CHAPTER 172

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 92, VOLUME 23, LAWS OF DELAWARE, AS AMENDED, BEING AN ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND CONTROL OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF THE CITY OF WILMINGTON" BY PROVIDING FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IN WILMINGTON; QUALIFICATIONS OF MEMBERS; POWERS AND DUTIES OF BOARD.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (two-thirds of all Members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Section 1 of Chapter 92, Volume 23, Laws of Delaware, as amended, being an Act entitled "An Act to Provide For The Organization and Control of the Public Schools of the City of Wilmington" is hereby amended by repealing Section 1 and by substituting and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 1 as follows:

Section 1. That the City of Wilmington with the territory within its limits, or which in the future may be included by additions thereto, shall be and constitute a consolidated school district, and the supervision and government of public schools and public school property therein shall be vested in a board of five members, to be called and known as the "Board of Public Education in Wilmington". Said Board of Education as hereinafter constituted, is hereby created a corporation, having perpetual existence and successions, and by and in said name shall have power to purchase, lease, receive, hold and sell property, real and personal, sue and be sued, and to do all things necessary to accomplish the purposes for which such school district is organized, and shall succeed to and be vested with, and be seized and possessed of all the privileges and property of whatever kind or nature granted or belonging to any previous school corporation, or Board of Education, or school districts in the City of Wilmington and said territory, or officers thereof authorized or empowered by an enactment of the General Assembly of the State to do anything in reference to public education, or to hold any of said property.

Section 2. Section 3 of Chapter 92, Volume 23, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby amended by repealing Section 3 and by substituting and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 3 as follows:

Section 3. After the effective date of the passage of this Act the Board of Public Education in Wilmington shall consist of six (6) members until the first vacancy occurs therein by virtue of death, resignation, expiration of term, or otherwise at which time and thereafter the Board of Public Education in Wilmington shall consist of five (5) members. As vacancies shall occur after the Board of Public Education in Wilmington is comprised of five (5) members through the expiration of the present terms of office of the members of the Board of Public Education in Wilmington, the successor shall be appointed for a term of four (4) years commencing on July first of the ensuing year and until their successor shall qualify by the Governor of the State of Delaware. In case a vacancy shall occur in the office of a member of the Board of Public Education in Wilmington after it is comprised of five (5) members for any cause, the vacancy thereby created shall be filled by the Governor of the State of Delaware by the appointment of a competent person to serve for the remainder of such term. There shall be a President of the Board who shall be elected by the members of the "Board of Public Education in Wilmington" and shall hold office until a new election is held by the Board. No more than three members of the Board shall belong to the same political party. No person shall be a member of the Board who declines to announce his political affiliation. No member of the City Council shall be a member of the Board of Public Education in Wilmington.

Section 3. Section 4 of Chapter 92, Volume 23, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby amended by repealing Section 4 and substituting and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 4 as follows:

Section 4. The members of the Board of Education shall be at least thirty years of age, and shall have been residents of the City of Wilmington for at least three years prior to the date upon which they are to commence their duties. They shall be ineligible to any elective or appointive office under such Board while holding membership in said Board. They must reside within the limits of the City of Wilmington during their term of office. They shall not be interested either directly or indirectly in any contract with or claim against the said Board of Public Education in Wilmington. If at any time after the appointment of any member of said Board, he shall become interested in any such contract with or claim against said Board, he shall thereupon be disqualified to continue as a member of said Board, and a vacancy shall thereby be created. Every member of said Board shall, before assuming the duties of his office, take an oath or affirmation, before a person qualified to administer oaths, as follows:

"I, , do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I have been a bona fide resident of the City of Wilmington for the period of three (3) years prior to my election as a member of the Board of Public Education in Wilmington, and that I possess all the qualifications required by law for members of said Board; that I will diligently and faithfully perform the duties of a member of said Board according to the best of my knowledge and judgment; that I will not, while serving as a member of said Board, become interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract with or claim against the said Board; and that I will not be influenced in any vote or action as a member of the said Board by political or sectarian considerations, or by anything except merit and fitness."

No compensation shall be received by members of the said Board; but they shall be exempt from jury duty during their term of office.

The Board may remove any of its members upon proof, either of official misconduct in office, or of negligence of official duties, or of conduct in any manner connected with his official duties which would tend to bring discredit to his office or the school system, or of mental or physical inability to perform his duties as a member of said Board; but before such removal of said member, he shall receive due and timely notice in writing of the charges against him, and a copy thereof, and shall be entitled to a hearing before said Board, and to the assistance of counsel at said hearing.

Section 4. Section 5 of Chapter 92, Volume 23, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby amended by striking out and repealing Section 5 thereof in its entirety.

Section 5. Section 6 of Chapter 92, Volume 23, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby amended by striking out and repealing Section 6 thereof in its entirety.

Section 6. Section 7 of Chapter 92, Volume 23, Laws of Delaware, is hereby amended by striking out and repealing Section 7 thereof in its entirety.

Section 7. Section 8 of Chapter 92, Volume 23, Laws of Delaware, is hereby amended by striking out and repealing Section 8 and by substituting and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 8 as follows:

Section 8. The Board of Education shall increase the number of schools and improve the condition thereof and do all acts necessary for establishing and maintaining said schools as they shall deem expedient and necessary until there are sufficient schools to accommodate all the children and minors residing in the City of Wilmington whose parents or guardians desire for them the benefit thereof. If there shall be accommodations in such schools in excess of what may be necessary for the seating and instruction of such resident pupils, the said Board may admit to any of such schools such number of nonresident pupils residing outside the city limits in the State of Delaware, as said Board may deem proper and upon such terms and conditions as said Board may from time to time prescribe.

Section 8. Section 9 of Chapter 92, Volume 23, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby amended by repealing the first two paragraphs of Section 9 and by substituting and enacting in lieu thereof the following two new paragraphs to read as follows:

Section 9. Three members shall form a quorum for the transaction of business. The officers of the Board shall be President, who must be a member, a Secretary, and such other officers and agents as may be found necessary. The Board may appoint a person not a member of the same, Secretary thereof, prescribe his duties, require from him bonds with surety for his faithful performance of said duties, if deemed expedient, and allow him compensation for services by stated salary or otherwise, as may be considered proper.

The Board shall, during the month of April in each year, cause to be prepared and laid before them estimates of their probable revenue and expenses for the ensuing fiscal year, which estimates they shall lay before The City Council on or before the first stated meeting of Council in May following. At the time of presenting to City Council said estimates of revenue and expenses, the Board shall in addition thereto include the amount necessary to be paid for interest on bonds in the following fiscal year, and also, when necessary, the amount required in that year for the retirement of bonds. The said Board, early in June in each year, after the City Council shall have made appropriation for the use of the public schools for the following fiscal year as herein provided, shall make the apportionment and appropriations for their expenditures for that year, based as nearly as may be, upon the estimates made by them in April previous, and such apportionment and appropriations shall be specified and arranged under the heads or items designated in said estimates. The said Board shall have no power or authority except when specially authorized by act of the General Assembly to borrow money or contract or create any debt or liability except ordinary debts and liabilities incurred in executing the duties imposed on them by law, to be paid out of the said appropriation made by City Council and the receipts of the year for the time then current. No money shall be paid from the treasury of the board unless the same shall have been appropriated as aforesaid.

Section 9. Section 10* (secondly mentioned) of Chapter 92, Volume 23, Laws of Delaware, as amended, is hereby amended by repealing Section 10* (secondly mentioned) and by substituting and enacting in lieu thereof a new Section 10-A as follows:

Section 10-A. The City Auditor shall examine all bills against said Board and endorse them as correct before they are presented to said Board for payment; he shall also examine and countersign all drafts or orders and withhold his signature in case the draft or order is made without sanction of law, or with any circumstances of fraud actually or presumably attached thereto, in all of which cases he shall report his action and the grounds therefor to the said Board at their ensuing meeting; said Board shall thereupon duly, carefully and publicly consider the case and shall sustain or overrule his action by a vote of at least four of all the members appointed to said Board, whereupon it shall be the duty of the City Auditor, in case he shall be overruled, to countersign the said draft or order, in which case he shall be exonerated from all responsibility in the premises. He shall also keep a book in which an exact copy of the receipts and expenditures of said Board shall be entered. All money received by the said Board from sales of articles, or from any source whatsoever, shall be deposited with the City Treasurer for which a receipt shall be taken. The City Treasurer shall immediately deposit said funds in such bank as may be designated by said Board, and the orders or warrants drawn against such funds shall be drawn and signed by the Secretary of the Board, signed by the President, and countersigned by the City Auditor and City Treasurer. The City Treasurer upon depositing the funds of said Board shall make a certificate of deposit in triplicate, which shall be signed by the authorized agent of the bank, and one of each certificates shall be delivered to the City Auditor, one to the Secretary of the Board and the third be retained by the City Treasurer. The City Treasurer shall pay out all warrants or orders and shall take a receipt for the same. He shall keep a cash book containing the receipts and expenditures of said Board and shall render a statement of the financial condition of said Board at each meeting.

Section 10. All acts and parts of acts inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.

Approved June 18, 1965.