CHAPTER 567

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 59

DIRECTING THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION TO DIRECT THE NEW CASTLE COUNTY PLANNING BOARD OF EDUCATION TO ADMINISTER THE STATE CERTIFICATION RULES CONCERNING READING PERSONNEL WITHOUT ANY LOWERING OF STANDARDS.

WHEREAS, the State Board of Education is responsible by law for determining the certification of professional personnel employed in the public schools of Delaware; and

WHEREAS, the Laws of Delaware required in 14 Del. C., Section 1092 that "every employee of a reorganized school district must meet the standards for qualification as adopted by the State Board of Education and be certified or otherwise licensed in accordance with these standards in order to be placed on the official payroll of the reorganized school district"; and

WHEREAS, in the Opinion of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware dated January 9, 1978, the Court made the following requirement:

"Second, reading and communication skills merit particular attention. '(S)peech habits acquired in a segregated system do not banish simply by moving the child to a desegregated school. The root condition shown by this record must be treated directly by special training at the hands of teachers prepared for that task.' In order to remedy the effects of past discrimination, the New Board will be directed to institute an affirmative reading and communication skills program which does not resegregated pupils."; and

WHEREAS, in the Order of the said Court issued on January 9, 1978 the Court further indicated that:

"In the event of the necessary transfer or reassignment of any school employee, who is certified under state law in any of the Component Districts to a position in the New District for which such employee is not qualified for certification by the State Board of Education or other certifying authority, as the case may be, such school employee so reassigned shall remain in a fully certified status for so long as he or she holds any assigned position in the New District"; and

WHEREAS, on or about April 5, 1978 the New Castle County Planning Board of Education in announcing vacancies for the position of Reading Teacher set forth the following in a statement

of qualifications:

"Teachers with exceptional ability to teach reading. Candidates without full state certification are encouraged to apply. Reading personnel will be expected to function in both a resource and teaching role in an effort to improve instruction and achievement. It is understood that some training and/or experience and a strong interest in helping children are necessary for consideration."; and

WHEREAS, it is the desire and intention of the General Assembly of the State of Delaware that if desegregation is to occur in New Castle County by the reassignment of pupils from one school to another, the services provided to those pupils in this difficult time of transition should indeed be the best services available; and

WHEREAS, members of this Assembly recognize reading skill as one of the most necessary skills for an American youth to possess.

NOW THEREFORE:

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives and the Senate of the 129th General Assembly of the State of Delaware, with the approval of the Governor, that the State Superintendent of Public Instruction is directed to immediately advise the New Castle County Planning Board of Education through its Superintendent Designate that the persons employed for reading positions necessary to the transition from eleven to one school district in New Castle County shall be persons appropriately certified according to the existing rules and regulations of the State Board of Education.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State Superintendent of Public Instruction shall further direct the New Castle County Planning Board of Education that in hiring personnel for the reading positions necessary, it shall be guided by the Opinion of the Court concerning the quality and necessity of that program; and that in the application of the Order of the Court, the Board

shall make every effort to avoid"...the event of necessary transfer or reassignment...to a position in the New District for which

such employee is not qualified for certification by the State Board of Education..."

Approved June 13, 1978.