CHAPTER 323

FORMERLY

SENATE SUBSTITUTE NO. 1

SENATE BILL NO. 250

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1 AND

SENATE AMENDMENT NO. I

AN ACT MAKING AN APPROPRIATION FOR SCHOOL DISTRICTS FOR THE PURCHASE OF BOOKS AND SPECIFYING CERTAIN PROCEDURES, CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS FOR THE EXPENDITURE OF SUCH FUNDS.

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

Section I. There is hereby appropriated to the Budget Office Contingency and One-Time Account (10-02-04) an amount of ten million dollars ($10,000,000) for the purpose of providing a Public Education Text Book Fund. Such fund shall be administered by the State Budget Director with the approval of the Controller General, in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Section 2. Funds appropriated to this account shall be allocated as follows:

Within 15 days of enactment of this Act, one-half of this fund shall be transferred to the reorganized school districts based on each district's proportionate share of September 30, 1995 certified Division I units.

By March 31. 1997, the remaining half of this fund shall be transferred to the reorganized school districts based on each district's proportionate share of September 30, 1996 certified Division I Units.

Section 3. The funds allocated pursuant to this Act are intended to supplement the existing level of State and local expenditures in support of classroom instruction. These funds may only be used to purchase textbooks in the core content areas of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science. In order to qualify for these funds, each reorganized school district must agree to maintain their current level of spending on textbooks, library and instructional materials during fiscal years 1997 and 1998. Districts shall satisfy this requirement by demonstrating to the State Board of Education that their combined expenditure of Division 11 MI-Other Costs, Local Current Operating Expense funds, and other discretionary state sources are at least equal to 97 percent of the average annual expenditure made by the district during fiscal years 1994, 1995 and 1996 on such items from such sources combined. The Budget Director may grant a waiver for a specific amount if it is determined that a district's three-year average is overstated by an extraordinary one-time expenditure. However, a waiver may not be granted if its primary purpose is to mitigate a district's local financial position. Any waiver request and its disposition shall be reported to the Controller General promptly.

Section 4. In order that each district may benefit from the efforts and experience of other districts in selecting appropriate textbooks tied to the State content standards, each district shall, no later than August I, 1996 and 1997, submit to the Department of Public Instruction a summary listing by grade, content urea, title and publisher, the textbooks ordered with these funds. On such dates, each district shall also certify that the textbooks it purchased were selected because they contained information necessary for students to learn the content set forth in the State standards and that classroom teachers in core subjects had input into the textbook selection process. By October I, 1996 and 1997, the Department shall prepare And distribute to each district a summary of all purchase decisions made by districts. In addition, the Department of Public Instruction and the Division of Purchasing of the Department of Administrative Services shall offer interested districts the opportunity to join together in order to negotiate maximum efficiency in price, delivery charges and complimentary teacher materials.

Section 5. This Act is a supplementary appropriation and the monies herein appropriated shall be paid out of funds in the General Fund of the State of Delaware not otherwise appropriated and shall not he subject to reversion until June 30. 1998. In addition, no Fiscal Year 96 or prior year expenditure for textbooks may he recoded to this appropriation.

Approved April 23. 1996