Social Policy Committee

Social Policy Committee

The Social Policy Committee was formed last spring and hit the ground runnning.  It is studying relevant social issues and pending social policy legislation, and will determine how to provide information to the public about these matters.  All interested league members are invited to join!  Your input and expertise are needed.

The new committee is a result of member interest in exploring topics of concern to the group and those related to the positions of the League of Women Voters.  A core group met on March 8 to begin this work and the committee has met regularly since.   To date they have held a program about death with dignity and a forum on educational funding in our state.  Follow up forums on that topic will be held.

Education Funding in Delaware

The committee is planning a series of forums on how Education is funded in Delaware, exploring the process for financing public schools, and examine the needs and issues in Sussex County.  The first forum was held on 9/25/19.  The second is scheduled for 12/4/19.

Forum:  The Funding of Public Education in Delaware, Part 2

The Social Policy Committee of the LWVSC and AAUW will be sponsoring the second forum on the topic of the Funding of Public Education in Delaware on Wednesday, December 4, from 6:30 to 8:30 in the County Council Chambers, 2 on the Circle in Georgetown.  This will be a follow-up to the forum held on September 25, which provided information about funding procedures and problems associated with these practices.  

Speakers for the December 4 forum will include Neil Kirschling, the Director of Policy and Advocacy at Rodel, an organization working to change the education system in Delaware through research, policy, practice, and partnerships.  The second speaker for the evening will be Richard Morse, Senior Council at Community Legal Aid Society, Inc (CLASI).  CLASI is a plaintiff in the lawsuit currently before the Court of Chancery which addresses education funding inequities and proposes solutions to address these issues.

photo of panelists of experts

 

Forum:  The Funding of Public Education in Delaware, Part 1

The 9/25/19 event was cosponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and held in Sussex County Council Chambers.  The panel of experts was comprised of:

  • Dr. Susan Bunting, State of Delaware Secretary of Education
  • Dr. Chuck Longfellow, Associate Secretary for Operations
  • Dr. Kevin Carson, Senior Fellow, Institute for Public Education, University of Delaware
  • Representative Ruth Briggs King,  District 37

These issues and others were addressed by the panelists:

  • How do funds flow into your local schools?
  • How are tax dollars distributed to fund public education in Delaware?
  • What are school referendums and why are they necessary?
  • What issues regarding educational funding are before the state legislature?

Their presentations were followed by a brief question and answer period involving the audience.

The power point presentation from Drs. Bunting and Longfellow, Public Education Funding Overview, can be viewed Filehere.
Representative Briggs King's presentation, Legislative Role/School Funding, is available Filehere.

Death with Dignity 

The group considered and discussed a study developed by the Utah League (entitled Death with Dignity) which presents reasoning related to whether state law should grant the option for a terminally ill person to request assistance from a relevant, qualified physician to terminate one's life.  Safeguards for the dying and/or medical personnel are a part of this position.  The Delaware State League has requested that local Leagues study this proposal to determine whether a concurrent stance should be taken by Delaware in support of the Utah position.  

Results of the League of Women Voters of Utah study on Death with Dignity can be found here. 

The Social Policy Committee presented a program on April 1st on the proposed action in the Delaware  legislature regarding the provision of medical aid in dying.  Maria Spencer, Eastern Regional Campaign Manager for Compassion and Choices provided information regarding the Ron Silverio/Heather Block End of Life Options Act.  

Next Meeting

The next committee meeting of the Social Policy Committee will be held after the holidays.  Please check back then.  As always, new committee members are welcome!!   

  • If you would like to attend, contact Janet Ambrose (Committee chair) to RSVP.
  • If you are not able to attend this meeting, but have interest in future meetings of the Social Policy Committee, please let Janet know.  

image of diverse group of people