CHAPTER 111

FORMERLY

HOUSE SUBSTITUTE NO. 1

FOR

HOUSE BILL NO. 79

AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NOS. 1, 2, 3 & 4 AND

SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 AND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DELAWARE CENTER FOR EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY.

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

Section1. Amend Title 14, Delaware Code by adding a new Chapter 42 thereto to read as follows:

"CHAPTER 42. DELAWARE CENTER FOR EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY. §4201. Legislative Intent.

The Delaware Center for Educational Technology is intended to create a modern educational technology infrastructure in Delaware's public schools for the purpose of enabling students, through the use of technology, to meet the academic achievement standards set by the State Board of Education and to develop the skills needed by a world-class workforce. To these ends, the General Assembly intends for the Delaware Center for Educational Technology to concentrate on the deployment of technology at the school level in a way that will be of maximum effect in improving teaching and learning M Delaware schools. The General Assembly expressly desires to avoid the creation of bureaucracies that duplicate functions of the Department of Public Instruction and local school districts and intends that the Delaware Center for Educational Technology operate as an efficient organization making maximum use of existing staff and expertise of state agencies and school districts.

§4202. Delaware Center for Educational Technology.

(a) There is hereby established the Delaware Center for Educational Technology (Center). The Center shall be a public education agency, created for the purpose of coordinating the use of technology by Delaware's several school districts, the Department of Public Instruction, and any other organization, public body, or other entity specifically designated by the legislature for the purpose of carrying out the public education of the citizens of Delaware. The Center shall be established, for budgetary purposes, in Public Education as a separate internal program unit.

(b) The Center shall be governed by a Board to consist of 10 voting members, 3 of whom shall be appointed by the Governor, and who are persons with expertise in the field of computer information systems, 3 of whom shall be public school district superintendents, one from each of the counties, and 2 of whom shall be public school teachers appointed by the Delaware State Education Association, who arc knowledgeable in computer technology and can assist with the practical implementation of telecommunications technology. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction or a representative appointed by the State Superintendent and the Director of the Office of Information Systems shall be ex officio voting members of the Board. The State Librarian, the State Budget Director, Controller General, and the Secretary of Finance, or their designees, and 3 representatives, I designated by each of the Presidents of the three Delaware public institutions of higher education, shall be ex officio, nonvoting members of the Board.

(c) The three superintendent members shall be elected by the collective group of public school district superintendents meeting in a public session. The State Superintendent shall not have a vote. The initial terms of office for the three elected superintendent members shall be as follows: (1) one member shall be appointed for a term of one year; (2) one member shall be appointed for a term of two years; and (3) one member shall be appointed for a term of three years. No superintendent member shall serve more than two consecutive terms except in the case of those initially appointed for one and two years who may be reappointed for two consecutive full three-year terms. After the initial term, all terms of superintendent members shall be for a period of three years; provided, however, that each member must be actively employed by a public school district of the State as a superintendent or cease to be a member of the Board.

With the exception of initial terms of office for the three elected superintendent members and the restriction that each of those members must be active superintendents, each member shall serve for a term of three (3) years, and may succeed himself or herself for one additional term; provided, however, that where a member was initially appointed to fill a vacancy, such member may succeed himself or herself for only one additional full term. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term of the former member. Each term of office shall expire on the date specified in the appointment, and the member shall no longer be eligible to participate in Board proceedings unless lawfully appointed.

(d) The Governor shall designate one member of the Board to be chairperson, who shall serve in this capacity at the pleasure of the Governor.

(e) The Board shall meet in public session a minimum of four times a year, once each quarter, and as often as it deems necessary to conduct its business, or at the call of its chairperson.

§4203. Duties and Authorities.

To achieve the purposes set forth in §4201 of this Chapter:

(a) The Center shall be responsible for deploying and/or assisting in the deployment of educational technology to enable students, through the use of technology, to meet the academic achievement standards set by the State Board of Education and to develop the skills needed by a world-class workforce.

(a) The Center shall be responsible for providing support to the several school districts and to the Department of Public Instruction for the acquisition, implementation, and operation of: telecommunications systems and networks; computers; audio and video equipment; transmission equipment; and such other equipment and processes necessary to provide modern telecommunications and computing resources. The Center shall also provide support for the training of public education employees in the use, operation, and maintenance of such equipment and processes.

(b) Subject to an appropriation authorized in the State's annual Budget Act, the Board shall have the authority to: (I) hire staff, contract for consulting services, employ special counsel subject to the provisions of §2507, Title 29 of this Code, appoint advisory boards, and recommend a budget and operating plan; (2) set standards and establish rules, regulations, and criteria for the execution of and participation in programs established by the Center; and (3) appoint an executive director for the Center. Employees of the Center shall be subject to the same terms and conditions of employment as set forth in Tide 14, Section 121, Delaware Code. However, the general control and supervision of employees of the Center shall be that of the Board of the Center and not the State School Board.

(d) The Center shall have the capacity to sue and be sued, and the Center, its Board, and its employees shall be entitled to the same privileges and immunities of any political subdivision of the State pursuant to the Tort Claims Act, Chapter 40, Title 10 of the Delaware Code.

(d) The Center shall consult with and coordinate its activities with the Division of Purchasing of the Department of Administrative Services. Notwithstanding the previous sentence, the Center and its Board shall be subject to the same procurement and purchasing policies as required by Title 29, Chapter 69, Delaware Code.

(e) The Board shall be subject to the provisions of Title 29, Chapter 63, Subchapter IV, as directed by the Office of Information Systems. The Center shall ensure the ability of public school districts to transmit and receive information in formats acceptable to parties that require access to administrative or educational information as determined by the Governor, the General Assembly, or the State Board of Education.

§4204. Finances of the Center.

(a) The Center shall be authorized to receive State appropriations, federal monies, and local school district funding and shall follow State and federal policies and procedures for the investment of such funds.

(b) The Center shall be authorized to establish special fund accounts for the purpose of receiving donations, grants, gifts, and such other contributions that may be presented to it for use in the conduct of its business, subject to approval of the State Clearinghouse Committee. These accounts shall be interest-earning. The Center may accept such restrictions as the grantor(s) may impose; provided, however, that no such restrictions contravene the laws of the State of Delaware. These accounts shall be subject to audit by the State Auditor.

(c) The General Assembly intends that any funding provided to the Center shall augment, rather than replace, funding for existing programs. Toward this end, any funds provided to local education agencies by the Center shall not be used to reduce expenditures from funds received by districts from other funding sources, including but not limited to: State appropriations, federal grants, local district funding, and other non-public funding sources.

§4205. Reporting Requirements,

(a) No later than six months after the establishment of the Center, the Board shall provide the Governor, the General Assembly, and the State Board of Education with the Center's initial strategic plan. The strategic plan shall include suggested performance measures and shall identify with specificity a strategy to deploy educational technology to meet the duties set forth in §4203 of this chapter.

(b) On or before September 1 of each year subsequent to the year of enactment of this Act, the Center shall report to the Governor, the General Assembly, and the State Board of Education on its progress toward meeting the objectives set forth in its strategic plan; on any update to its strategic plan; on the status of any of its other activities; and on the disbursement of monies for the purposes specified in this chapter. Included in this report shall be plans for future activities, with a detailed implementation schedule, cost estimates, and grant/contribution projections.

The Board shall provide the Joint Finance Committee with reports from time to time regarding the Center's activities and coordination with other State agencies and related organizations including, but not limited to, the Office of Information Systems, the Department of Public Instruction and local school districts. On or after three years from the date of enactment of this Act, the Joint Finance Committee shall review the Center's activities and progress in meeting the objectives of this Act."

Section 2. Amend §5903(12), Title 29 of the Delaware Code by inserting after the words "State Board of Education" the words "and of the Delaware Center for Educational Technology".

Section 3. Amend Title 29, Section 6903(k), Delaware Code, by adding the words "the Center for Educational Technology," following the words "public school districts," as they appear in said subsection.

Section 4. Severability. The provisions of this Act are severable, and if any of its provisions shall be held unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, the decision of such court shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions.

Approved June 27, 1995