SENATE BILL NO. 277
AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SATELLITE SCHOOLS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
WHEREAS, the State of Delaware is committed to providing public school students with a variety of quality educational opportunities; and
WHEREAS, among those opportunities should be learning environments that are located close to where public school parents work through so-called "satellite schools"; and
WHEREAS, satellite schools recognize the reality that most public school parents participate in the workforce and that locating schools on or adjacent to workplaces may increase parental involvement, reduce transportation costs, diminish absenteeism, and provide more cost-effective access to before- and after-school child care; and
WHEREAS, locating schools at workplaces can benefit employers by reducing the need for working parents to leave work for school- and child-care related reasons, by improving the morale of working parents, and by improving the quality of our public school system and the workers it produces; and
WHEREAS, the cost of building public schools is very substantial and is expected to cost state and local taxpayers well over $300,000,000 this decade alone, due to the aging of school buildings, burgeoning student enrollments, and shifting demographics; and
WHEREAS, satellite schools can benefit students and taxpayers, by providing quality educational environments for students at lower costs and by reducing traffic congestion because parents and students can travel to their work and school destinations together; and
WHEREAS, satellite schools can be a source of safe and affordable physical space for charter and magnet schools; and
WHEREAS, the State of Delaware should empower its local school districts to enter into satellite school agreements with employers whereby employers will provide physical facilities for the operation of public schools.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
SECTION 1: Amend Chapter 20, Title 14, Delaware Code by adding a new § 2005 thereto to read as follows:
"§ 2005. Satellite Schools.
(a) Reorganized school districts and charter schools authorized pursuant to Chapter 5 of this title are authorized to enter into satellite school agreements pursuant to this section. For purposes of this section, a "satellite school" is defined as a public school that operates in physical facilities leased from, donated by, or located on property that is owned or leased by a private sector or governmental employer which is not the school district or charter school operating the satellite school.
(a) The State Board of Education shall promulgate rules and regulations for the approval of satellite school agreements. Such rules and regulations shall ensure that the physical facilities in which satellite schools operate are sufficient to protect the health and safety of the students who attend such schools, but shall not require that those physical facilities meet the same requirements established by the State Board pursuant to § 2002 of this chapter for schools constructed and owned by reorganized districts. The State Risk Manager shall provide assistance to the State Board in establishing regulations governing the respective obligations of the school district or the charter school operating the satellite school and the employer(s) providing the physical facility for the operation of the satellite school for any liabilities that may be incurred pursuant to a separate provision of this Code or other provision of law. Satellite schools and their employees shall have the same immunities from liability as other public schools and their employees.
(c) Reorganized districts shall establish procedures for admissions to non-charter school satellite schools consistent with those established by Chapter 4 of this title and charter schools shall establish procedures for admissions to satellite schools consistent with those established by Chapter 5 of this title; provided, however, that preference in admissions to satellite schools may also be given to students whose parents are residents of the state and who work at the worksite at which the satellite facility is located so long as such preference is made equally available to such students without regard to the jobs their parents hold at the worksite or without regard to whether the students' parents work for the employer who controls the worksite or a contractor of such employer. Such preference may also be extended to students whose parents work at a physical facility located within a one-mile radius of the satellite school for an employer or the contractor of any employer, which is a party to a satellite school agreement with a reorganized district and which provides assistance pursuant to such agreement in the provision of the physical facility for the operation of the satellite school."
Approved June 14, 1996