EDUCATION LEGISLATION

The following are pending legislative bills and resolutions in the Delaware 148th General Assembly.  As well, the legislation that passed and was signed by Governor Markell appears after the pending legislation.  Many have asked how all this works.  The bill gets introduced and goes to the appropriate committee.  For most education bills, this would be the House or Senate Education Committee depending on which one introduced the bill.  If it advances, it goes to the introductory floor (House or Senate) for a vote.  If passed, it goes to the other side’s committee, and then if passed, goes to their floor for consideration.  If both sides pass it, it goes to the Governor who can either sign the bill into law or veto it.

PENDING LEGISLATION

House Bill 12:This bill seeks to ensure that every public school in the State of Delaware has a nurse. This bill provides a mechanism to allow public schools that currently do not have a school nurse to receive state funds. The bill also allows for a match tax to assist those school districts that acquire a nurse as a result of this bill to pay for the local share of that nurse”, Status: Released from House Education Committee 3/18/15, Assigned to House Appropriations Committee 3/24/15, Sponsor: Rep. Earl Jaques

House Bill 13: “This bill requires all new school construction or major renovation to include the following features: an intruder alarm, bulletproof glass in entrance areas and interior doors and windows, and doors lockable with keys on both sides. Further, the bill would require all new school construction plans to be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget’s Facilities Management Section for compliance with these requirements as well as with Crime Prevention through Environmental Design principles.” Status: Stricken 1/15/15, Sponsor: Rep. Earl Jaques

House Bill 14:As a public school safety measure, this bill requires that any door to a classroom will be equipped with a lock that can be locked from either side of the door. Many doors are currently not capable of locking from the inside. Locking the door(s) to a classroom from inside the classroom would enable precluding a school intruder from entering that classroom.” Status: Assigned to House Appropriations Committee 3/24/15, Sponsor: Rep. Earl Jaques

House Bill 27: This bill requires all new school construction or major renovation to include the following features: an intruder alarm, bulletproof glass in entrance areas and interior doors and windows, and doors lockable with keys on both sides. Further, the bill would require all new school construction plans to be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget’s Facilities Management Section for compliance with these requirements as well as with Crime Prevention through Environmental Design principles.” Status: Stricken 7/1/15, Sponsor: Rep. Earl Jaques

House Bill 28:Absent an agreement with the school district, charter schools are currently able to retain any funding received for the fiscal year for a student who transfers mid-year from the charter school to a school district. This bill mandates that, if a student transfers from a charter school to a school district after September 30th, such funds will be prorated between the charter school and the school district where the student is then enrolled.” Status: Assigned to House Education Committee 1/22/15, Sponsor: Rep. Kim Williams

House Bill 29:This bill provides for a moratorium on all new charter schools within the City of Wilmington until June 30, 2017″ Status: Stricken 3/26/15, replaced by House Bill 56, Sponsor: Rep. Charles Potter

House Bill #30:This bill provides State funding to kindergarten through third grade for basic special education. State funding already occurs for intensive and complex special education during these grades. Currently the basic special education funding runs from fourth through twelfth grade. This bill is an effort to promote earlier identification and assistance for basic special education needs which should then mitigate costs over the long term.” Status: Released from House Education Committee 3/25/15, Assigned to House Appropriations Committee 3/26/15, Sponsor: Rep. Kim Williams

House Bill #34:This bill will allow a local school district board to delay new or changed rules, regulations, or administrative procedures from becoming effective during a school year once the school year has started. This will allow the rules, regulations, and procedures to be consistent for the whole school year.” With HA #2: “This amendment allows the Department of Education to make changes to rules, regulations, or administrative procedures if required to do so by law or if necessary to address an emergency situation, public health, or safety matter. It further defines the terms administrative procedure.”  With SA#1: This Amendment requires that the restriction only applies when there is a direct financial impact created by the new or amended rule, regulation or administrative procedure. This Amendment also clarifies that Charter Schools are included in the restriction. Status: Passed House 6/30/15, Passed Senate 3/15/16, Passed House w/SA#1: 3/17/15, went to Governor for signature, Sponsor: Rep. Spiegelman

House Bill #42: Currently FOIA applies to their Boards of Trustees and their documents relating to the expenditure of public funds. Also under current law, as of July 1, 2015, the universities will have to indicate on any request for proposal or other competitive bidding solicitation when it relates to the proposed use of public funds, regardless of amount of percentage. This Act removes the exemption from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and thus fully applies FOIA to the University of Delaware and Delaware State University, including the Board of Trustees.” Status: Tabled in House Administration Committee 3/12/15, Sponsor: Rep. John Kowalko

*House Bill #50 w/House Amendments #1 and #2, w/Senate Amendments #1 and #2: “This bill creates the right for the parent or guardian of a child to opt out of the annual assessment, currently the Smarter Balanced Assessment System.” House Amendment #1: “This amendment clarifies that the bill only applies to the Smarter Balanced Assessment. The amendment also clarifies that the parent or guardian must give written notice at least two school days prior to the start of the assessment. Finally, the amendment includes an effective date of August 1, 2015″, Senate Amendment #1: “This amendment adds “district-wide” to the assessment. This amendment also clarifies what information should be included in the notice.” Senate Amendment #2: “This amendment affords eleventh grade students the opportunity to elect not to participate in the statewide assessment.” House Amendment #2: “This amendment removes the provision that allows eleventh grade students the opportunity to elect not to participate in the statewide assessment.” Status: Passed House 5/22/15 (Senate Amendment #2 stricken that date), Passed Senate 6/25/15, Vetoed by Governor Markell 7/15/15, Placed on House Ready List for potential veto override: 1/14/16, Sponsor: Rep. John Kowalko

House Bill #52:Under current educational standards, cursive writing is no longer required to be taught to our students, and many schools have abandoned teaching it to their students. As cursive writing is still an imperative skill in many professions, this bill will make the teaching of cursive writing a requirement for all public schools in Delaware.” Status: On House Ready List 4/29/15, Sponsor: Rep. Deb Hudson

House Bill #53: Currently, all school districts, including vocational schools, are subject to the Auditor of Accounts. Edits to the November 2010 Charter School Manual removed instructions for charter schools to go through Auditor of Accounts when contracting for audits. There is presently no legislative authority to require charter schools to submit to the Auditor of Accounts processes. This bill adds charter schools to the list of entities for audits through the Auditor of Accounts. The bill takes effect so that the Auditor of Accounts shall conduct audits for the time periods starting on or after July 1, 2015.” Status: Stricken (House Bill 53 and 154 rolled into House Bill 186), Sponsor: Rep. Kim Williams

House Bill #55:This bill requires that the State Department of Education include in its ESEA Waiver Renewal Application a request to the U.S. Department of Education an additional year before incorporating the Smarter Balanced Assessment into its evaluations of teachers and principals for personnel decisions. The first time the Smarter Balanced Assessments could factor into such evaluations would be the 2016-2017 school year.” Status: Stricken 1/19/16, Sponsor: Rep. Sean Lynn

House Bill #61:This bill requires that all public meetings of the boards of education of public school districts, vo-tech school districts, and public meetings of charter schools’ boards of directors be digitally recorded and made available to the public on the districts’ and charter schools’ websites within seven business days. The recordings will not be considered the official board minutes.  Currently the Red Clay Consolidated School District, Christina School District, and the Capital School District on a voluntary basis approved by their boards of education have been providing the public digital recordings of their board public session meetings via the district’s websites.
The Delaware State Board of Education is required by the State Board of Education to make available within one business day digital recordings of its board meetings on the Delaware Department of Education’s website.” Status: Passed House of Representatives 3/10/16, Assigned to Senate Education Committee 3/10/16, Sponsor: Rep. Hudson

House Bill #83: This bill requires that all charter schools not discriminate against applicants based on their homes’ location in comparison to the school. The bill also eliminates the possibility of a preference in the charter. Thus, this bill eases the restrictions on the enrollment process for students residing within a 5-mile radius of the school.” Status: Tabled In House Education Committee 5/13/15, Sponsor: Rep. John Kowalko

*This bill was tabled but with the Enrollment Preference Task Force having this as one of their recommendations in their final report it would not surprise me if this bill was put back on the table.

House Bill #84:This bill requires that all charter school applications are first submitted to the local school board. If the school board denies the application, the applicant may then request that the Department of Education consider its application.” Status: Assigned to House Education Committee 4/16/15, Sponsor: Rep. John Kowalko

House Bill #96:This Act requires each public school district to equip the schools within their respective jurisdictions with an adequate number of panic buttons that may be used to immediately alert local law enforcement authorities of a security threat at a school. Once activated, the required silent alarm system will immediately alert authorities without simultaneously activating an audible alarm within the school building.” Status: Released from House Education Committee, Assigned to House Appropriations Committee 6/18/15, Sponsor: Rep. Joseph Miro

House Bill #107:This bill articulates the principle that local school districts and school boards should have the authority to select their own leaders and staff from a pool of qualified applicants. These are decisions best left at the local level rather than imposed by a central authority.” Status: Released from House Education Committee 1/20/16, On House Ready List, Sponsor: Rep. Kim Williams

House Bill #108:This bill requires that the General Assembly approve any ESEA Flexibility waiver prior to its submission to the U.S. Department of Education.” Status: Stricken 1/19/16, Sponsor: Rep. Kim Williams

House Bill #117: This Act will create a funding source for students enrolled in Delaware public schools who are determined as low-income according to the Department of Education. This funding source will be in addition to the normal enrollment based funding provided to school districts and charter schools. The low-income unit will provide one unit of funding for every 250 low-income students in grades K-12 where the funding can be used for such purposes as providing additional teachers and paraprofessionals for classroom instruction; additional counselors, school psychologists, social workers, and intervention specialists; Response to Intervention Services; and before and after school programs providing homework assistance, and for support for English language learners. To ensure the low-income resources reach the schools where they are most needed, this Act requires that at least 98% of the units be directed towards the schools that generate the funding unless otherwise waived by a local board of education during a public meeting.” Status: Tabled in House Education Committee 5/13/15, Released from House Education Committee 6/3/15, Assigned to House Appropriations Committee 6/18/15, Sponsor: Rep. Debra Heffernan

House Bill #125: “This legislation requires that all full-time employees of the State, continuously in the employ of the state for at least one year, shall be eligible for 12 weeks of paid leave upon the birth or adoption of a child 6 years of age or younger. Both parents would be eligible for such leave. Employees shall continue to have the right, as they do under current law, to use accrued sick leave for maternity and paternity purposes. This legislation leaves intact the rights of persons adopting a child over 6 years of age to take unpaid leave. Due to lack of adequate paid family leave policies, many parents must return to work sooner than is optimal for the health of mothers (in the case of biological birth) and children. Granting paid leave will contribute to the establishment of parent-child bonds, breastfeeding establishment, and allow infants to receive vaccines and develop stronger immune systems prior to entering daycare. Further, a more generous leave policy will increase the productivity of workers and reduce employee turnover.” (This bill would affect all public school teachers and personnel) Status: Stricken 6/3/15, became House Bill 165, Sponsor: Rep. Debra Heffernan

House Bill #138:Currently, the Sussex Tech School Board consists of 7 members appointed by the Governor, who serve 7 year terms. This bill will establish a 7 member board that is elected to serve for a 4 year term. There will be one board member elected from each Public School District with territory in Sussex County, to occur at the same time as local school board elections. The elections will be staggered and occurring on even numbered years, with the first elected terms to begin on July 1, 2016.” Status: Released from House Education Committee 6/24/15, on House ready list, Sponsor: Rep. Tim Dukes

House Bill #144:This bill codifies the annual funding of transportation of students of nonpublic, nonprofit elementary and high schools.” Status: Released from House Education Committee 6/3/15, Assigned to House Appropriations Committee 6/18/15, Sponsor: Rep. Joseph Miro

House Bill 152 and House Substitute #1:This bill ensures every elementary, middle, and high school in the State employs at least one library media specialist.” Status: Released from House Education Committee 6/17/15, Assigned to House Appropriations Committee 6/18/15, Sponsor: Rep. Paul Baumbach

House Bill 154: This bill is a companion to House Bill No. 53 and is conditioned upon that bill’s enactment. This bill clarifies that charter schools do not have to contract for a separate audit, but rather are subject to a postaudit conducted by the Auditor of Accounts.” Status: Stricken, Sponsor: Rep. Kim Williams

House Bill 155:This Act requires that those voting in school board elections and school tax elections and school bond elections be registered voters eligible to vote in general elections. Currently, any resident of the school district is eligible to vote in school elections.” Status: Assigned to House Education Committee 5/28/15, Sponsor: Rep. Joseph Miro

House Bill 161: “An act to amend Title 14 of the Delaware code establishing the Parent Empowerment Education Savings Account Act.” Status: Assigned to House Education Committee 6/3/15, Sponsor: Rep. Deb Hudson

House Bill 165:This legislation requires that all full-time employees of the State, including employees of school districts, continuously in the employ of the state for at least one year, shall be eligible for 12 weeks of paid leave upon the birth or adoption of a child 6 years of age or younger. Both parents would be eligible for such leave. Employees shall continue to have the right, as they do under current law, to use accrued sick leave for maternity and paternity purposes. This legislation leaves intact the rights of persons adopting a child over 6 years of age to take unpaid leave. Due to lack of adequate paid family leave policies, many parents must return to work sooner than is optimal for the health of mothers (in the case of biological birth) and children. Granting paid leave will contribute to the establishment of parent-child bonds, breastfeeding establishment, and allow infants to receive vaccines and develop stronger immune systems prior to entering daycare. Further, a more generous leave policy will increase the productivity of workers and reduce employee turnover.” Status: released from House Administration Committee 1/27/16, on House ready list, Sponsor: Rep. Debra Heffernan

House Bill 173:The Department of Education often implements policies and educational requirements based upon directives issued by the United States Department of Education. This Bill will require that any directive received by the Department of Education from the Federal Government be automatically disclosed on the Department of Education website without the necessity for making a Freedom of Information Request.” Status: Assigned to House Education Committee 6/10/15, Sponsor: Rep. Richard Collins

House Bill 175:A unified sport is an athletic program that combines students with disabilities and students without disabilities to train and compete on the same team. The purpose of a unified sport is to build social inclusion through the platform of sports, and to provide common ground where students with and without disabilities can enjoy the bond that comes from training, goal-setting, and teamwork. Additionally, a unified sport breaks down stereotypes by demonstrating abilities through athletic competition and meaningful involvement, and creates opportunities for students with and without disabilities to share greater understanding and friendship on and off the playing field.
The General Assembly recognizes that unified sports offer benefits to all students and serve as a potential tool for schools that are required to meet Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794, regarding providing extracurricular activities, and 14 Del. Admin. C. § 923-7.1 and 7.2.
 This Act creates a unified sports pilot program in track and field in all high schools operated by a regular or vocational technical school district or by a charter school during the 2015-2016 school year. This Act requires an evaluation of the pilot program to determine the feasibility of making unified sports a permanent part of the regular, vocational technical, and charter school experience.
This Act is contingent on funding.” Status: Released from House Education Committee, on House Ready List, Sponsor: Rep. Melanie Smith

House Bill 186:Currently, all school districts, including vocational schools, are subject to the Auditor of Accounts. Edits to the November 2010 Charter School Manual removed instructions for charter schools to go through Auditor of Accounts when contracting for audits. There is presently no legislative authority to require charter schools to submit to the Auditor of Accounts processes. This bill adds charter schools to the list of entities for audits through the Auditor of Accounts. The bill takes effect so that the Auditor of Accounts shall conduct postaudits for the time periods starting on or after July 1, 2015.” Status: Passed House 6/30/15, released From Senate Education Committee 1/14/16, On Senate Ready List, Sponsor: Rep. Kim Williams

House Bill 198: This bill enlarges the scope of a criminal charge of Possession of a Weapon in a Safe School and Recreation Zone. Currently, the definition of a “Safe School and Recreation Zone” focuses on buildings and structures used as a recreation center, athletic field or sports stadium. It does not expressly apply to parks used as a recreation area or to parkland under 9 Del. C. § 8110(a)(2). The term “parkland” in that section is defined as: real property, including improvements erected thereon and fixtures attached thereto, used primarily for recreational purposes and dedicated as parkland, public open space, private open space or other public use on a recorded subdivision plan, or through valid and binding restrictive covenants, provided that: a. The property is not used by the civic organization or by any other person so as to benefit any officer, trustee, director, shareholder, member, employee, contributor or bondholder of the organization or operator or any other person through the distribution of profits or the payment of excessive compensation; b. The property is used for recreational purposes; and c. The use of the property is open, without charge, to the public, or to members of the civic organization, or to the residents of the neighborhood, or to residents of the community or to residents of the subdivision in which the property is located, regardless of sex, race, creed, color or national origin.” Status: Tabled in House Judiciary Committee and Stricken 1/20/16, Sponsor: Rep. Gerald Brady

House Bill 229: Under the current School Choice program, there are certain students who may receive priority consideration for enrollment in the school of their choice. This Bill adds a new priority consideration for students who have a medical condition or disability that carries an ongoing risk of a sudden medical emergency. If the parent, relative, guardian or caregiver can demonstrate that they would be able to respond quicker to an emergency at the selected school, the student will receive a priority consideration.” Status: House Education Committee 1/7/16, Sponsor: Rep. Wilson

House Bill 231: This bill requires that charter schools participate in the state retirement system.” Status: released from House Education Committee 1/27/16, on House ready list, Sponsor: Rep. Matthews

House Bill 232: This Act will require the State Board of Education to accept public comment on all agenda items at its meetings, including charter school applications and changes to regulations. The Board is not required to accept public comment concerning student disciplinary appeals. The Board retains discretion to limit the manner, length, and timing of public comment at its meetings.” Status: House Education Committee 1/7/16, Sponsor: Rep. Williams

House Bill 234 This bill requires all public secondary schools, including vocational-technical schools, but not including charter schools, to have a school-based health center. The state is required to fund start-up costs at the rate of one school per year for secondary schools that currently lack such a health center. Wellness centers are an important means of providing preventative and primary medical care to teens and overcoming obstacles to care such as lack of transportation and cost. Pursuant to House Bill No. 303, approved in June of 2012, insurers are required to reimburse for services provided at school-based health centers recognized by Delaware’s Division of Public Health. Under DPH regulations students under 18 must enroll for service by having a parent or guardian sign a consent form.” Status: released from House Education Committee 3/9/16, assigned to House Appropriations Committee 3/10/16, Sponsor: Rep. Williams

House Bill 236: This bill will allow for a school property tax exemption for a person of any age who has been designated as a disabled veteran by the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs.” Status: House Education Committee 1/12/16, Sponsor: Rep. Miro

House Bill 240: This bill establishes the Statewide Afterschool Initiative Learning Program. The Program will provide grants to public schools, that qualify as Title I schools, to develop afterschool engagement of students that will provide extended learning, homework assistance, enrichment, and nutrition.
Quality afterschool programs have been proven to enhance student engagement, improve likelihood that students will stay in school, and graduate on time. High quality programs can improve participating students school attendance, enhance literacy and help to apply classroom learning in fun and enriching ways to boost students attitudes toward various academic subjects.
After school hours, from 3-6pm, is the most dangerous time for youth and crime, accounting for the peak time for youth to commit crimes or become victims of crimes. 11.3 million children are unsupervised in the United States after school. 28,292 kids in Delaware are on their own during the hours after school.
According to the Afterschool Alliance’s 2014 ‘America After 3PM’ state survey, of all Delaware children not currently enrolled in afterschool, 40% (48,140) would be likely to participate if an afterschool program were available in their community.
” Status: released from House Education Committee 1/13/16, assigned to House Appropriations Committee 1/14/16, Sponsor: Rep. Longhurst

House Bill 243: Under current federal and state regulations implementing the statewide assessment program, if a school or district has less than 95% of their students taking the state assessment, this can be used against the school or district as it pertains to accountability or progress ratings, and further may disqualify the school or district from safe harbor provisions. As the decision to opt out of state assessments is made by parents, and not the school or district, this bill will prohibit the state from using the rate of participation against a school or district.” Status: House Education Committee 1/19/16, Sponsor: Rep. Miro

House Bill 250: In 2014, the Legislature passed a bill adding instances of “reported and recorded” bullying to the list of reasons why a child could be withdrawn from a choice or charter school before the expiration of the statutory minimum enrollment period or why an application for admission or withdrawal could be accepted outside of the statutory timeframe for submission. This bill seeks to clarify and strengthen that law by adding a requirement that the instance of bullying must also be substantiated. This will ensure the integrity of the law by limiting its exploitation by persons who wish to change schools for unrelated reasons, but preserving the exception for children truly in need of special consideration due to school bullying.” Status: released from House Education Committee 3/16/16, on House ready list,Sponsor: Rep. Williams

House Bill 261: Under existing law, when a child applies to enter a charter school, the burden is placed upon that charter school to contact the previous school district of the child to determine if the child was subject to expulsion. There are also children who are placed in alternative schools programs for discipline reasons who were not expelled. It has become more common for parents of these children to apply for enrollment in charter schools in order to circumvent the expulsion or discipline program. This has been made possible because some school districts have not responded to the requests made by charter schools for these discipline or expulsion records. If the Charter school enrolls the student and later discovers this issue, the Charter school is not permitted to disenroll the student and is thereafter responsible for that child’s cost. The previous school district thus benefits financially from its failure to respond as it is no longer responsible for the cost of that child. The changes in this bill close this loophole for parents and remove the disincentive for school districts to respond to these requests. If the previous school district fails to respond to a request, they will now have to resume responsibility for the costs of the child. The loophole should be closed for many of these parents as the charter schools will have this information available to it when deciding whether to enroll a child, and they are required to disenroll the student upon discovery of this information.” Status: House Education Committee 1/28/16, Sponsor: Rep. Ramone

House Bill 279: This bill would require that public comment be permitted at all open meetings of any board, bureau, commission, department, agency, committee, ad hoc committee, special committee, temporary committee, advisory board and committee, subcommittee, legislative committee, association, group, panel or council. The minimum time will be one minute. Maximum time and procedural rules are left to the discretion of the meeting body.” Status: House Administration Committee 3/8/16, Sponsor: Rep. Williams

House Bill 292: This bill requires schools to post the toll-free telephone report line number for child abuse and neglect in a conspicuous location, where it may be viewed by students.  Currently the number is 1-800-292-9582. Status: House Education Committee 3/17/16, Sponsor: Rep. Williams

House Concurrent Resolution #5:Under the current Department of Education formula for providing State funds for education, there is a wide discrepancy in the funding per pupil between public school districts and among the other educational systems offered in this State. This Resolution will establish a Task Force to examine and study all Department of Education K-12 spending in Delaware, as it exists across all forms of education. The Task Force will be able to use that information to make recommendations that will create and promote an equitable distribution among all children receiving an education in Delaware, by and among all public school districts and alternative educational systems. This Task Force will be comprised of 16 persons with diverse backgrounds and interests, including those from public, charter, and vocational educational systems.Status: Stricken 1/26/16, Sponsor: Rep. Ruth Briggs-King

Senate Bill #24:This act would ensure that the academic performance of charter schools who are serving low income and minority students are evaluated by the improvements that they have made with their students.” Status: Assigned to Senate Education Committee 1/27/15, Sponsor: Senator Margaret Rose Henry

Senate Bill #49: This bill provides for the transfer of property from the Appoquinimink School District to the Town of Townsend.” Status: Stricken 3/31/15, Sponsor: Senator Bruce Ennis

*Senate Bill #62: “This Act updates the minimum insurance coverage requirements for school transportation to reflect current industry standards.” Status Passed Senate 4/23/15, Passed House 7/1/15, Sponsor: Senator David Sokola

*waiting for signature from Governor Markell

Senate Bill #72:This bill increases the teaching and administrative experience qualifications for the Secretary of Education from 5 years to 10 years. The Bill also clarifies that at least 6 years must be of teaching experience and at least 2 years must be of administrative experience.” Status: Released from Senate Education Committee, on Senate Ready List 5/6/15, Sponsor: Senator Bryan Townsend

Senate Bill #82: “Senate Bill 20 of the 147th General Assembly (79 Del. Laws c. 251) formally established the Prison Education program in Chapter 24 of Title 14 of the Delaware Code. Employees of the Prison Education program whose primary job location is within an institution have been eligible to receive hazardous duty pay for several years, this legislation simply updates Title 29 to reflect the authorization already existing in Chapter 24 of Title 14 and in the Budget Act.” Status: Passed Senate 5/14/15, Released from House Corrections Committee 6/10/15, On House Ready List, Sponsor: Senator Bruce Ennis

Senate Bill #92:Delaware Code Title 14§1332 addresses the Program for Children with Autism and its “Special Staff.” Enacted nearly three decades ago, these regulations established a network of educational programs initially within a separate school structure known as The Delaware Autism Program (DAP). Today, this network continues as a combination of both separate school programs and within local school district support services. In addition, the code designates a Statewide Director who primarily has provided direction, training, and technical assistance within the DAP. However, current practices in special education, especially regarding inclusive education and parents’ desire to have their children educated within their local communities, seem to be incongruent with this older model of service delivery. In addition, the magnitude of the increase in students identified with ASD has clearly created difficulty for the Statewide Director to provide the level of services/support that once was offered. Therefore, the recommended code changes also revise the concept of DAP toward a system in which the Statewide Director would work in collaboration with a team of experts to provide technical assistance and training to districts and educational entities. This recommendation reconstitutes the regulations to neutralize the distinction between DAP approved programs and other in-district options, thereby, allowing and providing adequate resources to serve on behalf of all student with ASD in Delaware. The number of technical/ training experts has been identified as one expert per 100 students statewide. It is suggested that the fiscal mechanism to support these changes should be through mandated district participation that is congruent with the current needs based funding system in Delaware. Lastly, the current mandatory committee structure is enhanced to include a Parent Advisory Committee, in addition to the Peer Review Committee and Statewide Monitoring Review board. These changes include articulation of the qualifications and duties of the Statewide Director for Students with ASD; the addition of a technical assistance team of educational autism specialists numbering a ratio of 1 for every 100 students (currently estimated at 15 positions); and the further clarification / additions to the committee structure for family input, monitoring, and protections under human rights. This recommendation recognizes and supports the need for specialized technical assistance and training staff to be available to build capacity for teachers in all districts and other programs educating students with ASD. These changes essentially expand available supports so that excellent, evidence-based training and technical assistance can be made available to all Delaware schools and the students within them.” Status: Released from Senate Education Committee 6/3/15, Sponsor: Senator Margaret Rose Henry

Senate Bill #93:This bill establishes an Interagency Committee on Autism and the Delaware Network for Excellence in Autism.  Among other things, the Interagency Committee on Autism is charged with a) utilizing evidence-based practices and programs to improve outcomes for people living with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and related developmental disabilities in Delaware by sharing information, initiatives, data and communications among both public and private agencies providing services and supports for individuals and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders in the State of Delaware; and b) implementing the recommendations outlined in the 2013 Delaware Strategic Plan entitled “Blueprint for Collective Action: Final Report of the Delaware Strategic Plan to Improve Services and Supports for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.”  The Delaware Network for Excellence in Autism is to provide a resource for training and technical assistance for Delaware state agencies, organizations and other private entities operating in the State of Delaware that provide services and support to individuals and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders.  The Network is to support the operations of the Interagency Committee on Autism through the maintenance of the website, maintenance of reports created by the Interagency Committee on Autism and maintenance of meeting minutes, as well as other support as needed by the Interagency Committee on Autism.” Status: Released from Senate Education Committee 6/3/15, Sponsor: Senator Margaret Rose Henry

Senate Bill #137:Delaware’s Community College System plays a critical role in the State’s economy by providing workforce development and transfer education that connects Delawareans with good paying jobs within the State and region. This Act gives the College’s Board of Trustees the authority to issue bonds to finance the cost of major and minor capital improvements, deferred maintenance, and the acquisition of related equipment and educational technology associated therewith and establishes the Community College Infrastructure Fund to pay the principal and interest on such bonds. This Act adopts the county vo-tech structure to finance the Fund by authorizing the College’s Board of Trustees to collect a local property tax subject to a cap.” Status: Released from Senate Finance Committee 6/23/15, on Senate ready list, Sponsor: Senator Harris McDowell

Senate Bill #161:This Act requires public schools to begin their school year after Labor Day. There have been many economic impact reports done that show a positive impact from starting public schools after Labor Day. A report by the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association estimates that $369 million would be lost if schools were not required to start after Labor Day. This includes $104 million in wages and $21 million in state and local taxes. Maryland is considering similar legislation. A study of Maryland found that pushing the start of school back would generate $74.3 million in economic activity and $7.7 million in new state and local tax revenue.” Status: released from Senate Education Committee 3/16/16, on Senate ready list, Sponsor: Senator Gerald Hocker

Senate Bill #165: The purpose of this Act is to eliminate the potential for improper electioneering in schools being used as polling placed and to increase voter participation. To accomplish this purpose, this Act directs the Department of Elections to conduct all public school elections by United States mail and requires that all voters participating in such an election be registered voters.
 This Act also provides that all public school elections will be held on the same day, the second Tuesday of May. This includes referendum elections under Chapters 19, 20, and 21 of Title 14 of the Delaware Code and, therefore, a school board may hold only 1 referendum election in any calendar year, on the second Tuesday of May.
Lastly, this Act makes several amendments to Chapters 19, 20, and 21 of Title 14 of the Delaware Code to reflect the change in method of voting in public school elections to mail ballots.” Status: Assigned to Senate Education Committee 7/15/15, Sponsor: Senator Karen Peterson

Senate Bill #171:Currently, all regular school districts, charter schools, and vocational schools are subject to audit by the Auditor of Accounts. This legislative authority is granted to the Auditor of Accounts in multiple sections of the Delaware Code which must be considered together.
This Act seeks to strengthen certain aspects of Title 14 of the Delaware Code with respect to charter school audits and seeks to improve the relevant sections of the Title for consistency and cross-reference of terms.
Status: released from Senate Education Committee 1/21/16, on Senate ready list, Sponsor: Senator Sokola

Senate Bill #180:This Act provides procedures to ensure that each child with a disability who has reached age 18 has an identified educational decision-maker to exercise rights under this chapter. A child with a disability who has capacity may exercise his own rights or appoint an agent to exercise educational rights. A child with a disability who does not have capacity to provide informed consent with respect to educational programming will have an educational representative appointed, with a parent receiving priority for that role. The Department of Education, with the approval of the State Board of Education, shall promulgate regulations to implement this section. The Act shall be in effect 180 days from the date of enactment to allow regulations to be developed and provide school districts and charter schools time to receive training.Status: Senate passed 1/27/16, released from House Education Committee 3/16/16, on House ready list, Sponsor: Senator Poore

Senate Bill #186:This Act creates a Disabled Veteran School Tax Refund Fund to provide property tax refunds of up to $500 to individuals who are disabled veterans of the Unites States Armed Forces with a disability rating as determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
This Act provides that an individual eligible for a refund under this Act and a credit based on being over 65 years of age may receive only the greater of the refund or the credit, not both.
Status: Assigned to Senate Finance Committee 1/28/16, Sponsor: Senator Townsend

Senate Bill #202 w/SA#1:This Act excludes buses operated by the Department of Education, any public school district, or any charter school from the requirements for minimum insurance coverage contained in § 2904, Title 14 of the Delaware Code.  This Act is a follow-up to Senate Bill No. 62, which was passed by the General Assembly during the first session of the 148th General Assembly.” SA #1: “This Amendment makes clear that the insurance required by § 2904, Title 14 is for buses that are used, owned, leased, or operated by a person with a contract the Department of Education, any public school district, or any charter school. In addition, this Amendment makes clear that the changes made by Senate Bill No. 202, as amended, take effect upon the enactment of Senate Bill No. 62 of the 148th General Assembly.”Status: Senate passed 3/15/16, assigned House Education Committee 3/16/16, Sponsor: Senator Sokola

Senate Bill #204:This bill would allow for a student to participate in the Inspire Scholarship Program for eight continuous semesters instead of the current six. This would allow a student to use Inspire Scholarships for each of the semesters during a traditional college program.Status: Assigned to Senate Finance Committee 3/10/16, Sponsor: Senator Bushweller

Senate Bill #207:This Act would improve the state’s response to incidents of school bullying by better informing parents of the availability of intervention by the Department of Justice’s School Ombudsperson, and clarify that the Ombudsperson has authority to intervene in both incidents of criminal activity and incidents that meet the statutory definition of bullying but do not constitute criminal activity. This Act would also give schools and victims’ families discretion whether to report misdemeanor assault incidents between juveniles to law enforcement agencies, rather than mandating the involvement of the criminal justice system in all such incidents. Finally, the Act would ensure that parents of students involved in bullying incidents are informed that such incidents are reported to the Department of Education, and are informed when such reports occur.Status: Assigned to Senate Judiciary  Committee 3/10/16, Sponsor: Senator Rose-Henry

Senate Bill #208 w/SA #1:This Act makes the following technical corrections to two online privacy protection bills passed during the General Assembly’s 2015 session: (i) the Act amends Section 1204C of the Delaware Online Privacy Protection Act, Chapter 12C, Title 6, to insert language that was inadvertently omitted from the bill as enacted; (ii) the Act amends Section 8105A of the Student Data Privacy Protection Act, Chapter 81A, Title 14, to correct a typographical error; and (iii) the Act amends Section 5 of the enacting bill, Chapter 149, Volume 80 of the Laws of Delaware, to correct a misinterpretation of the effective date of new Chapter 81A, Title 14 of the Code.” SA #1:This amendment clarifies that the term “sexually-oriented” has the meaning set forth in § 1602(18) of Title 24. Status: released from Senate Education Committee 3/16/16, on Senate Ready List, Sponsor: Senator Blevins 

PASSED & SIGNED LEGISLATION

House Bill #56 with House Amendment #1: “This bill provides a moratorium on all new charter schools in Delaware until June 30, 2018 or until the State Board of Education develops a strategic plan for the number of charter, district, and vocational-technical schools in the State. Also, the bill requires review and comment from Wilmington’s Mayor and City Council before either a local school district or the Department of Education approves a charter in the City of Wilmington. Lastly, the bill requires the local school board’s approval for a charter school in the City of Wilmington before the Department of Education can approve the charter school.” With HA #1: “The amendment clarifies that the Mayor and the City Council of Wilmington may review and provide comment on applications by charter schools seeking to locate in the City of Wilmington before the school is authorized by the relevant approving authority. It also clarifies that no new charter schools will be authorized to open in the City of Wilmington prior to June 30, 2018 or the development of a statewide strategic plan for specialized public educational opportunities; those charter schools already authorized will be able to open as planned.” Status: Signed by Governor Markell into law on 5/5/2015, Sponsor: Rep. Charles Potter

House Bill #58: “In 1981, the General Assembly set the current tax rate ceiling for the New Castle County Vocational Technical School District (“District”) at 13 cents on each $100 value of real property for the tax year 1982 and then provided for it to increase to 14 cents on each $100 value of real property for the tax year 1983 and thereafter. When the General Assembly established these ceilings, the District was assessing a tax of 4.11 cents. After 34 years, the tax rate ceiling has been reached.
Section 1 of this Act establishes a new tax rate ceiling incrementally over 6 years. This Act raises only the ceiling on the tax rate that may be imposed by the District’s Board of Education. The decision to impose a tax rate increase will be made by the District’s Board of Education based on its needs and pursuant to its policies.
Section 1 of this Act also corrects an error made in legislation revising § 2601 of Title 14 in 1976.
Section 2 of this Act creates a contingent sunset date of the new tax rate ceiling established by Section 1 of this Act. The new tax rate ceiling will sunset, to be replaced by the current tax rate ceiling of 14 cents on each $100, when the Government of New Castle County conducts a general reassessment of all real estate in New Castle County.
Section 2 of this Act also requires the Secretary of the District’s Board of Education, also known as the District Superintendent, to notify the Registrar of Regulations of the fulfillment of the contingency. This is required to provide notice to the public and to assist the Code Revisors in revising § 2601 of Title 14 to account for the fulfillment of the contingency.” Status: Passed House of Representatives and Senate, Signed by Governor Markell 5/28/15, Sponsor: Rep. Earl Jaques

House Bill 60 with HA #1: “This bill creates an Achieving a Better Life Experience (“ABLE”) Program in Delaware, to implement federal legislation enabling the creation of savings accounts with tax advantages similar to 529 accounts, designed to be used by persons with disabilities to save for qualifying disability and education related expenses. The ABLE Program will be overseen by a Board composed of 7 members: a chair appointed by the Governor, the State Treasurer, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services, a current member of the Board which oversees Delaware’s 529 plans, a public member appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, a public member appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and a person with a disability appointed by the Governor. The Office of the State Treasurer shall provide support to the Board in carrying out its functions. The Board is empowered to take actions necessary to run the Program in compliance with federal law and regulations, including contracting with financial service providers and other consultants to implement the plan. Any contributions to these plans will not be counted against a designated beneficiary in determining that individual’s income eligibility for state or local means-tested programs.
Section 2 of the bill exempts ABLE accounts from execution or attachment pursuant to court judgments in the same manner and to the same extent as 529 education accounts are protected.” With HA #1: “This amendment names this Act “Kayla’s Bill” in honor of the tireless work of Kayla Kosmalski and her family in advocating for the creation of ABLE accounts at the federal level and in Delaware.” Status:Passed House of Representatives and Senate, Signed by Governor Markell 6/10/15, Sponsor: Rep. Melanie Smith

House Bill #81: “The Department of Education issues an annual Delaware Public Education Profile on all Delaware public schools. This bill adds the information pertaining to the role of the Title IX Coordinator and their contact information into the annual Education Profile report. The intention of this bill is to make school districts, parents and students aware of this important federally mandated position in each district, with the understanding that a Title IX Coordinator’s role is to ensure certain protections are provided to students, parents, teachers, and school districts in applicable situations.” Status: Passed House of Representatives and Senate, Signed by Governor Markell 5/28/15, Sponsor: Rep. Melanie Smith

House Bill #82 w/House Amendment #1: “Pursuant to 14 Del. C. Chapter 1, the Secretary and Department of Education are given authority to promulgate and adopt rules and regulations, consistent with the laws of the State of Delaware, for the administration and supervision of the public education system of this State.  Regulation 103 (Accountability for Schools, Districts and the State) was passed giving the Secretary authority to decide and determine collective bargaining rights in certain situations. This legislation is to clarify that the rule-making authority given to the Secretary in §§ 154 and 155 of this chapter remains subject to the exclusive authority of the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) to settle labor disputes as granted by the General Assembly in 14 Del. C. Chapter 40.” House Amendment #1: “This amendment clarifies that any rule or regulation under sections 154 and 155 of Title 14 and promulgated by the Department of Education, with the approval of the State Board, and that are related to collective bargaining shall be written to be consistent with the Public Employment Relations Board as that authority is established in Title 14, Chapter 40.” Status:  Passed House 6/9/15, Passed Senate 6/24/15, Signed by Governor Markell 8/17/15, Sponsor: Rep. Sean Lynn

House Bill #85: This bill allows school taxes and property taxes to be collected by tax intercept.” Status: Passed House of Representatives 1/26/16, Passed Senate 3/10/16, Signed by Governor Markell 3/17/16, Sponsor: Rep. Daniel Short

House Bill #90: “This bill requires all public school employees to receive 90 minutes of training each year on suicide prevention. The bill also requires all public schools to establish a suicide prevention committee. Furthermore, the bill requires local education agencies to create a suicide prevention policy.” Status: Passed House 4/28/15, Passed Senate 5/13/15, Signed by Governor Markell 6/8/15, Sponsor: Rep. Valerie Longhurst

House Bill #91: “This bill involves the public school immunization program. Currently, the Affidavit of Religious Belief does not expressly alert parents or guardians who file for the religious exemption from the program that the child will be temporarily excluded from school in the event of an epidemic of a vaccine preventable disease. This bill amends the required affidavit so parents or guardians are directly made aware of the possibility of the child’s temporary exclusion from school. The bill also adds that the asserted cause of a medical exemption may be subject to review and approval by the Division of Public Health. Additionally, the bill would require the Division of Public Health to declare an outbreak, rather than the current language of an epidemic throughout the State or a particular definable region thereof.” Status: Passed House 6/16/15, Passed Senate 7/1/15, Signed by Governor Markell 7/15/15, Sponsor: Rep. Sean Matthews

House Bill #100 w/HA#1: “This Act establishes a new tax rate ceiling for the next two years and then sunsets to its original level in year three. Also this Act limits total enrollment over the next three years and provides limitations on applicant selection.“HA #1: This amendment clarifies that the applicable provisions apply only to Sussex Tech. Further, this amendment provides an exception to the prohibition on removing students in the event of expulsion (that would apply to all public school districts as well).” (this bill is for Sussex Tech) Status: Passed House and Senate, 5/5/15, Signed by Governor Markell 5/18/15, Sponsor: Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf

House Bill #116: “This bill was recommended by the Executive Order 45 Re-Entry Education Task Force.  That task force was created to examine the present system and to make recommendations on how to best serve youth educationally as they leave juvenile justice secure facilities.  This bill would make the DSCYF Education Unit a Local Education Agency for very limited purposes.  Specifically, the bill would allow DSCYF Education Unit teachers to apply for federal, state, or private loan forgiveness programs available to educators who work in a Local Education Agency.  It would also allow the DSCYF Education Unit to apply for federal, state, or private grants that are made available to Local Education Agencies and allow the Education Unit to issue credits to youth who finish classes while they are in our care and educated by the Unit.” Status: Passed House 6/9/15, Passed Senate 6/24/15, Signed by Governor Markell 6/30/15, Sponsor: Rep. Earl Jaques

House Bill #146: “Delaware is one of only a few states that does not charge a fee for educator licensure or for certifications. Delaware processes approximately 10,000 applications for licensure and certification each year, in addition to other processing requests for current educators, such as plus credits. Because of reciprocity agreements and the lack of license fees in our state, the Department of Education processes approximately one to two thousand applications per year from applicants outside of the State of Delaware who do not become employed here. Establishing a $100 fee for new licenses will help deter applicants who apply because of the lack of cost and with the intent to seek reciprocity elsewhere. This will reduce the processing burden and allow the licensure office to better serve the needs of Delaware’s educators. Status: Passed Hosue 6/11/15, Passed Senate 6/24/15, Signed by Governor Markell 7/27/15, Sponsor: Rep. Kim Williams

House Bill #148 w/House Amendment #1 and Senate Amendment #1: “The purpose of this bill is to create the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission as recommended by the recent report on Strengthening Wilmington Education, prepared by the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee.
The Wilmington Education Improvement Commission (WEIC) shall serve as a State advisory committee for the administration of planning, recommending and implementing changes to improve the quality and availability of education for children in Pre-K through 12 in the city of Wilmington and advise the State on improvements for all schools within the State with high concentrations of children living in poverty.
Specifically, the WEIC will develop a transition plan, including a timeline, for the provision of necessary services to affected schools and students.  WEIC shall also develop a resource plan regarding transitional resources to effectively implement school district realignment.  Both the transition plan and resource plan must be submitted first to the State Board of Education and then to the General Assembly and the Governor for final approval.   Both are due for submission and related action by December 31, 2015.
The membership of the WEIC will reflect broad interests throughout the Wilmington educational community including the leadership, staff, students and parents from the affected districts, charter schools, union representatives, , and community and government leaders.
The WEIC mandate from the Governor and General Assembly is to work with and across all governmental agencies, educational entities and private and nonprofit institutions to promote and support  the implementation of all recommended changes from the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee (WEAC).  The WEIC also will also monitor the progress of implementation and recommend policies and actions to the Governor and General Assembly to facilitate progress and to promote the continuous improvement of public education on dimensions addressed by the WEAC recommendation
s.” with HA #1: “This amendment removes the sunset provision and the funding provision. The amendment also makes various technical corrections.” with SA #1: “This amendment changes the limit of board members from 21 to 23, removes all references in the bill to “or more” and removes the provision restricting the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson to being unaffiliated with any other state governmental agency.” Status: Passed House 6/9/15, Passed Senate 6/18/15, Signed by Governor Markell 8/4/15, Sponsor: Rep. Helene Keeley

House Joint Resolution #4 w/House Amendments #1,2,3: Many students in Delaware schools are failing to receive the education and training that is required to achieve the financial literacy required to be productive citizens.  This joint resolution is designed to establish a task force to study and make findings concerning financial literacy education in Delaware. The task force will also make policy and program recommendations that will help increase the financial literacy of our students.” HA #1: This amendment clarifies that the 2 teachers to be appointed by the President of the Delaware State Education Association and adds two representatives from the Delaware Bankers Association.” HA #2: “This amendment changes the report due date to June 30, 2016.” HA #3:”This amendment requires that the representatives from the State Board of Education must themselves be members of the Board.” Status: House passed 1/19/16, Senate Passed 1/28/16, signed by Governor Markell 2/1/16, Sponsor: Rep. Briggs-King

House Joint Resolution #6 w/House Amendment #1: “This House Joint Resolution directs the DPAS II Advisory Committee to review and make recommendations to the current educator evaluation system. This Resolution also limits the State Department of Education’s ability to propose changes to certain sections of the Administrative Code.” House Amendment #1: This amendment removes the limitation on the State Department of Education’s ability to propose changes to certain sections of the Administrative Code on performance appraisals.  The amendment then re-numbers the remaining elements of the resolution.” Passed House 6/23/15, Passed Senate 7/1/15, Signed by Governor Markell 8/4/15, Sponsor: Rep. Earl Jaques

House Joint Resolution #7: “Recognizing (1) that many of our educators are assuming greater levels of responsibility and demonstrating leadership in their classrooms and schools, (2) that our current educator compensation system does not reflect the work we value in our educators or provide them with a meaningful career pathway or ability to earn additional compensation for assuming additional responsibility, and (3) that we must retain and attract great educators to ensure that our students are prepared to compete in an increasingly global economy, this bill re-establishes the Committee to Advance Educator Compensation and Careers in addition to establishing two sub-committees: the Educator Work Group and the Technical Advisory Group. The Committee will continue its work in developing a plan for an alternative compensation structure and career pathway for educators aligned with the parameters set forth in Senate Bill No. 254, including providing educators with a meaningful career pathway, including higher starting salaries and recognition for working with high-needs students, and significant leadership opportunities for career advancement that keeps talented educators in the classroom.   The Committee must submit updated recommendations to the Governor by March 31st, 2016 with sufficient detail for implementing legislation, and will continue to meet thereafter to issue subsequent recommendations for consideration.” Status: Passed House 6/18/15, Passed Senate 6/24/15, Signed by Governor Markell 8/31/15, Sponsor: Rep. Kim Williams

House Resolution #22: “This Resolution will require the Delaware Secretary of Education to propose options for the General Assembly to consider for adoption as Delaware law as it pertains to the decision by parents to opt their children out of statewide assessments. The Secretary shall provide options for implementation of a uniform procedure and process by which all schools and school districts within this State notify parents of their right to opt out, along with a standard procedure to accomplish the same.   This joint resolution also prohibits the Department and schools from penalizing any student deciding to opt out. It is intended that such prohibition be incorporated within any legislation adopting a procedure offered by the Secretary.” Status: House Passed 1/14/16, Sponsor: Rep. Dukes *this House Resolution is not enforceable by law and the Delaware Department of Education has not acted on this at all.

Senate Bill 1o w/Senate Amendment #1: This Act makes technical changes to the Delaware Performance Appraisal System (DPAS) II Advisory Committee membership and meeting dates. Additionally, this Act clarifies language regarding the Committee’s duties in order to better provide advice to the Secretary of the Department of Education and the State Board of Education in the promulgation of regulations relating to DPAS II.” Status: Senate Passed 1/22/15, House Passed 4/2/15, Signed by Governor Markell 4/30/15, Sponsor: Senator Bryan Townsend

Senate Bill #21: “This legislation will change the non-public schools date to submit their September 30 enrollment data from October 31 to October 5.  This will allow for better coordination with the September 30 unit count for public schools and analysis of enrollment trends in the State. ” Status: Passed House and Senate, Signed by Governor Markell 5/28/15, Sponsor: Senator David Sokola

Senate Bill #31 w/Senate Amendment #1 and House Amendment #4: “This bill repeals the sunset provision included in Chapter 214, Volume 78 of the Laws of Delaware, which will continue to enable the Teach For America (TFA) program to recruit and train teachers from Delaware schools and from across the nation to teach in Delaware. This bill maintains the requirement that Teach For America corps members in Delaware complete Teach For America’s pre-service training of not less than 200 hours in order to be in compliance with the pre-service requirement to which other alternative route to teacher licensure candidates are held—which is 120 pre-service hours.  Given the diversity of undergraduate programs across the nation from which TFA program participants in Delaware come, this bill maintains the provision of law which allows TFA program participants to demonstrate content mastery by passing a state-approved content exam and completing pre-service training or by meeting specific undergraduate content hours in field.  The program is designed to increase the pool of potential teachers across grade levels and subject areas for Delaware’s highest needs schools and provide the necessary training for these new teachers to be successful.” Senate Amendment #1: “This Amendment makes a technical correction to Senate Bill No. 31 and clarifies that Senate Bill No. 31 extends the current sunset date to April 20, 2020.” House Amendment #4: “This amendment shortens the extension on the sunset from 2020 to 2018.” Status: Passed House and Senate, Signed by Governor Markell 4/20/15, Sponsor: Senator David Sokola

Senate Bill #33 w/Senate Amendment #3: “An Act to amend Title 14 of the Delaware Code relating to education and the indivdidualized education program.” Senate Amendment #3: “This Amendment makes a number of changes to better implement the recommendations of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Improvement Task Force. It adds new emphasis to the law requiring that notices to parents must be in writing. It clarifies that charter schools and school districts have similar obligations in educating students with disabilities and that charter schools have an ongoing obligation to have a designated staff person trained in the legal requirements of educating students with disabilities. It provides clearer protections to those advocating for students with disabilities by adding the protections existing under Delaware’s whistleblower laws. Finally, it adds a specific task force recommendation that progress on transition-related goals be regularly reported.” Status: Senate passed 3/31/15, House Passed 6/2/15, Signed by Governor Markell 6/18/15, Sponsor: Senator Nicole Poore

Senate Bill #79 w/Senate Substitute #1: “The Student Data Privacy Protection Act will enable students and educators in Delaware public schools to use technology to enhance student educational opportunities without compromising the privacy and security of student data. According to a recent survey of parental attitudes toward educational technology published American Public Media, an overwhelming majority of parents are concerned about the security and privacy of their children’s data, how that data is collected and used, and access advertisers will have to children using educational technology.
Modeled after California’s groundbreaking Student Online Personal Information Privacy Act, the Student Data Privacy Protection Act prohibits education technology service providers, primarily operators of Internet websites, online or cloud computing services, mobile service, and mobile applications used for K-12 school purposes, from selling student data, using student data to engage in targeted advertising to students or their families, amassing a profile on students to be used for non-educational purposes, or disclosing student data except as permitted by the Act. The Act also requires education technology service providers to have reasonable procedures and practices for ensuring the security of student data they collect or maintain, protecting that student data from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification, or disclosure, and deleting the student data if appropriately requested to do so by a school or school district.
The Act also establishes a Student Data Privacy Task Force to study and make findings and recommendations regarding the development and implementation of a comprehensive framework to govern the privacy, protection, accessibility, and use of student data at all levels of the State’s public education system.
The Act gives the Consumer Protection Unit of the Department of Justice the authority to investigate and prosecute violations of the Act.
The Act exempts any projects relating to student data privacy and security approved under the Department of Education’s existing education record privacy regulation prior to the effective date of the Act.
The Act provides that its provisions are severable.
The Act provides that Section 1 will become effective on August 1 the first full year following the Act’s enactment into law, while the remaining sections of the Act will become effective immediately upon the Act’s enactment into law.
The Act is substituted for Senate Bill No. 79 and differs from Senate Bill No. 79 by (1) creating a new chapter in Title 14 of the Delaware Code creating the “Student Data Privacy Protection Act”; (2) deleting provisions addressing data security and privacy responsibilities of the Department of Education in favor of establishing the Student Data Privacy Task Force to study and report on those issues as part of a comprehensive evaluation of student data privacy and security within the State’s public education system; (3) clarifying that an operator’s security and privacy procedures must comply with certain terms and conditions required by the Department of Technology and Information for all state online and cloud computing service contracts involving non-public data; (4) clarifying the circumstances under which an operator can use student data for adaptive learning or customized student learning; (5) giving the Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Unit the authority to investigate and prosecute violations of the Act by operators; (6) making the Act’s provisions severable; (7) setting different effective dates for Section 1 versus the remaining sections of the Act; (8) revising, adding, and deleting certain definitions; and (9) correcting minor typographical errors” Status: Passed Senate 6/9/15, Passed house 6/25/15, Signed by Governor Markell 8/7/15, Sponsor: Senator David Sokola

Senate Bill #94: “This Act requires the Department to develop a regulation for the identification of a “military-connected youth”. The Act further provides that this identification is not a public record, is protected by the federal Family Educational and Privacy Act and shall not be used for purposes of determining school achievement, growth or performance. The purpose of this identification is to ensure the necessary individuals at the school level are aware of any military connected youth for services and supports.” Status: Passed Senate 6/11/15, Passed House 7/1/15, signed by Governor Markell 8/1/15, Sponsor: Senator Brian Bushweller

Senate Bill #122: “This bill would give the State Board of Education the authority to change school district boundaries in New Castle County in a manner consistent with the final report of the Wilmington Education Advisory Group.  The State Board would be required to hold public hearings in the school districts affected, and in the City of Wilmington, prior to making such a change.  The Wilmington Education Improvement Commission would be required to develop a transition, resource, and implementation plan for the redistricting proposal, for submission and approval by the State Board.  The redistricting proposal and transition plan  could not be implemented prior to the General Assembly passing, and the Governor signing, a Joint Resolution supporting the changes.” Status: Passed Senate 6/11/15, Passed House 6/18/15, Signed by Governor Markell 8/4/15, Sponsor: Senator Margaret Rose Henry

Senate Bill #172: This Act reduces the at-large membership of the Milford School Board from 4 to 3 as of June 30, 2016. The current at-large member holding that seat will continue to do so until the end of his term on June 30, 2016.” Status: Passed Senate 1/21/16, Passed House 1/18/16, Signed by Governor Markell 2/3/16, Sponsor: Senator Simpson

Senate Concurrent Resolution #2 w/Senate Amendment #1: “This Concurrent Resolution creates the Blind and Visually Impaired Education Task Force” Status: Passed the Senate with Amendment to add member of Delaware Association of School Psychologists to the task force, Status: Passed by Senate and House 1/28/15, Sponsor: Senator Dave Lawson

Senate Concurrent Resolution #11: “This resolution endorses an expansion of naloxone access in Delaware’s schools.” Passed Senate 4/1/15, Passed House 4/23/15, Sponsor: Senator Bethany Hall-Long

Senate Concurrent Resolution #22: “This resolution establishes a Task Force on State Educational Technology. The Task Force will review how technology is used in public education classrooms. The Task Force must make certain determinations and issue recommendations. A Task Force report shall be completed by March 30, 2016.” Passed Senate 5/12/15, Passed House 5/14/15, Sponsor: Senator Bryan Townsend

Senate Concurrent Resolution #29: “This concurrent resolution establishes the Behavioral and Mental Health Task Force to examine mental health in the State of Delaware and make recommendations for the improvement of services and the mental healthcare system.” Passed Senate 6/24/15, Passed House 7/1/15, Sponsor: Senator Bethany Hall-Long

Senate Concurrent Resolution #39: “This Concurrent Resolution forms a working group to make a recommendation as to whether or not the Budget Bill should continue to be treated as a simple majority Bill.” Passed Senate 6/30/15, Passed House 7/1/15, Sponsor: Senator Colin Bonini

 Senate Joint Resolution #2: “The amount of testing required of our students and educators has grown significantly in recent years. While the General Assembly recognizes the need to administer assessments that provide valid and reliable data about how Delaware’s students are growing academically, it is also committed to maximizing time in the classroom for our educators to teach, and our students to learn.
The Department of Education is already coordinating an inventory of all assessments required at the state, district, and school level. This Joint Resolution requires the Department of Education to report the inventory results, and any assessments that districts or the state propose to eliminate, to the public and to the House and Senate Education Committees of the General Assembly. It also requires the Department to convene a group, consisting of members of the General Assembly and the public, to conduct an in-depth review of the inventory results and make recommendations for consolidation or elimination of assessments. ” Status: Passed Senate 6/24/15, Passed House 7/1/15, Signed by Governor Markell 8/4/15, Sponsor: Senator David Sokola

 Senate Joint Resolution #4: While Delaware is deeply committed to preparing every child to reach his or her full potential and succeed in the new economy, the State will not be able to build a world-class education system for its children without modernizing the 70-year-old education funding system. This Joint Resolution establishes the Education Funding Improvement Commission to conduct a comprehensive review of Delaware’s public education funding system and make recommendations to modernize and strengthen the system. The Commission will include stakeholders from across the education system and will submit a report and recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly no later than March 31, 2016.” Passed Senate 6/24/15, Passed House 7/1/15, Signed by Governor Markell 8/4/15, Sponsor: Senator David Sokola

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