In a Senate Committee hearing, with barely a quorum, (only 4 people out of 7 could show) the “New- Incoming Charter School Free Cash Bill” otherwise known as the (Come Compete on Us Bill) almost came to a virtual tie.
Two favorable votes (Sokola: the chairman + one) One vote on its merits (?); and one vote unfavorable (?) Through a lightening of one vote from unfavorable up to “on its merits” (heavy arm twisting involved), a term that means this bill is not bad enough to yank off the floor and should get an up or down vote, the bill squeaks forward onto a rush vote tomorrow..
It should be noted that with every passing day, with every new vote taken, this bad bill is having a tougher and tougher fight. An event that is taking place despite the trillions of dollars backing it (Wall Street is worth trillions). In recent memory there has never been a bill that has started its journey with so much firepower behind it, to have slowed so fast in so little time…
It is because the bill is a very bad bill; one that is unfair to religion, one that re-segregates Wilmington into a separate but unequal school system, and one that is unfair for all those children in very high cost rural school districts. It also destroys the existing network of schools we currently have, replacing it with what is going on right now in Chicago and Philadelphia as we debate this.
The real focus of every Senator is whether we know enough about this bill to pass it. We are being rushed… HURRY HURRY HURRY. Why?
We know this will eventually give Wilmington an inferior school system. We know this is unfair to existing charters. We know that waiting just six months, only twenty six weeks (ten of them over the summer) will hurt not one existing student… We know this.
We also know that giving free funding to open charters is very dangerous. Something that every player needs to voice their fears. With hearings and votes called just hours before,.. that public dialog isn’t happening…
It needs to. Very badly it needs to.. Which is why we need at least 6 months to investigate the implications and the fallout, before we go forward….
We need to take this bill up next session and the Senate needs to come to grips with the fact that their loyalty is not to the governor or those greasing this legislation at a light-speed pace.
Their loyalty is to every parent and every student in their districts!