CHAPTER 356

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 11 OF TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE IN RELATION TO THE CONSOLIDATION OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Section 1108 (a) of Title 14 of the Delaware Code, is hereby amended to read as follows:

(a) The State Board of Education may, when in the Board's judgment it is practicable and desirable consolidate two or more School Districts or a School District and a Special School District or two Special School Districts or a High School District and one or more School Districts which are contiguous, provided that before doing so it shall post a notice of the proposed change four weeks prior thereto on the front door of the school house or school houses and in at least ten other prominent and conspicuous places in the District or Districts concerned. At the expiration of the four-week period, the question of consolidation shall be submitted by referendum to the voters of the District or Districts affected.

Section 2. Section 1108 (b) of Title 14 of the Delaware Code, is hereby amended to read as follows:

(b) The notice of the referendum shall distinctly state that in case the consolidation is effected, the outstanding bonds of the consolidating Districts, if any, shall be assumed by the consolidated District and paid in accordance with one of the following methods—the specific method, to be selected by the School Boards of the affected Districts, shall be stated in the referendum notice:

(1) The bonds of each of the consolidating Districts, if any, shall become the common obligation of all of the residents of the consolidated District, and the principal and interest on the outstanding bonds shall be paid according to the original terms as to principal and interest by means of a common tax levied uniformly throughout the consolidated District.

(2) The bonds of each of the consolidating Districts, if any, shall continue to remain the obligations of the residents of the respective School Districts, as each District was constituted prior to consolidation, until the bonds of each respective former District have been paid according to the original authorization with respect to principal and interest.

The notice of the referendum shall also state that the rate of tax for current expenses in the consolidated District shall not be in excess of the highest rate that was authorized in any of the Districts to be consolidated, without a new referendum to authorize such taxation. Where there is a consolidation of a High School District and one or more School Districts, the rate of tax for current expenses in the consolidated District shall not be in excess of the highest rate which was authorized in any of the School Districts to be consolidated plus the then authorized rate of taxes for current expenses of the High School District, without a new referendum to authorize such taxation.

The notice of the referendum shall further state that in the case of consolidation, all new bonds issued by the consolidated District shall become the common obligation of the residents of the consolidated District.

In case any School Districts consolidate under method (2) of this Section, the Board of the consolidated District shall be responsible for preparing and maintaining the list of taxable property and capitations for each of the respective Districts, as each was constituted prior to consolidation, and shall continue to levy the taxes to pay for the principal and interest on the bonded indebtedness of each respective District, and the Receiver of Taxes of the County shall deposit such tax monies in the approved manner to the account of the Board of the consolidated District. The Board of the consolidated District shall keep such accounts as are necessary showing the receipts from such taxes and payments made on bonded indebtedness and interest of each School District.

Approved April 25, 1962.