BREAKING: Laura Sturgeon To Chair Senate Education Committee

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on January 8, 2019 22 Comments

Of course, Exceptional Delaware had it first:

Sokola Out As Chair Of Senate Education Committee, Sturgeon Will Be Chair

Dave will still be on the committee, but, as chair, Sturgeon will have a lot of influence on the state’s education agenda.  Tizzy Lockman is also on the committee, which includes Sokola, DelCollo and Lopez.

Checking now to see if the rest of the committees have been posted.

Kids, elections make a difference.

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  1. Committees STILL haven’t been posted, even though the appointments have now clearly been made. Is anybody still awake at Leg Hall?

    • I believe the State News reported McBride won’t make the committee memberships “public” until tomorrow. Sometimes there is a distinct advantage to living in Dover!

      • Like I said, Dave’s a weird dude, always has been, in a ‘different drummer’ sort of way. I worked for him, and I think that pretty much anybody who has ever worked with him would agree.

        BTW, Tizzy as Vice Chair is big news for the children who live in Wilmington.

  2. RE Vanella says:

    This seems like very good news, right?

  3. Nancy Willing says:

    Major props to the DEM leadership for this rearrangement of the Senate Educ. Cmte. I have to wonder if Bryan Townsend had some input. There is now some real chance for reform.

    • I suspect Dave Sokola had a key role in this. He sees the future of the caucus, and I think he’s enthused by it.

      Progressives are in a great position in the Senate. I’m actually looking forward to the release of the rest of the Senate committees.

  4. mediawatch says:

    Well, when the ACLU wins its education funding lawsuit against the state, at least the Senate Education Committee will have two leaders dedicated to fixing the problem.
    Let’s hope that the appointees to the Judiciary Committee aren’t inclined to dedicating themselves to impeaching the vice chancellor.

    • Rufus Y. Kneedog says:

      @MW – I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, it explains a lot regarding the committee assignments. You’d have to say there’s a pretty good chance the lawsuit will be successful, who wants to be up there trying to explain what they’ve been doing for the last 10 years.

  5. T Kline says:

    I really hope our school taxes are cut. This state is out of control on the tax front.

  6. puck says:

    Kevin also reports John Kowalko is back on the Education Committee!

    https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2019/01/08/kowalko-back-on-house-education-committee/

    I’m tempted to conclude we have a progressive takeover of the committee, but the jury is still out. When it comes to charter school legislation, I’m not assuming Sturgeon and Lockman will vote the same way as Kowalko, until I see otherwise. Here are my nagging doubts:

    Sturgeon served on the Executive Board of DSEA for many years. I don’t have those dates handy, but DSEA had some inexplicable endorsements of charter school issues that were damaging to public schools. Notably 2013’s HB 165, which included the notorious “charter school slush fund”(Kowalko’s coinage). Kowalko emphatically voted No, but DSEA endorsed the bill. It passed, by the way.

    Lockman served on the WEIC committee, which correctly identified the problem as resegregation, but then proposed a plan which enshrined charter schools as part of the solution. Hint: If resegregation is the problem, then charters are not part of the solution; they are part of the problem.

    I’m not sure why Sokola would have vacated the chair unless he had assurances his charter school expansions would be protected. I hope my nagging doubts prove to be unfounded.

    Public education won’t improve until we reverse the expansion of charters, return the funding back to the public schools*, and move the honors and magnet programs out of the charter schools and pack into the public schools.

    *for anyone who sanctimoniously points out “charter schools are public schoools,” eff you.

    • They’re two different committees–The House and Senate Education Committees. I take Sturgeon at her word as evidenced in her campaign lit, and I see her as a strong supporter of public education. Same with Lockman. Sokola just isn’t that devious. Not every education issue, in fact very few, break down to charter vs. public.

      The House committee is favorably skewed towards public education supporters, other than chair Jaques. I would argue that this is perhaps the most progressive of all the House committees. Meaning, they will be well-positioned if/when the courts rule that, once again, education funding in this state illegally short-changes those whom public education would most benefit.

  7. puck says:

    Oops, of course I know better but wasn’t reading (or thinking) carefully at this hour of the morning, but my main point remains about the prospects for progressives on education. It’s easy to claim you are a “strong supporter of public education.”Sokala and Jacques both do. But the rubber meets the road when there are bills in committee seeking to expand the reach of charters.

    Still it’s great to see Kowalko back on the House committee.

  8. That entire House committee is strong. And, Pete kept charter schools champion Ray Seigfried off the committee. That wasn’t by accident.

  9. puck says:

    That’s good news. The other main plank of the Democratic anti-progressive education platform is the Markell/Carney animosity toward the Christina school board and the planned takeover of the district (“priority schools”). Obviously the geographic discontinuity of Christina is a mess and needs to be resolved, but not with more charters. The Christina solution will be another test for education progressives.

  10. mediawatch says:

    @Puck,
    Don’t bet on charters being the solution for Christina … at least not in the Wilmington portion. The Longwood Foundation-funded Community Education Building was supposed to be a big part of the answer — with 4 charter schools there. Well, they’ve got 2, and they’re renting space to quasi-education entities to fill the empty space. With Carney and Co. dressing up a couple of old city schools for next year, charter operators will be cautious about moving into the area. They’ll wait a couple of years to see whether Carney’s plan amounts to any more than puttin’ lipstick on a pig. And Carney’s puppet secretary of education isn’t going to approve any new charters if it gives the appearance that his plans are failing.

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