Home > Uncategorized > A remarkable document

A remarkable document

March 26, 2014

A remarkable document landed in my inbox recently. It is a 103-page transcript of the 1995 Delaware Senate debate on SB 200 – Delaware’s charter school law. It is sort of like finding the Dead Sea Scrolls under a rock in your back yard, or finding the bill for the Last Supper stuck in an old pot.

Here it is: SB 200 Transcript

The filename says it is “Vol. 2,” and I suspect there is a Vol.1 still to be found. If anyone has it, please send it to me at mike01@seventhtype.com (hey, it can’t hurt to ask).

There don’t seem to be any surprising revelations, though Kilroy hasn’t yet gone over it with his new bionic eye. The first 48 pages of the transcript are debating amendments to the bill. The rest of the transcript is fairly mundane, except for some fairly tense questioning of Bill Manning (then President of the Red Clay board) by Senator Marshall.

Marshall presciently grilled Manning about the potential for the new school eventually coming to serve mostly the economically advantaged, while leaving lower income students behind. Manning replied – well, you read it:

SENATOR MARSHALL: Understanding that the harshest critics of charter schools around the nation where they’ve been in place and operating, is the issue of the schools skimming off the top and creating an elitist academy with public money.
My concern is looking at the focus of the charter schools by attracting the best at times for a specific educational discipline offered by that charter school; and the concern of recruitment.
I looked at children throughout New Castle County in moderate low income neighborhoods, I looked at the City, the west side, the east side, hilltop, I need to understand how your board and how you will guarantee fairness and equal access to every student from every unit.

MR. MANNING: Thank you Senator. Let me approach that question two different ways because I hear the creaming argument over and over again with respect to schools of choice.
One thing that particularly bothers me about that argument is that whoever is making the argument, whether you’re a member of the State PTA or whether you’re a Superintendent from a school district 100 miles away from a district that wants to try a charter, that person is basically saying I know better than the parents of that child where that child ought to attend. But that’s an argument that I’ve never really understood, and it’s always been a little offensive to me.
You also hear the suggestion that for some reason children whose parents are college educated and have jobs that pay more will somehow get the better end of the deal. Which suggests that children of parents who for some reason don’t have a college education somehow aren’t able to cope in this system and aren’t able to make good choices for their children. I don’t believe that. And in Red Clay the experience is just the opposite.

There’s more in that vein; go read the whole thing.

Another thing that may be of interest: the roll call vote. I was surprised by how close it was 11-8, with 2 not voting.

MADAM PRESIDENT: Mr. Secretary would you please call the roll on Senate Substitute No. 1 for Senate Bill No. 200 as amended.
MR. SECRETARY: Senator Adams?
SENATOR ADAMS: Not voting.
MR. SECRETARY: Not voting. Senator Amick?
SENATOR AMICK: No.
MR. SECRETARY: No. Senator Bair?
SENATOR BAIR: Yes.
MR. SECRETARY: Yes. Senator Blevins?
SENATOR BLEVINS: Yes.
MR. SECRETARY: Yes. Senator Bonini?
SENATOR BONINI: Yes.
MR. SECRETARY: Yes. Senator Connor?
SENATOR CONNOR: No.
MR. SECRETARY: No. Senator Cook?
SENATOR COOK: No.
MR. SECRETARY: No. Senator Cordrey? Absent. Senator Haig?
SENATOR HAIG: Yes.
MR. SECRETARY: Yes. Senator Henry?
SENATOR HENRY: Not voting.
MR. SECRETARY: Not voting. Senator Marshall?
SENATOR MARSHALL: Yes.
MR. SECRETARY: Yes. Senator McBride? Absent. Senator McDowell?
SENATOR McDOWELL: Not voting.
MR. SECRETARY: Not voting. Senator Reed?
SENATOR REED: Yes.
MR. SECRETARY: Yes. Senator Sharp?
SENATOR SHARP: No.
MR. SECRETARY: No. Senator Sokola?
SENATOR SOKOLA: Yes.
MR. SECRETARY: Yes. Senator Sorenson?
SENATOR SORENSON: Yes.
MR. SECRETARY: Yes. Senator Still?
SENATOR STILL: Not voting.
MR. SECRETARY: Not voting. Senator Vaughn?
SENATOR VAUGHN: No.
MR. SECRETARY: No. Senator Venables?
SENATOR VENABLES: No.
MR. SECRETARY: No. Senator Voshell?
SENATOR VOSHELL: No.
MR. SECRETARY: No.
SENATOR CORDREY: Madam President.
MADAM PRESIDENT: Senator Cordrey.
SENATOR CORDREY: Voting no.
MR. SECRETARY: Senator Cordrey from absent to voting no.
MADAM PRESIDENT: Senator McBride.
SENATOR McBRIDE: Yes.
MR. SECRETARY: Senator McBride from absent to voting yes.
MADAM PRESIDENT: Senator Still.
SENATOR STILL: Not voting to yes.
MR. SECRETARY: Senator Still from not voting to voting yes.
MADAM PRESIDENT: Senator Henry.
SENATOR HENRY: From not voting to voting yes.
MR. SECRETARY: Senator Henry from not voting to voting yes. Madam President the roll call on Senate Substitute No. 1 for Senate Bill No. 200 is amended by Senate Amendments No. 5, 1 and 6; eleven yes, eight no and two not voting.
MADAM PRESIDENT: Senate Substitute No. 1 for Senate Bill No. 200 having received the required number of votes is declared passed the Senate.

Advertisements
Tags:
  1. kilroysdelaware
    March 27, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Dude!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Amazing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. March 27, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Wow! Talk about a trip down memory lane. This was shortly before the time I entered the public education debate.

  3. March 28, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    nice to see this now…

  1. March 27, 2014 at 3:38 pm
  2. March 28, 2014 at 7:14 am
  3. March 28, 2014 at 11:26 am
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: