantly right on Markell’s desk to sign, (thereby almost guaranteeing everyone of them re-election into the next session. Woo Hoo)
Markell will either have to sign, put the state in arrears, or back down and compromise.
That is how you teach a trickster a lesson.
Every bill in the General Assembly involving money must have a fiscal note attached describing its cost. Since these never make it into political fodder, this is where things better of hidden, are voted on unseen… One can learn a lot by looking at the fiscal bills…
147th GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Bill: HOUSE BILL NO. 165
sponsor: Representative Jaques
DESCRIPTION: AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EDUCATION AND CHARTER SCHOOLS.
1. This Act is effective July 1, 2013.
2. This Act will fund minor capital improvements at the same level as Vocational Technical School Districts whereby the state will provide 100 percent of funding for minor capital improvements versus the current formula of 60 percent of funding.
3. The proposed level of funding for minor capital improvements for charter schools included in the Fiscal Year 2014 Governor’s Recommended Capital Budget updated for current school year enrollment is $528,597. This amount represents 60 percent of funding for minor capital improvements. This Act will increase the proposed level of funding to $880,454, an impact of $351,857 as it represents 100 percent of funding for charter school minor capital improvements. These estimates do not include Pencader Charter School as it is scheduled to close at the end of the current school year.
4. This Act also establishes a Charter School Performance Fund that is subject to an appropriation and shall not exceed $5.0 million annually. The Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Act, as written by the Joint Finance Committee, includes an appropriation of $2.0 million for the Charter School Performance Fund pending the passage of this Act.
5. The Charter School Performance Fund is to be administered by the Department of Education through an application process focusing on an applicant’s performance, supplemental non-state sources of funding, plans for start-up or expansion, and service to high-need students, as defined by the Department of Education.
Fiscal Year 2014: $351,857 for minor capital improvements
Indeterminable for the Charter School Performance Fund as it is subject to available appropriation ($2.0 million is included in the FY 2014 Budget)
Fiscal Year 2015: $351,857 for minor capital improvements
Indeterminable for the Charter School Performance Fund as it is subject to available appropriation.
Fiscal Year 2016: $351,857 for minor capital improvements
Indeterminable for the Charter School Performance Fund as it is subject to available appropriation.
Office of Controller General (Amounts are shown in whole dollars)
June 03, 2013
Fiscal Conservatives should be up in arms because the if this bill passes, the amounts for The Charter Performance fund are undetermined as of yet. It will bust the budget by $3 million dollars! THAT’S THREE TIMES MORE THAN THE PORT OF WILMINGTON IS PUTTING US IN THE RED EACH YEAR !!!!!!!!!!!
The sky IS falling.
In a new parlor game, reminiscent of one played in Uncle Scrooge’s nephew’s house on Christmas Day present, the question was:… what is the biggest difference between the Head of Delaware’s Senate, and the Head of Delaware’s House?
………………………. Finally after multiple answers, all correct but deemed wrong, we get the answer.
One licks the governor’s butt on rare occasion; the other licks it all session long.
That was too poetic not to pass on.
If you knew the Titanic woOr would you leave it alone? If you knew a carrier task force full of Japanese airplanes was launching into the wind 200 miles northwest of Oahu, would you radio someone?
Based on the enormous consequences, your choice if you were in those two situations would forever define who you were..
Today a bad bill goes before the House. It barely escaped out of committee, and leadership is trying to out-pace the opposition by having it sneaked in for a quick voice vote tomorrow. ”The ayes have it”..
The opposition to it, is you and me and everyone else who has ever read or looked into the bill. It is a race against time. One side wants to hide all information of what this bill entails; the other side wants everyone to know just how bad it is.
It is HB 165… In essence, the bill takes money from public schools which are doing well, and gives it to Charter Schools which are doing poorly. Based on test scores, per income level the charter schools teach worse than do public schools, when comparing apples to apples, and oranges to oranges. Yet, this bill wants to take your money away from your districts feeder patterned public school, and put it into one of the Governor’s friends pockets as profit, who just happens to run a Charter.
It gets worse. Charter schools are profit cash cows. But investors think they aren’t getting rich fast enough. So this bill will use state funding to build their schools, run their schools, feed their children, while they get to skim not just part, but all the money off the top.
It is immoral and outrageous. There are only 9 more days in legislative session. This bill needs to die tomorrow afternoon, so the real business of running this state can be dealt with quickly.