CHAPTER 456

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 392

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EDUCATION REGULATIONS AND LEGISLATION.

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

Section 1: Amend § 122, Title 14, Delaware Code, by adding thereto the following subsections:

"(d) The State Board of Education shall perform and issue a written educational impact analysis of any new proposed regulation and of any regulation that is proposed to be continued pursuant to the review required by subsection (e) of this section. Such educational impact analysis shall address the following criteria:

(1) Whether the proposed regulation or the regulation sought to be continued is justified because it will help improve student achievement as measured against state achievement standards;

(2) Whether the proposed regulation or the regulation sought to be continued is justified because it will help ensure that all students receive an equitable education, that their health and safety are adequately protected, and that their legal rights are respected;

(3) Whether the proposed regulation or the regulation sought to be continued preserves the necessary authority and flexibility of decisionmakers at the local board and school level and does not place unnecessary reporting or administrative requirements or mandates upon them;

(4) Whether the proposed regulation or the regulation sought to be continued places decisionmaking authority and accountability for addressing the subject to be regulated in the same entity;

(5) Whether the proposed regulation or the regulation sought to be continued is consistent with and not an impediment to the implementation of other state educational policies, in particular to state educational policies addressing achievement in the core academic subjects of mathematics, science, language arts and social studies; and

(1) Whether there is a less burdensome method for addressing the purpose of the proposed regulation or the regulation sought to be continued; and

(2) The cost to the State and local school boards of compliance with the proposed regulation or the regulation sought to be continued.

(e) For the purpose of ensuring that all regulations are current, that unnecessary or unduly burdensome regulations are repealed or modified, and that more frequent comment from affected constituencies may be obtained, the State Board of Education shall establish a process whereby each of its regulations in existence as of January I. 1997 shall be subjected to review and readoption within the four years succeeding such date. Such review and readoption, or modification or repeal, shall be preceded by publication pursuant to Chapter 101 of Title 29 of this Code. Any such regulation that the State Board readopts or readopts in modified form shall be accompanied by an educational impact analysis as required by subsection (d) of this section. Any regulation adopted by the State Board subsequent to January 1, 1997 shall be made effective for no more than five years and shall be subject to the review and readoption process set forth in this subsection.

(f) For the purpose of ensuring that state regulations do not impede innovation or the improvement of student achievement, the State Board may, upon application by a local board of education established pursuant to a provision of this title, waive any rule or regulation where: (1) such a waiver would further the accomplishment of state educational policies, particularly those state educational policies addressing student achievement in the core academic subjects of mathematics, science, language arts and social studies; (2) such a waiver would not impose undue administrative burdens upon the State or harm the State's ability to ensure that public funds are properly expended and that applicable state and federal laws are followed; and (3) the purpose, of the regulation or rule to be waived can be satisfied in a less burdensome or different manner than through compliance with the rule or regulation. The school board of the district making such waiver request shall give notice of the consideration by notices posted in at least ten public places in the district and on the door of every school in the district at least twenty days prior to the public meeting of the board of education at which the waiver request will be presented and discussed. The public shall be provided an opportunity to present comments concerning the waiver to be requested at a meeting of the local board following posting and preceding its formal adoption.

(f) For the purposes of ensuring that state regulations do not impede innovation or the improvement of student achievement, the local board may propose, upon application of a duly-established school-based committee pursuant to a provision of this title or a school principal of a school without such a committee who demonstrates significant faculty support for the waiver application, that any state rule or regulation, subject to exemption in § 505 of this title be waived where it makes written findings that: (1) such a waiver would further the accomplishment of state and local educational policies, particularly those policies addressing student achievement in the core academic subjects of mathematics, science, language arts and social studies; (2) such a waiver would not impose undue administrative burden upon the State or harm the State's ability to ensure that public funds are properly expended and that applicable state and federal laws are followed; and (3) the purpose of the regulation or rule to be waived can be satisfied in a less burdensome or different manner than through compliance with the rule or regulation. The board of education of the district in which the waiver is requested shall give notice of the receipt of such waiver request as follow:

(1) By notices posted in at least ten public places in the district and on the door of every school in the district at least twenty days prior to the public meeting of the board at which the proposed waiver request will be presented and discussed. The public shall be provided an opportunity to present comments concerning the requested waiver at a meeting of the local board following posting and prior to its formal proposal; and

(2) The board of education shall transmit its written findings pursuant to subsection (g) of this section supporting the proposed waiver to the State Board of Education within five days thereafter. Within twenty days thereof, the State Board may schedule, upon twenty days public notice, a hearing to consider whether to approve the proposed waiver. Absent the scheduling of such a hearing within such time period, the proposed waiver shall be considered approved by the State Board and shall then become effective. If the State Board schedules a hearing to consider a proposed waiver, it shall issue its decision within thirty days of the hearing."

Section 2: Amend Chapter 2, Title 14, Delaware Code to add a new § 206 thereto to read as follows:

"§ 206. Legislative Educational Impact Statements.

(d) Before education legislation is voted upon by either House of the General Assembly, the Legislative Council and Controller General shall perform and issue a written educational impact analysis of such proposed legislation. The Department of Public Instruction and Budget Office shall provide support to Legislative Council and the Controller General in preparing such analyses. Each educational impact analysis shall address the following criteria:

(1) Whether the proposed legislation is justified because it will help improve student achievement as measured against state achievement standards;

(2) Whether the proposed legislation is justified because it will help ensure that all students receive an equitable education, that their health and safety are adequately protected, and that their legal rights are respected;

(1) Whether the proposed legislation preserves the necessary authority and flexibility of decisionmakers at the local board and school level and does not place unnecessary reporting or administrative requirements or mandates upon them;

(1) Whether the proposed legislation places decisionmaking authority and accountability for addressing the subject to be regulated in the same entity;

(3) Whether the proposed legislation is consistent with and not an impediment to the implementation of other state educational policies, in particular to state educational policies addressing achievement in the core academic subjects of mathematics, science, language arts and social studies; and

(4) Whether there is a less burdensome method for addressing the purpose of the proposed legislation; and

(1) The cost to the State and local school boards of compliance with the proposed legislation."

Section 3: Amend Chapter 10, Title 14 by adding thereto a new §1049A. to read as follows:

"§ 1049A. Waiver of Local Regulations.

For the purpose of ensuring that local board regulations do not impede innovation or the improvement of student achievement, any school-based committee established pursuant to this title or the principal of any school without such a Committee who demonstrates significant faculty support for the waiver application may apply to its local board for a waiver of any regulation, rule or policy and the local board may grant such waiver where: (I) such a waiver would further the accomplishment of state and local educational policies, particularly those addressing student achievement in the core academic subjects of mathematics, science, language arts and social studies; (2) such a waiver would not impose undue administrative burdens upon the State or the local district or harm the district's ability to ensure that public funds are properly expended and the applicable state and federal laws are followed; and (3) the purpose of the regulation, rule, or policy to be waived can be satisfied in a less burdensome or different manner than through compliance with the rule, regulation or policy. The school making such waiver request shall give notice of the consideration by notices posted in at least ten public places in its district and on the door of the school at least twenty days prior to the public meeting of the board of education at which the waiver request will be presented and discussed. The public shall be provided an opportunity to present comments concerning the waiver to be requested at a meeting of the local board following posting and preceding its formal adoption."

Approved July 9, 1996