CHAPTER 406

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 581

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENTS NOS. 1 AND 2

AN ACT TO AMEND PART V, TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EDUCATION: ESTABLISHING ANNUAL TEACHER-OF-THE-YEAR AWARDS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Part V, Title 14 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new chapter, designated as Chapter 88, which new chapter shall read as follows:

"CHAPTER 88. TEACHER-OF-THE-YEAR AWARD

§8801. Teacher-of-the-Year Award

The State Board of Education, jointly with each local board of education within the State, may each year designate a classroom teacher as the Delaware Teacher-of-the-Year. A teacher may be nominated for the award by any Delaware resident by means of a nomination form which shall be prepared and distributed by the State Board of Education. Subject to the qualifications set forth in §8802 of this chapter, nomination for the award shall be open to any person who is employed as a full-time teacher, kindergarten through Grade 12, in a public school which is authorized by the State Board of Education, including a school for exceptional students, retarded students or adult students.

§8802. Qualifications for Nomination

No person shall be considered for the Teacher-of-the-Year Award unless such person has taught, continuously or intermittently, for an accumulative period of nine months or more previous to the date of such person's nomination; shall have been formally nominated; and be actively teaching in this State at the time of nomination. A nominee shall be a person fully certified by the State Board of Education for the position held.

§8803. Procedures for Nomination

Persons wishing to nominate a person to be a receipient of the Teacher-of-the-Year Award shall forward such nomination, in writing, to the superintendent of the public school district in which the nominee is employed. The district superintendent, shall, from all nominations, choose one such nominee and forward the name of such person to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, together with such additional material as the State Superintendent may request. The evaluation of each teacher nominated for the award, the determining of finalists, the appointment of judges for the choosing of the winner shall be determined by the State Superintendent in accordance with rules promulgated by the State Board of Education.

§8804. Teacher-of-the-Year Award Fund

A special fund of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) shall be set aside within the budget of the State Board of Education, which fund shall be known and referred to as the "Teacher-of-the-Year Award."

Each annual recipient of the Teacher-of-the-Year Award pursuant to this chapter shall have, set aside from the Teacher-of-the-Year Award Fund for his or her exclusive assignment and disbursement, an amount equal to five thousand dollars ($5,000.00). The award recipient shall not directly receive the funds so set aside, but may make such withdrawals as are necessary for his or her educational purposes and objectives as herein authorized.

§8805. Use of Award Funds

The State Board of Education shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations concerning the use to which Teacher-of-the-Year Award Funds may be assigned by the designated recipient.

(a) The amount set aside for designation by an award recipient shall be expended solely to accomplish educational purposes or objectives for pupils. No amount or portion of such award shall be used for the personal benefit of the award recipient; provided however, that in the use of such funds for educational purposes the recipient may be an indirect or incidental beneficiary as teacher of the benefited pupils. In the event that all funds set aside for an award recipient have not been completely expended by that recipient at the time when a subsequent award is granted, the remainder of the former recipient's award shall not revert, but shall remain set aside in the name of such former recipient until such time as it is totally expended or the recipient dies or leaves the State.

(b) The recipient shall present to the Superintendent of the school district in which he or she is employed a plan for utilization of the award. Such submission shall not waive the right of the recipient to judge and choose but shall be in order to avoid wasteful duplication of materials or violation of school district policy regarding students, materials, or activities. The principle criteria for use of the fund shall be that of educational benefit to pupils. The fund may be designated for, but not limited to, such Items as:

(1) Purchase of non-consumable materials and supplies, e.g.; library books, audio visual equipment, computer equipment and programs, musical instruments, specialized furniture.

(2) Purchase of otherwise consumable materials that are used in the production of a student designed item, e.g.; artist's or draftman's paper, canvas, paints, instruments, wood and metal.

(3) Payment for student travel, e.g.; prepared visits to museums, theaters, historic sites, laboratories when these are related to classroom study.

(4) Employment of performers and consultants, e.g.; touring companies of a dramatic or musical group, visiting artist, poet, author, musician, or historian.

(c) Where the recipient has purchased materials, equipment or any other durable item with award funds, such item shall be the property of the Delaware school district in which the recipient is employed at the time of the expenditure. Each invoice, purchase order and personal reimbursement form related to withdrawals from Teacher-of-the-Year Award Fund shall be retained by the school district, and shall be available for inspection as public records and subject to regular audit by the State Auditor of Accounts."

Section 2. This Act shall be effective 80 days following the appropriation by the General Assembly of sufficient funds for the purposes set forth in this Act.

Approved July 21, 1982.