OF FREE SCHOOLS.
AN ACT in Relation to the State Board of Education, its Creation, Membership, Powers and Duties, and also in further amendment of the Act entitled "An Act concerning the Establishment of a General System of Free Public Schools," being Chapter 67 of Volume 21 of the Laws of Delaware.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:
Section 1. That the State Board of Education, as the same is now constituted, be and the same is hereby abolished.
Section 2. That the Act entitled "An Act concerning the establishment of a general system of free public schools," approved May 12, 1898, being Chapter 67 of Volume 21 of the Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out the first two sections of said Act and by inserting in lieu thereof the following:
"Section 1. The general supervision and control of the free public schools of this State, including those for colored children, shall be vested in a State Board of Education, composed of seven members. Upon the approval of this Act, the Governor of this State shall appoint seven members of the State Board of Education, one of them to be appointed for one year, one for two years, one for three years, one for four years, one for five years, one for six years, and one for seven years, their terms of office to begin on the first day of April, nineteen hundred and eleven. The Governor shall annually thereafter appoint a member of said State Board of Education for the full term of seven years and any vacancy in said Board shall be filled for the remainder of the term in the same manner. They shall serve without any compensation other than the payment of the necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as members of the Board.
Section 2. The object of the State Board of Education shall be to systematize and harmonize the work in the various free schools of this State, to render said schools more useful and efficient and to raise the standard of instruction and education therein. The said Board shall have power to make, and to cause to be enforced, all such rules and regulations for the conduct of the schools aforesaid, and for the work done and instructions imparted therein, as it shall deem necessary for the attainment of the object aforesaid.
In furtherance and not in limitation of power aforesaid, the said Board shall have power to prescribe the text books to be furnished the schools as hereinafter provided, and to make contracts for the prices at which such books shall be furnished; to regulate the curricula in the schools, to determine when and upon what conditions and under what restrictions the County Superintendents shall issue certificates to teachers or applicants to teach; and to prescribe rules and regulations for the sanitary equipment and inspection of school buildings and to take such other action as it may deem necessary and expedient to promote the physical and moral welfare of the children of the free schools of this State.
The said State Board shall make investigation of such facts and conditions as will give a fuller knowledge of the needs of our schools, and to this end may require teachers and school officers to furnish all needed information concerning the particular schools and school districts In charge of such teachers and school officers ; and it may, if it deem necessary, employ for a limited period a trained educator or educational expert to advise said State Board and to assist it in the performance of its duties.
The said State Board of Education is hereby vested with sole and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine finally all appeals from the several County School Commissions hereinafter created and all appeals of teachers, applicants for Certificates, County Superintendents and members of School Committees and Boards of Education.
The rules, regulations and decisions made by the said State Board shall be followed and acted upon by the State Auditor in settling the accounts of school officers, and by the State Treasurer and Trustee of the School Fund in making the apportionment of State appropriations to schools, and the distribution thereof.
The said State Board shall report and recommend to the Governor and the General Assembly, such legislation as it deems will promote the cause of Education in this State.
The State Auditor shall be the Secretary of the said State Board but shall have no vote or voice in its proceedings. The said Board shall have such other officers as it deems necessary, define their duties and elect them annually. It shall fix the times of its regular meetings and the manner of calling special meetings. It shall make its own by-laws and all regulations deemed necessary to carry on the proper work and affairs of the Board. Absence from two consecutive meetings of the State Board by any of its members, except for cause considered good by a majority of the members at the second consecutive meeting, shall be deemed a vacancy which shall be filled by the Governor accordingly. Its regular meeting place shall be in Dover but it may from time to time hold meetings at other places. It shall have the right to use for its meetings the office of the State Auditor or such room in the State House and Administration Building as shall not be in use at the time of its meeting.
The State Treasurer shall out of any moneys in the general fund of the State, pay all bills for the necessary expenses incurred by the members of the said State Board in the performance of their duties as such members, whenever such bills shall be presented, countersigned by its then president and secretary, and the said State Treasurer shall also pay such other bills incurred by the said State Board of Education for postage, stationery and printing and for services rendered to the Board, as shall be countersigned as aforesaid."
Section 3. That Section 23 of the Act aforesaid be and the same is further amended by striking out the words "He shall make and sign a Certificate to each person passing such examination as hereinafter provided;" in lines thirty-two, thirty-three and thirty-four of page 197 of Volume 21 of the Laws of Delaware, and by inserting in lieu thereof the following: "He shall deliver a Certificate, signed by himself, to every teacher or applicant to teach, whom he shall find to be entitled to such Certificate, under the rules and regulations of the State Board of Education in relation to the same, such Certificate to be subject to the conditions and restrictions imposed by said State Board;"
Section 4. That Section 24 of the Act aforesaid as amended by Chapter 113 of Volume 22 of the Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of said Section 24 between the words "Section 24" in the first line of said Section and the words "Every teacher in the free public schools of the State" in the fifth line of page 199 of Volume 21 of the Laws of Delaware, and by inserting in lieu thereof the following: "Every person of good moral character who holds an unexpired Certificate of a County School Superintendent issued to him or her under and in conformity with the rules and regulations of the State Board of Education, shall be qualified to teach in the schools of the County of such Superintendent so long as said Certificate shall continue in force."
Approved March 14, A. D. 1911.