CHAPTER 215

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 284

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 RELATING TO IMPROVING SCHOOL DISCIPLINE.

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

Section 1. Amend Chapter 16, Title 14, Delaware Code by adding a new section to read as follows:

"§1605A. Prevention Component.

The Family Services Cabinet Council (Council), with the Department of Public Instruction and the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families acting as lead agencies, shall administer a program to offer prevention-related student support services (prevention services) to students to prevent them from becoming discipline problems and from failing academically in our schools. Within the limits of appropriations made for this purpose, the Council shall provide rules and regulations for the award of prevention grants and the conduct of prevention programs authorized under this section, subject to the following limitations:

(1) The Council shall issue prevention funding to local school districts proposing to establish an integrated plan to deliver prevention services including, but not limited to, academic tutoring and student mentoring programs to provide at-risk students with the extra help they may need to succeed academically and with positive adult role models; outreach programs to promote parental, family, and community involvement in students' academic studies and in reducing and resolving school discipline problems; school-linked support services to help students with family or health problems that may be adversely affecting their academic performance and their conduct at school; training to help students and school personnel resolve conflicts peacefully and non-disruptively; and assistance to help teachers better manage the behavior of students in their classrooms.

(2) Applications for funding pursuant to this section shall be made by school districts M accordance with procedures and standards established by the Council. Each applicant shall set forth an integrated plan to provide prevention services consistent with subsection (1) of this section. To avoid duplication of effort, maximize the impact of limited resources, and increase the effect of efforts by state, local, community and private, non-profit agencies through increased coordination and cooperation, the Council shall give preference to applications which:

a. are submitted by two or more school districts working in concert, where appropriate;

b. include private, non-profit agencies, and community organizations as partners in the application, and identify the roles those agencies and organizations are to play in delivering prevention services in the community;

c. indicate how grants from the federal government and foundations will be used or sought to help deliver prevention services in the community; and

d. identify the roles state and local agencies are to play in delivering prevention services in the community.

(3) The Council shall provide technical assistance to districts preparing

applications and ongoing assistance to districts awarded funding pursuant to this section.

(4) The Council shall establish a timetable for the award of grants pursuant to this section which shall provide, at minimum, for a period of one month for joint planning between the Council and the applicants that the Counsel selects as finalists eligible for a funding award. During such joint planning, the Council and the applicant shall refine the applicant's prevention plan, ensure that the plan makes cost-effective use of the resources and services of state, local, community and private, non-profit agencies, and consider the incorporation of successful elements of other districts' prevention programs into the applicant's plans. Final awards shall be made by the Council on or before January 15 of each year for the subsequent school year, contingent upon the appropriation of funds for such purpose in the annual appropriations act."

Section 2. Fvaluation,

As a result of the enactment of House Bill No. 247 in the 137th General Assembly, the State of Delaware invested over $5 million in Fiscal Year 1995 to improve school climate and discipline. Additional funding is expected in Fiscal Year 1996. Therefore, it is important that the State of Delaware ensure that the programs created by H.B. No. 247 are implemented cost-effectively, that district programs and policies which have had the most positive effects are adopted by other districts, and that less effective district programs and policies are abandoned or improved. In addition, a long-run plan for the statewide implementation of the prevention component of the Program needs to be developed. To accomplish these purposes, the Comprehensive School Discipline Oversight Program is hereby established to:

(1) evaluate the cost-effectiveness and programmatic results of each element of the State's Comprehensive School Discipline Program;

(2) examine local school districts' use of funding under the Program, identify exemplary and cost-effective practices which should be adopted on a wider basis, and identify less cost-effective and beneficial practices which should be modified or eliminated;

(3) determine what, if any, modification should be made to the Program to deliver the appropriate services to the appropriate grade levels;

(4) develop performance measures to evaluate, on an ongoing basis, the effectiveness of the Program; and

(5) evaluate the effects of the pilot prevention programs created by the Program and recommend a fiscally responsible plan for statewide implementation of the prevention component of the Program.

The Oversight Committee shall consist of the following members: a Chairperson appointed by the Governor; a member appointed by the Speaker of the House; a member appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate; a member appointed by the Delaware State Education Association; a member appointed by the Delaware School Boards Association; a member appointed by the Delaware Association of School Administrators; a member appointed by the Delaware School Chiefs' Association; a member appointed from the faculty, of the University of Delaware Department of Education by the Governor; a member appointed from the faculty of Delaware State University Department of Education by the Governor; the Superintendent of Public Instruction or the Superintendent's designee; the Secretary of the Department of Services for Children, Youth & Their Families or the Secretary's designee; and the Budget Director or the Director's designee.

The Departments of Public Instruction and Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families, the Budget Office, and the Controller General's Office shall provide staff support to the Committee.

The Committee shall serve until July 1, 1997, It shall issue no fewer than two reports, the first to be issued on or before February 15, 1996, the second to be issued on or before February 15, 1997.

Approved July 12, 1995