Friday, February 19, 2010

Proposed Legislative Program

Every two years the Delaware State Education Association reviews our Legislative Program and seeks input from the membership. The Program is a short list of priority areas of advocacy around which we may support or oppose legislation, regulation, or policy.

The draft Program features a completely new section titled, "Protect and Nurture Children". This area of advocacy will allow us to speak to the socio-economic concerns of children and their families. This year approximately 26.6% of all children in the United States live in poverty. If a child comes to your classroom hungry, with a toothache, after having slept in the car all night, or with any one of a hundred challenges that come with poverty, their opportunity to learn is diminished. Therefore, just like the National Education Association became involved in the fight for child labor laws one hundred years ago, so too must we challenge the social order around child poverty.

Please examine the draft Legislative Program below. If you have suggestions for additions, edits, or deletions, please email me at Also, there will be an opportunity to participate in a webinar on Monday, March 8th at 6:30PM. We will be sending more communications about that event later.

Delaware State Education Association
2010-2011 Legislative Program

· Improved, Sustained Funding for Public Schools
The adequate and equitable funding of Delaware’s public schools is required to ensure that our children --- regardless of where they live or the personal circumstance of their individual lives --- have educational opportunities that allow each child to reach her or his full potential.

· Improved Pay for Public Education Employees
Compensation must be improved in order to attract and retain high quality public education staff for our schools and state agencies. DSEA’s priorities include a starting salary for professionally certified school staff of $40,000. Additionally, the salaries for instructional and service aides are shamefully low and should begin at least with the federal poverty level for a family of four.

· Strengthened Fringe Benefit Programs
Public education employees have a progressive, historically well-funded package of fringe benefits that help to attract and retain a high quality work force that must be protected, particularly in times of economic stress.

· Charter School Accountability
The growth of charter schools since passage of the original law in 1995 continues without taking into consideration the effects of new charter authorizations on existing local public school districts. With public resources scarce it is more important than ever to regulate the charter market by making the state Department of Education the single authorizing authority with guidelines that avoid duplication of services and mitigate the impact on community schools.

· Protect and Nurture Children
Every educator knows the heartbreak and frustration of children who are too hungry, sick, or traumatized to learn well. The opportunity to learn cannot be divorced from socio-economic realities, and those realities are becoming more challenging. In 2010, more than 26% of all US children will live in poverty. DSEA will be supportive of legislation, policy, and initiatives which promote the welfare of children and the economic stability of their families.


  1. I think that Protect and Nurture Children should be listed first as children are our highest priority.

  2. "growth of charter schools since passage of the original law in 1995 continues without taking into consideration the effects of new charter authorizations on existing local public school districts."

    Markell spoke on that question during the DESA sponsored governor candidate debates. What has he done to address those concerns? Was he giving DSEA and the voters lip-service?