CHAPTER 196

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 339

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 2

AN ACT CREATING THE GEORGE WASHINGTON MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND.

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

WHEREAS, December 14, 1999 is the 200th anniversary of George Washington's death; and

WHEREAS, the "father of our country" is remembered for his gallant and patriotic services to our homeland, his brilliant military strategic planning, and his superior knowledge of diplomatic relations; and

WHEREAS, George Washington, known as the "Indispensable Man," helped our young nation survive in the darkest hours of our Revolution and in the new dawn of our national democracy through his strength of character and his belief in God and in the justice of the American cause; and

WHEREAS, his magnanimity, personal sacrifice, selflessness, and rejection of personal rule some urged him to assume helped our nation solidify its republican ideals of democratic self-governance; and

WHEREAS, George Washington, the "father of our country", deserves to be revered by every American for his contributions to our nation;

NOW, THEREFORE:

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

Section 1. For Fiscal Year 2000 only, the General Assembly hereby establishes the George Washington Memorial Scholarship Fund in the Delaware Higher Education Commission. The Delaware Higher Education Commission shall administer the fund and may adopt rules and regulations as it deems necessary and reasonable to administer it. A $500 scholarship may be awarded to one resident of each senatorial and representative district in the State. Statewide scholarship awards of $5,000, $2,500, and $1,500 may also be awarded. To be eligible for an award, an applicant must be a resident of Delaware enrolled in the 12th grade for the 1999-2000 school year in a public, private, or charter school or in a home school program.

Each applicant must submit an original essay of no more than 2,000 words describing "Why George Washington Should Be Revered in America." The essay must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. on October 1, 1999.

A district scholarship committee shall consist of the representative or senator, or a designee, from the district; a member of the social studies faculty of a Delaware high school or a junior high school; a person designated by the president of a chapter of the Delaware Society Sons of the American Revolution; and a person designated by the regent of a chapter of the Delaware State Society Daughters of the American Revolution. Each district committee shall review the essays submitted by applicants in its district and announce the winner of the $500 scholarship by November 1, 1999.

The committee from each district shall submit the district's winning essay to the State George Washington Memorial Scholarship Committee by November 5, 1999. The State Committee shall consist of one member appointed by the Governor; one member appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; one member appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate; one member designated by the president of the Delaware Society Sons of the American Revolution; and one member designated by the regent of the Delaware State Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

The State Committee shall review the winning district essays, select the top 3 essays, and award a first prize $5,000 scholarship, a second prize $2,500 scholarship, and a third prize $1,500 scholarship to the writers of the top 3 essays. The State Committee shall announce the winners of the Statewide scholarships on December 14th, 1999, the 200th anniversary of George Washington's death.

Notice of the George Washington Memorial Scholarship essay contest, including details regarding deadlines, availability of applications, and locations to submit essays, shall be published by the Delaware Higher Education Commission between August 30 and September 10, 1999 at least once each week in a newspaper of general circulation in each county. In addition, notice shall be sent by the Secretary of Education to the principal of each public and charter school containing 12th graders, and to the principal of each private school and home school association or organization containing 12th graders and registered with the Department of Education, and to home-schooled 12th graders whose instruction is accomplished under the auspices of a local school district superintendent. A principal shall post the notice in a prominent location in the school where 12th graders are likely to see it. The Commission may publicize or advertise the scholarship essay contest beyond the notice requirements of this Act.

Section 2. Scholarship funds disbursed under this Act may be disbursed only to the postsecondary institution in which a recipient is enrolled, and must be used by a recipient on or before December 31, 2001.

Section 3. The Delaware Higher Education Commission shall report to the General Assembly of the State the names of the scholarship recipients, the amount received by each recipient, the institution where the scholarship was deposited, and such other information as the Commission deems useful to the members of the General Assembly.

Section 4. The Budget Director and the Controller General are authorized to transfer the sum of $40,000 from the Office of the Budget Contingency appropriation in House Bill No. 400 of the 140th General Assembly for Budget Office Contingencies and One-Times (10-02-04) to the Delaware Higher Education Commission (95-08-01) for the purpose of implementing the provisions of Section 1 of this Act.

Approved July 20,1999