CHAPTER 192

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 141

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT DIRECTING THE SECRETARY OF EDUCATION TO CREATE A PILOT PROJECT TO CHANGE THE DATE OF THE UNIT COUNT.

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

WHEREAS, currently, school administrators analyze student populations in September to calculate the number of teacher and staff units earned by the district; and

WHEREAS this delay causes financial and planning burdens on school districts while forcing some students to change classes or teachers, or both, a reality that disrupts the students' learning and the districts' administration of educational programs; and

WHEREAS this critical analysis is the primary tool education planners use to determine the need for classroom teachers, to reduce class sizes, and to provide essential services; and

WHEREAS, by changing the calculation date, appropriate staffing levels and necessary programs are provided immediately upon the opening of the school year;

NOW, THEREFORE:

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

Section 1. The Secretary of Education is hereby directed to conduct a pilot project to determine the efficacy of changing the date of the unit count from the last school day of September to the last school day of the previous March. Among school districts that volunteer to be part of the pilot project, the Secretary of Education may select up to three districts to participate in a unit count in March 1998. Any school district which participates may also choose to include in the unit count for each category of students an additional increase equal to one half of the increase in unit count for each category between the 1996 unit count and the 1997 unit count. The Secretary of Education shall report back the findings to the General Assembly by June 1, 1999, along with a recommendation to either change the date of the unit count statewide or to stay with the last school day of September.

Approved July 16, 1997