CHAPTER 431

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 513

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 1, TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EMPLOYEES OF THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION.

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

Section 1. Amend §107, Chapter 1, Title 14 of the Delaware Code by deleting said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"§107. Superintendent of Public Instruction as Executive Secretary of Board; appointment; term; salary; qualifications; removal; vacancy.

(a) The Board shall appoint as its Executive Secretary a State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The State Superintendent and the State Board of Education shall enter Into a written employment contract the duration of which shall be for a period of not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years.

(b) The State Superintendent shall be a graduate of a standard college and shall have not less than five (5) years’ experience in teaching and administration and shall possess such other qualifications as are required by the Board.

(c) The State Superintendent of Public Instruction may be removed by the State Board, during the contract period, for immorality, misconduct in office, incompetency or willful neglect of duty, upon the Board's making known to him or her in writing the charges against him or her, and giving him or her an opportunity of being heard, in person or by counsel, in his or her own defense, upon not less than ten (10) days' notice.

The State Board of Education may elect not to extend the contract of the State Superintendent upon its expiration. However, in such a case the State Board shall notify the State Superintendent in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested, at least six (6) months prior to expiration date of the existing contract that it does not intend to renew the contract thereby terminating the services of the State Superintendent. Failure to notify the State Superintendent in writing by the required date shall result in an automatic extension of the existing contract for a period. of one year from its expiration date.

(d) In case of a vacancy due to death, resignation or removal, the Board shall fill the vacancy and the appointment shall be for the unexpired contract term or until a permanent successor qualifies."

Section 2. Amend §121, Chapter 1, Title 14 of the Delaware Code by deleting subsections (3), (4) and (5) in their entireties and substituting in lieu thereof the following and by renumbering the remaining subsections accordingly:

"(3) The appointment by execution of a written contract for a term of not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years of officers necessary for administering and developing the policies, rules and regulations of the State Board. As used in this section, the term 'officers' shall be defined as including Deputy Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, Directors and any professionally certificated staff persons assigned to the Office of the State Superintendent. The State Board may elect not to renew the contract of any officer upon its expiration. However, in such a case the State Board shall notify the officer in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested, at least six (6) months prior to the expiration date of the existing contract that it does not intend to renew the contract thereby providing official notice that the services of the officer are to be terminated. Failure to notify an officer in writing by the required date shall result in an automatic extension of the existing contract for a period of one (1) year from its expiration date;

(4) The appointment by execution of a written contract, for a term of not less than one (1) year and not more than five (5) years, of professionally certificated staff persons other than those persons described in subsection (3) of this section, necessary for carrying out the policies, rules and regulations of the State Board. For the purposes of this subsection, certificated professional employees shall be understood to include State Supervisors, State Specialists and any other persons holding positions of similar rank. The State Board may elect not to renew the contract of a certificated professional employee upon its expiration However, in such a case, the State Board shall notify the employee in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested, at least six months prior to the expiration date of the existing contract that it does not intend to renew the contract thereby providing official notice that the services of the employee are to be terminated. Failure to notify an employee covered under this subsection in writing by the required date shall result in an automatic extension of the existing contract or a period of one (1) year from its expiration date. The written notification shall indicate that just cause exists for the State Board's proposed action; for the purposes of this subsection only, just cause shall be defined as including, but not limited to reduction in force, inefficiency, or unsatisfactory performance of duties;

(5) The removal, during the contract period, for immorality, misconduct in office, incompetency or willful neglect of duty of any officer or certificated professional employee appointed under this title or any special school law, giving him or her a copy of the charges against him or her, and an opportunity to be publicly heard, in person or by counsel, in his or her defense, upon not less than 10 days' notice; and whenever vacancies in any of the offices are caused by such removals, or otherwise, the Board shall fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term of the existing contract or until a successor qualifies;

(6) Providing the authority to the Superintendent to hire clerical assistants and other non-certificated employees necessary to provide support in carrying out the policies, rules and regulations of the State Board. Employees hired pursuant to this subsection shall not be required to enter into a written contract with the Board. Such employees shall be subject to dismissal, or other disciplinary action, imposed by the Superintendent only for just cause. For the purposes of this subsection only, just cause shall be defined as including but not limited to: layoff necessitated by a reduction in force; misconduct; inefficiency; inability to perform satisfactorily the work of his or her position; failure to meet reasonable standards of conduct; abuse; theft or destruction of property; incompetency; negligence in the performance of duty; insubordination that constitutes a serious breach of discipline; conviction of a felony or a Class A misdemeanor; failure to comply with the Military Selective Service Act; 50 USCA §451-73 et. seq.; notoriously disgraceful personal conduct; unauthorized absence or abuse of leave privileges; acceptance of any valuable consideration with the expectation of influencing the employee in the performance of his or her duties; falsification of records; use of official position for personal advantage; intoxication from the use of alcohol or other controlled substances or the possession or sale thereof on state property or in a state-owned vehicle; evidence of illegal gambling on state property; pursuing any non-job related activities during working hours without permission of a supervisor; profane, obscene or insulting words toward the public or any state employee; failure to pay legal debts or reimburse the state for funds due; excessive tardiness; unlawful political activity; or sleeping while on duty.

In making a determination to dismiss or to impose a lessor disciplinary action, the Superintendent shall assess and take into account any mitigating or extenuating circumstances as well as the employee's work history. Any employee terminated pursuant to this subsection may request a formal hearing before the State Board, in person or by counsel, to present information in his or her own defense. Such hearing shall be held not earlier than ten (10) days nor later than forty-five (45) days after the issuance of written notification of dismissal from the Superintendent;

(7) In the case of a regularly employed officer, certificated professional or clerical assistant of the Board who is called to the service or voluntarily enters the armed forces of the United States or the National Guard of the State when in continuous active service, the granting to any such officer, professional or clerical assistant, a leave of absence which shall cover the period of service, not to exceed 3 years, or until the term of service to which he or she has been called is terminated; and upon the completion of the leave of absence the reinstatement of such officer, professional or clerical assistant in the position which he or she held at the time that the leave of absence was granted, if such regularly employed officer, professional or clerical assistant has received a certificate of satisfactory completion of service;

(8) The appointment of persons to replace officers, certificated professionals and clerical assistants on leaves of absence for active military service, as described in subsection (7) of this section, but such appointments shall be only for the period covered by said leaves of absence;".

Approved July 24, 1990.