Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Press Conference Marks RTTT

There is a lot of activity at Legislative Hall for so early in the session. This situation is due in part to Delaware's rules regarding legislation. Legislation is considered alive for an entire General Assembly, not just a single session. For example, in most states, if a bill was filed last year and did not make it through the process before the closing day of that session, then the legislation is dead and must be refiled and start the entire process anew in the next session (1st and 2nd readings, assignment to committee, hearing, etc.). In Delaware a bill filed last session is still considered alive within the 145th General Assembly. So, wherever the legislation was in the process last session, it can be picked up from that point for this, the 2nd session of the 145th General Assembly. All of this is a long-winded way of saying that 2nd sessions in Delaware are busy because some legislation moves early having had a head start in the last session.

A press conference was held in Governor Markell's office today to recognize the completion of the Race To The Top grant application. The federal grant guidelines state that Delaware could receive between $20 million and $75 million.

If I were a betting man, I would bet on the higher end for Delaware. We are a Phase I applicant, we are in a competitive grouping advantageous to us, and we have a plan that is ambitious without being offensive to teachers. All 19 Delaware teacher locals in the state signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)that accompanies the RTTT grant application.

This MOU is not a collective bargaining memorandum of agreement. Rather, it is a document that outlines areas of agreement between the Delaware Department of Education and school districts that sign. The teachers' associations sign on to demonstrate that they are willing to work with their districts to develop a plan. Although grants are awarded in April, Delaware will probably know if they have succeeded by sometime in March.

The press conference reaffirmed the good work of DSEA with the Department of Education and Governor Markell's policy people.

1 comment:

  1. The radical changes propose and now supported by state regualtions will require sustainable funding and my concern RTTT does not provide that.

    $10,000 bonuses for highly effective teacher sound wonderful however, the is a group of people within a school building call the team. Bonuses don't address the long concern for addressing the overall pay and benefits of Delaware's teachers that needs to be competitive and the dire need for better intevention programs for disruptive students. Also let's not forget the lack of needed classroom resources.

    How is that the new found deep love and concern for failing high poverty stundents requires finanical incentives? Compassion for a price?

    Charter schools seems to be a big part of RTTT but charter schools draw from tradational public schools student population and that inturns draws from finances. Those parents who sent their children to private schools also pay local school taxes to distrcits that provides no service to them. As students leave private schools or perhaps the local share of those taxes I call free money to the school districts now go to the reciving charter schools. If local taxpayers help fund bonues after RTTT dries up the odds are either adjustments to wage compensation or those bonuses will be made.

    Arne Duncan's "moon shot" is a long shot because scud misslie are unguided short-range tactics.