BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :
WHEREAS, the mission of Teach For America and teacher residency programs is to enlist our nation’s most promising future leaders in the movement to eliminate educational inequity; and
WHEREAS, Teach For America has been established in 29 communities around the United States and helped place 6,200 teachers into high-needs schools in 2008; and
WHEREAS, Teach For America recruits outstanding recent college graduates of all majors and career interests and working professionals to commit two years to teach in low-income urban and rural public schools and invests in the training and professional development necessary to ensure their success as teachers in our nation’s highest-poverty communities; and
WHEREAS, in addition to meeting stringent entry requirements for the Teach For America program, Teach For America corps members are required to complete an intensive, classroom-based institute in order to begin teaching; and
WHEREAS, Delaware has the opportunity to be a state-wide Teach For America site and to have teacher residency programs; and
WHEREAS, some legislative changes are necessary to permit Teach For America corps members and candidates for teacher residency programs to teach in Delaware.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend subsection 1260(a)(1), Title 14 of the Delaware Code by deleting the current language and replacing it with the following:
(i) Hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in a coherent major or its equivalent, which shall be no less than 30 credit hours appropriate to the instructional field; or
(ii) Hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university and are enrolled in the Teach For America program or a teacher residency program and have completed all pre-service requirements for such program and, where applicable and available, have achieved a passing score on an examination of content knowledge, such as Praxis II, for the area in which such individual will be teaching;”.
Section 2. Amend subsection 1260(a)(2), Title 14 of the Delaware Code by replacing the semi-colon ";" at the end of that subsection with a period (".") and adding the following sentence thereafter:
“Notwithstanding the foregoing sentence, candidates enrolled in the Teach For America Program or a teacher residency program shall, where applicable and available, have achieved a passing score on an examination of content knowledge, such as Praxis II, for the area in which such candidate will be teaching prior to taking full responsibility for teaching a classroom;”.
Section 3. Amend subsection 1261(b)(1), Title 14 of the Delaware Code by adding the following at the end of that subsection:
“A teacher entering a Delaware school through the Teach For America or a teacher residency program shall be considered in compliance with this requirement if such teacher has completed the 200 hour pre-service training provided by Teach For America or the pre-service training requirements provided by the teacher residency program.”.
Section 4. Amend section 1261, Title 14 of the Delaware Code by adding a new subsection (e) to read as follows:
“(e) Notwithstanding any other provision in this Title to the contrary, candidates enrolled in the Teach For America or a teacher residency program shall not be limited to teaching in areas identified as critical curricular areas.”.
Section 5. This Act shall sunset 3 years subsequent to the date of enactment.
Approved April 20, 2009