CHAPTER 383

AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAW RELATING TO APPOINTMENT AND ELECTION OF SCHOOL BOARDS AND TO PROVIDE FOR FIVE MEMBER SCHOOL BOARDS.

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

Section 1. § 302, Title 14, Delaware Code, is amended to read:

§ 302. Districts to which chapter applies

(a) This chapter applies to all Districts in Kent and Sussex Counties except the William C. Jason Comprehensive High School, the William W. M. Henry Comprehensive High School, the Sussex County Vocational-Technical Center, the Kent County Vocational-Technical Center and all Districts in New Castle County except the Alexis I. duPont Special School District, the Louis L. Redding Comprehensive School District and the Wilmington Public School District and to any School District whose board members are appointed pursuant to § 2507, Title 14, Delaware Code.

Section 2. § 306, Title 14, Delaware Code, is amended by striking the word "four" where it appears therein and inserting in lieu thereof the word "five".

Section 3. § 307, Title 14, Delaware Code, is amended by striking the word "four" where it appears therein and inserting in lieu thereof the word "five".

Section 4. § 323, Title 14, Delaware Code, is amended by adding the following thereto: the fifth member may reside in either Kent or Sussex County.

§ 324. New Districts; selection of School Board members

(a) Whenever a new District is created by the consolidation of existing Districts or otherwise, the then functioning School Boards of the District, if there is one, shall continue to act as such until a new School Board is duly constituted. If the District is one which is newly created, the State Board of Education shall at once appoint 5 suitable persons to constitute the School Board of the District and they shall take office immediately and serve until a new School Board is elected and shall qualify. In the case of the consolidation of existing Districts, the State Board of Education shall select from the School Boards of the Districts consolidated, 5 suitable persons to constitute the School Board of the consolidated District and they shall take office immediately and serve until a new School Board is elected and shall qualify.

(b) The first election of the new School Board members shall be held on the second Saturday of May following the date of creation or consolidation.

(c) The provisions of this chapter shall govern such first election, except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) of this section.

(d) At the first election, 5 members of the School Board of the District shall be elected, one of whom shall be elected for 1 year, one for 2 years, one for 3 years and one for 4 years and one for 5 years from the first day of July next succeeding their election. The person receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected for the term of 5 years; the person receiving the next highest number of votes, for a term of 4 years; the person receiving the third highest number of votes for a term of 3 years; the person receiving the fourth highest number of votes, for a term of 2 years and the person receiving the fifth highest number of votes, for a term of 1 year.

(e) At each annual election thereafter, the successor of every member of the School Board of the District shall be elected by the qualified voters of the District for a term of 5 years from the first day of July next succeeding his election and until his successor qualifies.

(f) Notwithstanding the above provisions of this section, in the case of the consolidation of 2 or 3 existing districts, each offering education by Grades 1 through 12, and if all of the Boards of the Districts being consolidated elect, not less than 10 days, nor more than 90 days before any referendum to approve consolidation of the Districts, the consolidated Board shall be constituted pursuant to the following:

(1) The consolidated Board shall at first consist of all of the members of the consolidating Boards.

(2) The terms of members of the consolidated Board shall at first continue as designated by prior election or appointment on the consolidating Boards.

(3) At each election following consolidation, 1 member shall be elected from the consolidated district for a term of 5 years.

(g) In the event that a district not offering education in Grades 1 through 12, should seek to consolidate with a district offering education in Grades 1 through 12, such consolidation shall not alter the structure of the Board of the district offering education in Grades 1 through 12 and the Board of the district offering education in Grades 1 through 12 shall become the Board of the consolidated district.

Section 6. Chapter 5, Title 14, Delaware Code, is amended to read:

CHAPTER 5. APPOINTED SCHOOL BOARDS

§ 501. Definitions

As used in this chapter--

"District" means a School District or a Special School District, or both;

"School Board" means a Board of School Trustees of a School District or a Board of Education of a Special School District, or both;

"School Board member" or "member of a School Board" means a member of a Board of School Trustees of a School District or a member of a Board of Education of a Special School District, or both.

§ 502. Districts to which chapter applies

(a) This chapter applies to the following district in New Castle County: Alexis I. duPont Special School District.

§ 503. Board of School Trustees of School District

In each School District there shall be a Board of School Trustees which shall have the powers and duties prescribed in this title.

§ 504. Board of Education of Special School District

In each Special School District there shall be a Board of Education which shall have the powers and duties prescribed in this title.

§ 505. Selection of School Board members

The members of the School Boards in the Districts to which this chapter applies shall be appointed by the Resident Judge of New Castle County.

§ 506. Number and qualifications of School Board members

Each School Board shall be composed of 5 members who shall be citizens of the State and residents of the District. In the case of a Special School District, no more than three members of the Board shall be of the same political party.

§ 507. Term of office

Each School Board member shall be appointed for a term of 5 years commencing on the first day of July following his appointment and until his successor shall qualify.

§ 508. Vacancy on School Board

A vacancy in any School Board to which this chapter applies shall be filled by the Resident Judge of New Castle County for the unexpired term.

§ 509. New School Board in consolidated District; election

Whenever a District to which this chapter as applicable is consolidated with another District, the new consolidated board shall be elected in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 3 of this title.

Section 7. § 511, Title 14, Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 8. The provisions of this act shall become effective for the election or appointment of terms commencing on July 1, 1965.

Section 9. At the annual school election to be held in 1965, in each district subject to the provisions of Chapter 3 of Title 14, Delaware Code, two members shall be elected instead of one member. The person receiving the highest vote shall be elected for a term of 5 years. The person receiving the next highest vote shall be elected for a term of 4 years. Thereafter successors shall be elected for a term of 5 years. In the event that at least two persons do not file for election, the remaining members of the board may fill the vacancies for 4 or 5 years as the case may be.

Section 10. The Resident Judge of the Superior Court of New Castle County shall appoint 2 persons to be members of any boards the members of which are appointed pursuant to Chapter 5, Title 14, Delaware Code, for terms beginning July 1, 1965. One person shall be appointed for a term of 5 years and one for a term of 4 years; thereafter all appointments shall be for a term of 5 years.

Section 11. This act shall not apply to the School District of the City of Wilmington or to any School District whose board members are appointed pursuant to § 2507, Title 14, Delaware Code.

Section 12. § 323, Title 14, Delaware Code, is amended to read:

§ 323. Milford Special School District; Board Membership

(a) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained elsewhere in this Chapter, the Board of Education of the Milford Special School District shall consist of only 4 members, 2 of whom shall reside in that portion of the District lying in Kent County and 2 of whom shall reside in that portion of the District lying in Sussex County.

(b) A vacancy on the Board of Education of Milford Special School District for any cause shall be filled by the remaining members of the Board. The person so appointed shall serve until the next election, at which time a successor shall be elected for the unexpired term. The appointee shall reside in the same county in which the vacancy occurred.

Section 13. § 308, Title 14, Delaware Code, is amended to read:

§ 308. Number of School Board Members Elected each year

One member of each School Board shall be elected at each annual school election to succeed the member whose term will expire on the following first day of July except the first election following the enactment of this bill into law when two school board members shall be elected, one for a term of five years and the other for a term of four years. The person having the highest number of votes shall be elected for a five year term and the person with the next highest number of votes shall be elected for a four year term.

Approved August 21, 1964.