Holy Crap… Eleven amendments…  To paraphrase Shakespeare’s Richard The Third,… “Was ever such a bill woo’d?  Was ever such a bill, won?”

for those rough on Shakespearean English, the point is that the impossible is occurring right before our eyes.  In a noble attempt to save face for “the party’s governor” Jack Markell, a really, horrible, super bad bill is being amendmentized to try to get it through….

Eleven amendments so far…   how ever did such a horribly construed bill ever make it on the floor?  (oh right, it was done in secret without vetting, I forgot)…

Names of sponsors first.

Kowalko, Kowalko, Jacques, Baumbach, Baumbach, Baumbach, Baumbach, Baumbach, Baumbach, Baumbach, Hefferman . (in order)

Those not tied by corporate hands seem to be leading the charge on this bill.  New Designation:  “The Untainted Ones”… lol.

Just the synopsis for now…

number one… This amendment removes the creation of the Charter School Performance Fund. Applications for the fund would have been evaluated by the Department of Education. The fund was subject to appropriation and limited to $5 million annually… (k)

number 2….   This amendment requires that all charter school applications are first submitted to the local school board. If the school board denies the application, the applicant may then request that the Department of Education consider its application.  (k)

number 3…   This amendment clarifies that charter schools are not allowed to factor in a potential attendee’s qualification under a national school breakfast or lunch program when determining enrollment, but the charter school’s obligation to provide breakfast and lunch at low or no cost to a student who would qualify for that program commences with the 2014-2015 school year.   The amendment provides for procedural due process before the Department would redirect a district’s future State funding to a charter school if the district is behind on its required payments.  The amendment expressly includes in the best interest analysis the children likely to attend a traditional public school in the community. The approval process described in Section 511 is also expressly required under the amendment for a charter’s approval.  
The amendment adds “growth” to “achievement” in order to more accurately reflect this emphasis for Delaware education policy.  
Employees are added as a factor in the charter school closure protocol.  
The amendment proportionately returns funds from the State’s general appropriations to the districts that receive those students for the school year in which the charter school closed.  The Enrollment Preferences Task Force from House Bill No. 90 is specifically charged with reporting on charter school enrollment preferences and practices.   The amendment corrects a few technical items, including a cross-reference, a notation that a section of the bill only amends a subsection of the Code, and a repetition of two lines.(j)

number 4…..  This amendment is designed to keep family siblings within the same (elementary, middle, and high school) school grouping together, to minimize family driving, but is designed also to open our charter schools to greater availability to additional families.(b)

number 5.… This amendment also removes the five-mile radius limitation which disadvantages students from rural Sussex and from the City of Wilmington from receiving preferential admission to charter schools which are in their district but which are more than five miles from their home. The transportation funding for charter schools is analogous to that for vocational-technical schools, which similarly serve students beyond a five-mile radius.(b)

number 6... The amendment provides that the annual evaluation of the charter school will include a review of turnover in the board, executive staff and teaching staff.(b)

number 7…This amendment recognizes that charter schools are owned by the non-profit organization and not the State. Thus, they are fundamentally different from all other Delaware public schools, including State-owned vocational-technical schools. As such, charter schools should not be eligible for capital funding of any sort, for this would represent a give-away of State tax dollars to private entities, for minor capital improvements that do not accrue to the Delaware taxpayer.(b)

number 8…This amendment expressly provides that an application for a charter school must satisfy the criteria in Section 512.(b)

number 9…. The amendment requires that the high-quality plans for the receipt of funds directly serve traditionally under-served students.(b)

number 10…Under this amendment, the limitation is lowered to $1 million for the performance fund.

number 11… The amendment requires that preference is given to high-quality plans directly serving traditionally under-served students, rural students, or students with disabilities. Those programs are to receive at least 50% of the fund.(h)

More to come from the other side on the floor… For sure…

This is a really, really bad bill….

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