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Obviously we are talking about Bond, as in the Bond bill, and you can probably guess, this will focus upon the educational aspect.

Start with this…

Pupil Accounting $1,073,500 versus Teacher Accountability $2,400,000.  Pupils are  half as important as making teachers sweat.

DCAS  $6,050,100  Always wondered how much those tests were costing us…

Parents as Teachers… $1,121,600

World Language Expansion (teaching Mandarin) $1,938,900…

“Salary schedules and staffing formulas contained in 14 Del. C. c. 13, shall be
revised; remain as specified in this subsection and be effective as of July 1, 2012-2013. “

“The base salary amount for this section, from July 1, 2012/2013 through June 22, 2013/2014, shall be $27,781. The Bachelor’s Degree, 0-year experience point on the index is defined as the base”

(95-01-00) Secretary of Education $160,145

(95-01-00) Deputy Secretary of Education $131,093

(10-01-01) Governor $171,000

(15-01-01) Attorney General $145,207  (chopped liver)

(12-01-01) Lieutenant Governor $78,553 (cat food)

“Section 18.In accordance with the provisions of 29 Del. C. § 5106, effective for all fiscal years commencing after June 30, 2003, exceptions to the standard practice of paycheck deductions shall be made for employees paying dues to the Delaware State Education Association (DSEA). For all All employees designating that DSEA membership dues be deducted from their bi-weekly paycheck shall  have those dues deducted from the 22 pay periods occurring within the 10 month school year. This change will facilitate the maintenance of the state payroll system as well as establish a consistent process  for managing the collection of dues from members of the Delaware State Education Association. “

Section 278. Section 1 of this Act makes several appropriations to the Department of Education (95-01-01) for Educator Certification and Development activities, Student Standards and Assessment,   Infrastructure Capacity and Educator Accountability.The Secretary of Education, upon approval of the Office of Management and Budget and the Controller General, may use said appropriations for departmental initiatives and technology infrastructure to implement provisions of the Race to the Top application.

Section 281. Notwithstanding any law or regulation to the contrary, all consequences related to the Statewide Assessment System for individual students including summer school, Individual Improvement Plans, retention, assessment retakes, retests at high school grades and the related student consequences shall be eliminated until such time that the Statewide Assessment System is fully implemented, as determined by the Secretary of Education, for all Delaware students.

Section 294 .For the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2012/2013, any local school district that has had two consecutive failed current expense tax referendums during the time period July 1, 2010/2011 to January 1, 2013/2014, is authorized to exercise the cash option on Academic Excellence units up to the total number of units provided under that program. This provision will apply for Fiscal Year 2013/2014 only. In addition, districts meeting this criterion are authorized to utilize funds derived from this cash option to pay local salary supplements. Any district that has had a successful current expense tax referendum subsequent to two consecutive failed current expense tax referendums is ineligible for the provisions of this section. Section 312.Notwithstanding the provisions of any state law to the contrary, the Red Clay Consolidated School District is authorized to utilize state transportation dollars to fund students traveling from routes to and from the Cab Calloway School of the Arts and Conrad Schools of Science and the Indian River School District is authorized to utilize state transportation dollars to fund students traveling from routes to and from the Southern Delaware School of the Arts.

Section 315.The provisions of this Act to the contrary notwithstanding, consistent with the provisions of 14 Del. C. § 509(b), charter schools eligible to receive allocations from the Professional Accountability and Instructional Advancement fund, Academic Excellence and Minor Capital Improvements program will not be required to submit an application to the Department of Education. Any funds received as a result of the allocation of these programs may be used for current operations, Minor Capital Improvements or tuition payments.

Section 316. Notwithstanding 14 Del. C. § 508 or any regulation to the contrary, a charter school may negotiate a contract (multi-year, if desired) for contractor payment for school transportation up to the maximum rate specified which is currently 70 percent of the average cost per student of  transportation within the vocational district in which the charter school is located or the charter school may publicly bid the transportation routes. If the actual negotiated or bid costs are lower than the maximum rate specified above, the charter school may keep the difference. If the charter school  includes a fuel adjustment contract provision, the charter school shall be responsible for increased payments to the contractor or it may keep funds taken back from the contractor.

Section 319. The Brandywine School District Board shall maintain as a standalone program its Gifted and Talented Program (also known as the Odyssey Program, formally known as the Brandywine Academically Gifted Program) at least through the end of the 2013-2014 school year. The program shall be fully maintained at Mount Pleasant Elementary School, the Claymont Elementary School and the P.S. DuPont Middle School. During this time, the District shall fully support the Odyssey Program in terms of outreach, recruitment, assessment of students for entry into the program, curriculum development, teacher assignment and other support elements as currently exist.

Section 322.  A school district operating a tuition eligible program or school special school or program or with tuition eligible students may not reallocate state units earned for the special school or program in these cases, if such reallocation requires an increase in the tuition tax rate or tuition billing amount. If a reallocation of state units earned will not require such an increase, districts may reallocate positions as necessary to ensure the most efficient delivery of services, except for those instances currently prohibited by Delaware Code.

Section 331.To ensure that districts and charter schools are implementing the needs based funding system appropriately, the Department of Education shall, in cooperation with the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens, create a Certification of Earned Staff Units protocol. The results of all monitoring shall be reported atleast annually on the department’s website.

Section 332.  The provisions of 14 Del. C. § 154 and § 155, and any implementing regulations  in DE Admin Code  that the Delaware Department of Education determines to be inconsistent with  the Department’s ESEA Flexibility Request as approved by the U.S. Department of Education shall not  be applicable to Delaware Public Schools and School Districts during the flexibility waiver period, and the Department is authorized to promulgate interim regulations consistent with said application and approval which shall be effective during the flexibility waiver period.  (Potter just took over the School Boards)…

(ok, I know it’s not the “Bond” bill, but that was just too good of a title to pass up… )  So, are you “shaken up” yet? Or just moderately stirred?

it is probably time to discuss this.

For years we have quietly known and accepted the negatives of having an NSA. Things like we need it for our protection, or it makes things safer, tended to overide our fears that they know too much already, and I can’t do anything in private anymore…

We accepted that as progress.

However, when you have an organization so secret, that members of Congress are shocked to find out what it is doing, that no one knows who is authorizing who gets spied upon and what, that when brought before the courts for overstepping the Constitution, it can’t be prosecuted because a) it operates under “secret” laws, b) with “secret operations”, c) authorized by “secret courts” …. it is time to shut the entire operation down.

Why do we have the NSA when we have the CIA and the FBI. The FBI covers domestic spying. The CIA covers international spying. So, unless we find out that there are aliens and the NSA is really running the world while we think otherwise, then it probably ought to go.

I find it interesting that those on the far right, and those on the far left are the most outraged by this disclosure. We’ve been stating that news on this blog after the story was broken back in 2007-8 and not one press person cared. I supposed the AP Story opened their eyes this time. Struggling to put a finger on why, I came up with the theory primarily by looking at Congress, that it is the libertarians on left and right who are against, and the conformist, primarily in the center who are acceptive. So this gives us a split where the bottom third and the top third of the political body are opposed to the middle third… If you look at Congress that is exactly how it splits up. Moderates are pro domestic spying, the libertarians are not.

Probably similar is the theory that those beholden to corporate interests are pro-spying, after all, that is normal in the corporate environment; interoffice spying is not limited by any judicial system because it is deemed to be private. Those aghast, tend to fight corporate intrusion from their original political perspective, either left of right.

What the NSA does, watch everything to discern what is happening to increase its chances of survival, is not new. Intelligence has been the secret success of many an empire. Knowing what someone will do before they do it, is pretty comfortable in a world where in a day, we probably pass within 10 feet of 10,000 people (that includes inside our vehicles).

That is what all governments with the capacity, do. The biggest argument against it, is that it is un-American. Sure we have the “ability” to do it, but do we have the restraint, not to…

America has always been ruled by restraint. When Washington was entreated to be the King, he restrained and said no. When the heads of Europe all bet that Washington would invent a method to stay in power, he restrained, and government turned over peacefully. When the US was left in charge of a broken Europe, it put it back together and went home. The only country to invade another and give it back willingly to its original owners.

We had a scare in Boston a while back. Did the NSA protect us then? It’s a secret, no one knows. In Newtown 26 bodies littered the floor of an elementary school. Did the NSA protect us then? When a gunman burst into Aurora firing into the audience, did the NSA protect us then? When Gabby Gifford took a bullet, where was the NSA? Did the NSA protect us then?

That is the point. We are always in danger. But our personal lives are more at risk if our private information should fall into a competitors hands, than being victim of a terrorist. In Boston just 2 people died. In Newton 26. But each and every one of us, is at risk that selective information from ones past, can be used in secret to smear each and every one of us, should it fall into the wrong hands.

What would happen if we shut the entire agency known as the NSA down? A big nothing. They overstepped. It is not knee-jerking anger to respond “Shut them down right now!” It it calm, cool reasoning tipping the balance, that points out simply that is the right way to go.

Just read that the NSA is pressing for a Justice Dept. probe to find out who leaked the PRISM plan to the Guardian…   I’m slightly befuddled.  Why don’t they just look in their files?  They have the records.

Breaking.  and this is an ongoing story that reminds me so much of the Russian coup against Gorbachev that looked so frightening at first, then the coup leaders were all found locked in a room, half naked, drunk off their asses.  What bumblers…

We had three scandals in three days…

  • Benghazi.
  • AP Reporters getting wiretapped.
  • IRS searching up Tea Partiers…

Turns out none are scandals.

A)  Obama and Hillary are absolved from the Benghazi episode.  The ABC email that started it all, was doctored. The whole thing was built off a piece of misinformation.

B)  The AP Reporters?  A very serious leak compromising considerable resources needed to be tracked down.   The  House Bill which would have made listening to journalist illegal was voted against by none other than Darral Issa..  Only 20 others were extremely discombobulated enough to do so.  Though is passed overwhelmingly over Issa’s objection,  a Republican filibuster killed it in the Senate.  Obama then a Senator, had committed to voting for it.  “Republicans killed it” quoted Patrick Leahy, forever known for his episode in Dark Knight.

C)  IRS searching up Tea Partiers.  The IRS is a non partisan machine and is in a complete disconnect with any administration.  The head of the IRS during this time-frame was a Bush appointee.  The head of the division what oversees these tax exempt organizations, was appointed by Bush and approved by the Republican Senate in 2005…  Why either of these would target the Tea Party for political means is unfathomable.   But to do so because these organizations being investigated were formed to promote the NOT PAYING OF TAXES….. well, wouldn’t you do the same?

All three cases were complete duds. There was no “there”, there.  All the prophecies of you had better watch out, …were premature.

The big question is… why are we even talking about this?  Can you say poll results?

  • December 12, 2012: Kentucky: Hillary Clinton would beat Paul, Rubio in 2016
  • January 10, 2013: Clinton could be unstoppable if she runs in 2016
  • January 17, 2013: Clinton could beat Bush and Rubio in Florida in 2016
  • January 31, 2013: Clinton could win Texas in 2016
  • February 8, 2013: Clinton potentially competitive in Alaska
  • February 14, 2013: Clinton tied or ahead against GOP candidates in Louisiana
  • February 28, 2013: Clinton would beat Walker, Ryan in Wisconsin in 2016
  • March 21, 2013: Clinton’s popularity soars in Florida while Rubio stumbles
  • April 11, 2013: Clinton and Paul are neck and neck in Kentucky
  • April 25, 2013: Clinton would be dominant in New Hampshire in 2016
  • May 8, 2013: Republicans decide it’s time to find out just how responsible Hillary Clinton is for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi

Can you say …. “getting trounced in Red States”?

I was just challenged by the owner of a gun blog to illustrate how well gun control works.

Challenge Accepted.

US = no gun control ==  14078 gun homicides==0.00446% of the population==. 4.69 per 100000

Somalia = no gun control== 138 gun homicides==0.0000138% of the population==1.38 per 100,000

Yeman = no gun control== 990 homicides (by any means)==0.0000413% = 4.304 per 100,000 (this total includes deaths by swords, stonings, long curved knives and guns).

==============

Japan = good gun control == 11 gun homicides== 0.00000866% of population == 0 per 100,000

S. Korea = good gun control ==14 gun homicides == 0.0000290% of population == 0 per 100,000

Spain = good gun control == 67 gun homicides == 0.0000565% of population == 0 per 100,000

Finally, Australia. a single country on both sides of the spectrum! One that had no gun control, then passed legislation which controlled guns. In similar terms out of 100,000, it went  from a high ratio of 4.71 to 1.06….  Gun control where you make it illegal to own a military grade weapon works deliciously well…

Now, Mike W.  Prove how homicides go down when you give everyone a gun … Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha…

The stupid NRA has their head wedged so far up their butt, I bet it hurts bad when they try to sit down…

Although it was not as they envisioned.  The gun was brought inside a backpack of a middle school aged child.  Relax, no one died.  He was a good kid and never had any intention of using it.   Just thought it was super cool and wanted to show it off  along with the ammo to his friends… (He didn’t even know it was a real gun.)

The 13 year old as of Friday was being held in the New Castle County Juvenile Detention Center on $39,000 secured bail. And the courts will determine the severity of his penalty.

Of course parents are concerned.  In typical parental fashion they said…. “we need metal detectors at every school.  .

So, let us work through that premise.   Start with how can that be done?   Electronic metal detectors are expensive, and we have a lot of schools.   Currently the Department of Educations website is listing 213 schools... Now for economic reasons, we would at first need only one security site or pass-through site per building, through which everyone enters, and everyone leaves… Once the initial investment is paid for, then incremental units at other entrances and exits can be later added.

So the number is 213 security machines… Here at  Detectronix we have an assortment of walk through metal detectors.  Since most of our state’s students are familiar with jails from visiting family members, perhaps the one that is most secure for our schools would the same brand use for jails, sensitive enough to detect a loaded revolve inserted up the anus or vagina.  That costs  $4199.  However, recognizing a future need after the December 14th Newtown shootings, Detectronix has made a commitment to mass produce a cheaper version which will pick up a hand gun and pinpoint it to a general area of the body.  That reduced rate is $2499.  This cheaper version is more than adequate to isolate incoming weapons, in all but the most sophisticated ploys.   Considering the savings, it is the one I would recommend, the  Detectronix 6-Zone Walk Through Metal Detector  …

Total state cost for walk-through metal detectors? Pretty cheap, just a half a million or exactly $532,500… ($894387 would be the more expensive choice)  This does not include the fee charged for the entity that places the phone call, at 10% that would be another $53,250 dollars….

A electroinic security system needs to be manned to be effective. Otherwise it could beep on every student passing through with no accountability.  One must assume the station should be manned all day.  Even though nothing much happens at any schools entrance after the opening bell, still, if one were intent on bringing a gun to school for say, the purpose of revenge. he would obviously time his arrival at some point after he knew the metal detector was shut down.  So personnel must be stationed until close.

The average school day is 7 hours…  Multiplied by 5 days per week and it is a thirty five hour job,  add half an hour  every day to set up and tear down, and it becomes a full time position.  At salary it averages $39,000 per year. Add the FICA and supplementary benefits costs, the total package runs to: $40,677 per school….  If contracted out to a guard service, the average rate if including fees and contract costs, averages close to $50 per hour used. The contracts per year would range around $78,000 per school… but at the benefit that all liability falls upon the service and not the educational department of the state of Delaware.

So for manning these position, Delaware has two options, government versus private, and as it always works out in everything in life,  government is the cheaper.  $8,664,201  versus $16,614,000

So for a minimum of $8,664,201 a year in personnel costs plus the $532,500 in buying and installing the metal detectors, the first year estimate for that should be close to $9.200,000 dollars with $8,664,201 being spent every year thereafter.

If this is levied to property owners, the average property owner will be charged, of course assuming that Senior Citizens don’t get out of the fee for policies they support,  the fee is $0.0001 per square foot or one/hundredith of a penny per square foot. {$8,664,201/(2490 X 27,878,400)}  If one exempts state land, or makes other exemptions, that cost will rise per private property owner as is to be expected. …

Or if one wishes to allocate that cost per resident, then the assessment rounds up to {$8,664,201 / 917,000} = $9.44 per inhabitant.   That is the price of security. A family of 4 should be willing to ante up $37.79 dollars for keeping children safe…

But, the argument gets quickly raised, as it does with money, … shouldn’t those responsible for creating the problem be the ones to pay for its solution?  Those would be owner of guns. We can’t publish the amounts for confidentiality reasons.  But the gross sales of Miller’s Gunshop alone as reported this quarter  to the Delaware Dept of Revenue, argues that a fair assessment on all gun and ammunition sales at at sales tax rate of 10% would be more than adequate to cover implementing the security of all of Delaware’s schools.

The $8 million a year should not out of a child’s education.  It should come from those those actions are the direct creation of the problem in the first place.

So lets securitize our schools, and make the NRA and all gun owners pay for it… Fair is simply fair.  If we had a registry of all weapons in this country, we wouldn’t be having this problem.  As history will one day determine, the fault lies with no one but the NRA that this common sense legislation was never implemented ….. 

President Obama Is A Gun Investors Best FriendPresident Obama Is A Gun Investors Best Friend
Courtesy of Obamarmy

The future looks dark ….(man I tried, but there was just no way I could let that thought go without saying that, lol)…..

Honey! That Black Man's Gonna Win Again.  Better Buy An AR 15
Courtesy of Obamarmy

Just the amount of the increase in gun sales since we got ourselves the best President ever, is more than all the guns sold during the Bush Administration….

If you currently have investments in American (or foreign) gun manufactures, time go get out is now. With such a glut on the market, who is going to buy a new household gun anytime after 2016 when the president is again white? You’ll be able to get them for free on Craigslist….

And, on a completely unrelated topic, with all those guns now out there, without establishing a registry how on earth are we going to keep from having a gigantic bloodbath at some future point? Just imagine if we didn’t have any laws, registration, or insurance pertaining to cars, what a mess we’d have now?

Gun Registry is common sense and one day will be put into action. It is similar to all the great things this nation has done, like freeing the slaves, banning desegregation, breaking apart monopolies, banning tobacco inside of buildings; it is just one of those common sense things that will eventually rise through the filters and become the law of the land.

Without the NRA being so stupid, I don’t think I’d have ever come to that conclusion independently…. So maybe it is a good thing they are daft with brains as smart as pigeons placed inside of boxes…..

As reported in the Washington Post…

Finally discovered, the Tsarnaevs led police on a chase through residential streets, hurling grenades and makeshift bombs as they drove. When cornered, they battled police with guns and more homemade explosives, wounding a transit officer and trading more than 200 rounds until the officers ran out of ammunition.

If they only had to reload at shot number 15…

And, wtf?  Officers ran out of ammunition?  This is how the NRA is ruining America.  Give Criminals more rights than have the police…   (That and shooting defenseless pigeons in boxes…. )

Delaware’s Head of the Department of Education has 3 years teaching experience. That should be no surprise to you.  It is relatively old news.

Based on our state’s success, New York City is trying the same approach.  In charge of all New York City’s Public Schools, overseeing 135,000 public employees, is now a fresh faced  27 year old hired as a “special assistant” in 2010.

In less than 30 months his salary will rise from $75,000 to over $200,000….

He is a 2007 graduate from Ryder. He worked with several charter schools in New York City before earning a master’s degree in public policy and administration from Columbia in 2010…

He is a member of the reform group “Education Pioneers”  Education Pioneers aims to transform education into the best led and managed sector in the U.S. economy…Education Pioneers plans to recruit 10,000 leaders and managers by 2023, and connect the leaders in our network with high-impact leadership roles in key organizations across the education sector.

Translated:  their job is to bust unions.

One can’t help but notice that these two leaders of two respective departments of education share in age, a similarity with Kim Jong-un, leader of North Korea..

One cannot see either of them working well.

Although the year is barely out, we do have our first nomination for the spot to be announced in December 2013.  With the Kinder Morgan Deal now on hold semi-permanently, even they are pointing to our hero of the year as the man most responsible for allowing the port to remain state owned….

I can say it was Julius Cephas who was behind almost every move to combat the loss of good jobs at our port.  He is being pointed out as the villain by the capitalists at Kinder Morgan.  In Delaware’s eyes, that elevates his hero’s stature even more…

In truth, he is no villain and knowing him, he will probably shun the acclimations being made by us common folk as being our hero.  In his eyes, he was just doing what needed to be done because no one else was there at that very moment to do it, and as that task swelled, it took a lot out of him….

Capitalists always need a villian.  But it was the “truth” which actually is what killed this deal.  Kinder Morgan WAS going to cut back on jobs, and their change of heart and blaming Julius instead of others, points exactly to the core of their problem with our port… …

People in Texas, do not understand unions.  They simply can’t fathom or understand how there can be an actual law that lets people strike and shut you down, whenever you try to pay them less..  In their eyes, you work for what they want to give you and if it is too little, ..humph.  go elsewhere….

The second culprit (after the “truth”),  was our office of economic development.  We gave Kinder Morgan too many “eager” signals that set us up as being seen as an easy pick.  They truly thought they could waltz in, pick up a top notch East Coast Port for a song, and we would eagerly give it up…  Again, that was because everything was done in secret.  Had a meeting been forthcoming in the very beginning,  Kinder Morgan might have moved on earlier when it became readily apparent, that southern Texas practices do not bode well in the Northeast…

Of course, being a corporation, they will blame the whistle blower.  (Ironic since the whistle blower of Enron works for them)..   Of course.  It is not like they find anything immoral in taking a state asset for a song, in firing those skilled dock workers, and replace them with some Spanish speaking Texans who never even heard of a union….

And Julius did blow that whistle. .  Like Rose on the Titanic, he took the whistle off of Jack (pun intended), and blew softly at first, then harder, and harder.   Gradually the sound registered on others ears….

Without Julius, Bob Marshall would not have pushed through Senate Bill 3.  Without Julius, most of the links showing up in everyone’s blog, would have not been found.  Without Julius, the case for protecting workers would not have even made the rounds of the Norman Oliver show….

There were many helpers. Bob Marshall, Nancy Willing, Norman Oliver, Norinda, Helene Keeley, Al Mascitti, Liz Allen, John Kowalko, and (an other blogger too shy to be mentioned here). When one looks back through all of them one sees from everywhere, there in the center of the universe,  stands a normal human being just like us, known to most … as Julius.

There will come a time when a better deal will arrive.  Could even be this year. There will come a time when a suitor who does care about Delaware, who does care about unions, about human beings, about those businesses on the outside, and who will want to upgrade the port for everyone’s interest, not just their own… And that suitor in this day and age, could even come from abroad.  Germany is very committed to union labor, to the environment, to being a good neighbor…. There are a great many possibilities out there that are immeasurable…. We definitely dodged a Texas bullet with this one….

When that suitor arrives… Julius’s stature will be set in cement….  For he did nothing really Herculean, except argue the truth…  He didn’t lie.  He didn’t connive,  He didn’t threaten….

That was done by our office of economic development.  Instead and unlike them, Julius told the truth.  He told the truth to anyone who would listen.  He told the truth enough, so many “did” listen….

And that is why, he  deserves this nomination as Delaware’s Man of the Year.  I know it is early into 2013, but great things just do not wait!!….

You will hear smears that Julius tubed the deal… I saw the letter and it is already out on WDEL and the Delawareonline’s News Journal… But as an impartial blogger, I can tell you exactly what killed this deal.

It was “the truth”.  The truth of what this deal would cost us Delawareans….. is what turned the tide and caused the outcry that rose up against it….

If Kinder Morgan really wanted this deal, they could have easily said… “we are expanding and putting 5 new berths out into the river.  We are buying the port for the bargain price of $5 billion.   We need those businesses outside the fence because the jobs we get, will soon be too big, we can’t do it ourselves.  We will keep the union just as it is;  Wilmington needs good jobs and we are going to do our part….  We are also going to contribute into an emergency fund to be used for any spill or environmental accident that takes place under our tenure….

Kinder Morgan could have done any of those things, … and didn’t…. The blame doesn’t lie with Julius after all…. Especially when you consider the following…

This Economic Council erred on Fisker Automotive.  Then it erred on Bloom Energy.  Then it tried to Kinder Morgan us out of our port…..   Someone rushed in  with a save to make sure that last one didn’t happen.

That person is now hereby nominated for Delaware’s Person of the Year…….

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