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Tonight's Agenda Monday 4/22 38th Club Meeting: How to Save Education in Delaware

Updated: Apr 21

If you have an agenda item or an announcement, please email here to be included on the Agenda for Monday.

38TH District Republican Club, PAC

6:30 pm April 22, 2024

Millville Town Hall, Millville


I.   Call to order 6:30 – 6:32pm

II.   Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance

III.   President’s Welcome - Acknowledge our representatives.

Guest Speakers – Ron Russo, Dr. Tanya Hettler, Josh Hudson, Anita West-Werner


IV.    Vice President’s Report 6:32-6:37pm

A.  Recognize Guests and New Members

B.  Featured Business – n/a


V.    Treasurer’s Report 6:37-6:40pm.

VI.   Secretary Approval of the Minutes 6:40-6:42pm

Secretary’s meeting minutes are available online in our Members Only section. A password is required to access the Members Only section, please see the Treasurer for the password.

VII.   President’s Report 6:42-6:45pm

A.  Club Level       

                   1.      Please send your Letters to the Editor.

                   2.      Continue to send email to Gov Carney re Offshore Windfarms.

                   3.      May Club elections for Club President/Treasurer – interest in running email Bill Murphy, Chair Nominations Committee.


B.  Vice RDC/38th District Level Report – Vice RDC Rick

                   1.      Rick is running for RNC National Committeeman. Let Senator Hocker and Rep. Gray know your choice for RNC Committee Man!

2. If you vote at these locations, we need YOU! Email .

                                                          i.      EDC1 – Millville VFC #2

                                                          ii.      EDC4 – Bethany Beach Fire Hall

                                                       iii.      EDC 6 – Roxana Fire Hall

                                                       iv.      EDC 8 – Millville Community Center

                                                          v.      EDC 11 – Ocean View Church of Christ


C.  RDC Report/Republican Party State Level 6:42-6:45pm

                   1.      State Convention Saturday May 18, picnic style. All Delegates purchase your 38th t-shirts. No charge, all Republicans welcome. Vote who to endorse Candidates.

                   2.     US Congress: Donyale Hall(R) vs Sarah McBride(D) / Eugene Young(D)

                   3.     US Senate: Eric Hanson(R) vs Lisa Blunt Rochester(D)

                   4.     Governor Jerry Price(R) vs Bethany Hall Long(D)/Matt Meyer(D)/Colleen O'Mara(D)

5. Lt Governor: None (R) announced vs Kyle Evans Gay(D) / Debbie Harrington (D) / Sherry Doresey Walker (D)

                   5.      School Board Election May 14th

                   6.      State Primary – 9/10/24

                   7.      General Election – 11/5/24



D.  RDC/38th Legislative Update And CALL TO ACTION 6:45-6:45pm

                   1.      HB 344 – to rotate party and candidate order on ballots. 15 States have already enacted. Democrat party is always listed first, by DE law. Assigned to Admin C. in House.

                   2.      HB 162 – Human Composting. Passed the House and Senate. Await Gov. Carney's signature. Email Gov. Carney.

                   3.      HB 286 – prevent insurance companies from requesting genetic testing. (Watch the Movie: Gattica). Passed the House, now in the Senate. Email Senators.

                   4.      HB 346 – removed liability for medical personnel who provide gender transitioning treatments. Same legal protections provided to abortionists. Out of House Committee, will be up for vote in House. Email House Representatives.

                   5.      SB 2 - Permit to Purchase Bill requiring anyone who wishes to buy a handgun be fingerprinted, undergo required training, and obtain permission from the state and only valid for 2 years. At a cost of $7 million annually. Passed House and Senate, awaiting Governor signature. Email the Gov.

                   6.      HB 110 State funded abortion. Out of House Committee ready to be voted on in House. Email all House Reps.

                   7.      HB 350 – creates a Government Hospital cost review board. Out of House Committee, ready to be voted on in House. Email all House Reps.

                   8.      HB 275 – to update DE code on the definition of sexuality to specifically include pansexuality and asexuality. Passed the House, now in Senate. Email all Senators.



VIII.   Guest Speakers –6:45-7:30

A.  Ron Russo 6:45-6:55pm

B.  Dr. Tanya Hettler 6:55-7:05pm

C.  Panel Questions 7:05-7:30pm.


IX.   Representative Reports

A.  Senator Gerald Hocker 7:30 -7:40pm

B.  Rep Ron Gray 7:40 – 7:50

C.  CC Doug Hudson – 7:50-8:00


X.   Upcoming Events  7:55 - 8:00pm

A.  Next Club Meeting: Fenwick Crab House May 28th, TUESDAY

B.  Next Sussex Region Meeting 5/13/24, 630pm, Revelation Brewery

C. May 14-16, Back the Blue Car Parade

D.  June 1, Trump Boat Parade, Rally point Harpoon Hannahs

E.   Summer Corn Hole Tournament

F.    July Red, White and Blue Fundraiser


XI.   Adjournment 8:05pm

How to Save Education in Delaware

Delaware education is FAILING Delaware students and Delaware as a whole. Without properly educating our future citizens, the State of Delaware's economy, standard of living and opportunities will die. If Delaware does not raise its educational standards, poverty, crime and taxes will go UP. Yes, education matters!

Is there a path to save education in Delaware, a path toward higher reading and math scores, greater preparation and access to colleges and career opportunities for our young? Well, it's been done before in Delaware and yes, it can be done again! Come Monday and listen to our guest speaker, Ron Russo, who is the former principal who turned around the WORST school in Delaware, Wilmington High, into the BEST, The Charter School of Wilmington, and hear the solutions that he has proven works, to turn education around in Delaware. Ron is also the Chair of the DE GOP Education Committee and is leading this taskforce toward action and results!

We will also have Tanya Hettler PhD., Education Director from the Caesar Rodney Institute (CRI), to review the most recent CRI Report Card on Delaware and hear how Education in Delaware scored.

If you care about education in Delaware and the future of Delaware, you will not want to miss this meeting! For this forum, we will also have in attendance the two Indian River School Board District 4 candidates, Joshua Hudson and Anita West-Werner, as well as Senate Minority Leader Senator Hocker and Representative Ron Gray. Come to the meeting this Monday April 22nd, at the Millville Town Hall, 36404 Club House Road, 6:00 pm Meet and Greet, 6:30pm meeting start and ask the tough questions of this distinguished and knowledgeable panel!

Ron Russo's




For decades our public-school performance has been lacking.  Currently (4/2004), in the nation, Delaware ranks 4th from the bottom academically while in the top ten for education expenditures! The remediation action to correct this situation has focused on trying to correct the symptoms of the problem (low test scores, high costs, discipline, etc.) while the cause of the problem has been ignored.

If you are experiencing a fever, runny nose, aches, etc. from a cold or the flu and you treat only those symptoms with tissues, fluids, and rest but take no medicine to cure the underlying cause (cold or flu), the symptoms may fluctuate but the cure will remain elusive!  And so, it is with school problems.  You need to treat the cause to permanently remove the performance issues.

The “cause” was identified as far back as 1995 by several sources that included the Brookings Institution; a local business consortium led by the DuPont Company (including: Verizon, Delmarva Power, Hercules, Zeneca, and Christiana Care); State Superintendent, Mike Ferguson; and the US Department of Education.  An effective solution to the problem has not been employed because of the inability to recognize the dichotomy between Teaching, which is a profession, and Education, which is a system whose purpose is to support teaching.  There is a dearth of recommended changes to the existing system of school boards and district bureaucracies and, yet, that is what has been identified as the “cause” of the problem.  “System people” are making operational decisions. The solution is to give “teaching people” the power to correct the symptoms.  After all, isn’t that why they were hired?

In a doctor’s office you’ll find a doctor who provides the needed medical services.  You will also find people who schedule appointments, file records, handle insurance, check prescriptions, etc.  These are the folks who support the functioning of the practice so the doctor can provide the professional services.  This distinction is clear.  If you were scheduled for a colonoscopy, would you want it performed by the doctor or by the receptionist? Who are the professionals hired to handle the learning process for students in the schools?  Shouldn’t they have local operational control along with accountability? 

Brookings described the problem “source” as a “major obstacle” to improving public schools.  The business consortium called it a “liability to the state’s economy”.  The US DOE said we needed less “rules-based governance” and more “performance-based accountability”.  Mike Ferguson co-authored a law (Charter Schools) to develop and pilot a change to the existing public school system of school boards and bureaucracies.  A three-year study conducted by Western Michigan’s Evaluation Center showed the pilot program to be successful. Using the same failing system over and over again expecting different results would be defined by Einstein as insanity.  Operational authority should be shifted to the individual schools while school boards and district bureaucracies should assume a supportive role with oversight responsibilities.  This is similar to a system that has been successful in Delaware since before 1776.

Implementation of this BOLD PLAN would necessitate preliminary action.  Current and aspiring principals would need to successfully complete an approved professional leadership program or an MBA in Education Administration degree to qualify as a CEO (Chief Education Officer formerly, principal) of a public school with skills to handle some new and broader responsibilities such as: hiring, budget preparation, marketing, continuous improvement plans, support services, programing inputs, etc. with teacher participation.  Boards would hire CEOs and evaluate school performance, approve budgets and capital expenditures, provide requested assistance to CEOs, facilitate CEO meetings, etc. 

With the shift of operational power to the individual schools, parental school choice will be expanded for accountability. Parents will no longer have to wait for board meetings to express their concerns, they can just stop by the school office to speak to the CEO.  Most administrative duties will be performed by school personnel in the individual buildings. This will permit the number of districts to be significantly reduced resulting in substantial cost savings.  Schools can be customized and will operate with autonomy and performance accountability.  The solution is to keep it system simple (KISS).


Ron Russo,

Founding President, Charter School of Wilmington

Former Principal, St. Mark’s High School

413 Baldini Blvd., Wilmington, DE 19805

 The Solutions

Change the existing, failing school board/district system (Brookings Institution, State Superintendent, DE Business Consortium).


Customize local schools by giving operational authority to building principals and teachers.


Boards/Districts retain oversight responsibilities.


Reduce the number of districts and the size of the State Education Department.


Review Funding Allocations.


Expand Parental School Choice.

Caesar Rodney Institute Second Annual Report Card on Delaware


Based on the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (2022; Nation’s Report Card) proficiency scores, Delaware came in 4th from the bottom in overall test performance in the nation. Specifically Delaware was 3rd from the bottom in fourth grade math, 4th from the bottom in fourth grade reading, 5th from the bottom in eighth grade math, and 5th from the bottom in eighth grade reading. These poor test scores exist despite the fact that Delaware ranks 13th from the top in education spending in the country. There are 17 schools with single digit proficiencies in the state. The Department of Education has placed 53 schools on improvement plans due to them scoring in the bottom 5% of all schools on the statewide test or having a graduation rate below 67%. Over the past 20 years Delaware education spending has increased while test performance has decreased. Over this same time period student enrollment has increased by 11%. Teacher salaries also increased by 11% while total support services which includes school and general administration has increased by 49%.


Failing Education in Delaware affects more than just failing grades. Read the entire CRI Report Card on Delaware here, to see what else in failing in Delaware, and guess what, it's related to failing education. Education matters. Our labor force is at an all time low, state revenue is insufficient, yet we are increasing business taxes, and although our environment is top notch, we are pushing for expensive, untried mandated changes in energy utilization.

If you support getting the word out about failing education in Delaware, support CRI with their ad campaign! Donate to CRI here Click the donate button on the home page and choose "Center for Education Excellence" OR click the link for the billboard campaign at the top of the landing page and use the donate button at the bottom of that page OR write a check to:

Caesar Rodney Institute 

420 Corporate Blvd 

Newark DE, 19702

House Bill 192

House Bill 192 was introduced in June 2023 with the intention of requiring schools where students have a single-digit proficiency in English language arts or math to work with the Department of Education (DOE) to immediately to raise proficiency rates.

The bill’s sponsor State Rep. Bryan Shupe (R-Milford South) explained underperforming schools would be required to develop not only a long-term plan, but a short-term plan to address the shortfalls.

Under the bill, a school leader must present the short-term and long-term plan to raise state assessment performances for school board approval and provide annual updates on information about and implementation of the plan.

This bill also requires DOE to submit an annual report that contains information on schools with single-digit proficiency and schools with an overall student body achievement proficiency level of less than 20% but greater than single-digit proficiency in English language arts or math

Why has the bill not been heard in the Senate??!

Despite Senate President Pro Tempore David Sokola (D-Newark) being one of the bill's co-sponsors, he has made it clear he is no longer interested in supporting the bill if it has the underlying intention of setting up a school voucher system in Delaware.

Shupe said he is working on a separate bill to try and establish a school voucher system in Delaware, but he believes HB 192 is its own entity and can be supported independently.

"In my perspective, these are separate bills, and there's no reason why a single-digit school shouldn't have an improvement plan. By ignoring this, the Senate Democrats are basically saying that they're fine with single-digit proficiency schools where over 90% of the kids are not learning at grade-level," Shupe said.

He also recognized some schools already have an improvement system in place — such as those that are identified for "comprehensive support and improvement" or "targeted support and improvement" by DOE — in which case, the bill would not apply to them.

In preliminary research for the bill, Senior Legislative Attorney Cara Wilson found at least 11 schools statewide that have single-digit proficiency in English language arts or math that do not have some type of improvement plan already in place.

"The Senate can always vote for this requirement for these single-digit schools to have local plans, and then when the second bill comes across their desk, they can vote no," Shupe said. "It sounds like, to me, that they're afraid that after this bill goes through with improvement plans, that families might ask for more choices and more accountability, and I don't understand why that would be a negative thing for our families and for our students here in Delaware.”


Want to Share Your Republican Values?

Is your family getting tired of listening to you complaining or yelling at the television without feeling like you are being heard? Then we've got a solution for you! Set your words and thoughts to paper, 500 words or less, and send them as a Letter-to-the-Editor, or an open letter to any public office holder. You can also email us here and we will share your letter with media outlets up and down the State. We can also send your letters to WGMD to have the opportunity to read your letter yourself on the air! If you have any questions or would like a second set of eyeballs for proofreading, then email your letter to We are here to help!

Listen to WGMD every morning for the latest update on our area and all things political. 92.7 or 98.5.


Do YOU have a message you would like to share and let others good citizens in Delaware know how you feel? Good, then send us your Letter to the Editor and we will post it. And send your letters directly to your local newspaper for publication!

Seaford and Laurel Star:

Coast Press:


If you like what we do and would like to help support our mission, please send us a donation. We thank you for choosing to keep the 38th District Republican Club a success and a beaming light of conservative values in Delaware!


Do you want to get more involved locally? The 38th District includes Bethany Beach, South Bethany, Fenwick Island, Ocean View, Millville, Selbyville and Frankford. YOU can make a difference! Email for more information. Also, sign up for the State GOP e-Newsletters here.

Listen to WGMD 92.7 and 98.5 for local news!


Join the GOP - Good Ordinary People who have common sense and will put an end to the nonsense!

Join the 38th District Republican Club and Subscribe to our e-Newsletter. If you like what we do and stand for, consider sending us your financial support.

To Donate Make check payable to:

38th DRCP

PO Box 184

Frankford, DE 19945

We meet the fourth Monday of the month, excluding holidays. For questions please

Upcoming 2023 Meetings

38th Club Meeting, Monday April 22, Millville Town Hall, 6:30pm, Education Reform in DE, with Ron Russo, Chair GOP Education Committee and Tanya Hettler, CRI Education Director

Indian River School Board Election, May 14th, Millville Community Center

State Republican Party Convention, May 18th

38th Club Meeting, Tuesday, May 28th, Fenwick Crab House, 6:30pm

State Primary Election, September 10, 2024

General Election, November 5, 2024

We welcome your support as we support conservative values and responsible government.

This newsletter is intended for informational purposes only. The content provided is for general information and entertainment purposes, and should not be construed as professional advice. The views and opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Club. Readers are encouraged to seek professional guidance or conduct their own research when making decisions based on the information provided in this newsletter. The Club does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information presented in this newsletter and will not be held liable for any errors or omissions.

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