§ 1201 Purpose.
The purpose of this chapter is to establish a system of professional development, professional standards, licensure, certification and evaluation that serves to continually improve the quality of instruction for Delaware's children so that they are equipped to work and succeed in an ever-changing and increasingly complex global economy. The General Assembly finds that a rigorous system of licensure, certification, professional development and evaluation designed to support improved student achievement, together with an expansion of the salary system to include compensation for skills and knowledge, will serve to improve the quality of the Delaware educator workforce and to improve student performance. All educators must be licensed, certified and evaluated in accordance with this chapter. To develop this system and to ensure that its purposes are achieved, the General Assembly creates the Delaware Professional Standards Board to work in conjunction with the Department of Education and the State Board of Education toward the full implementation of this chapter.
§ 1202 Definitions.
The following definitions apply to this chapter:
(1) "Certification" means the issuance of a certificate, which may occur regardless of a recipient's assignment or employment status.
(2) "Delaware Performance Appraisal System II" (DPAS II) means the evaluation developed and conducted pursuant to this chapter.
(3) "Department" means the Delaware Department of Education.
(4) "Educator" means a person licensed and certified by the State under this chapter to engage in the practice of instruction, administration or other related professional support services in Delaware public schools, including charter schools, pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the Standards Board and approved by the State Board. For purposes of this subchapter, the term "educator" does not include substitute teachers.
(5) "Emergency certificate" means a credential which may be issued if the employing district establishes that:
(a) The proposed recipient of the emergency certificate is competent; and
(b) The employing district is committed to support and assist the proposed recipient in achieving the skills and knowledge necessary to meet certification requirements.
(6) "Evaluator" means an individual or team meeting the minimum qualifications to appraise educator performance, as set forth in the rules and regulations promulgated under § 1271 of this title.
(7) "License" means a credential which authorizes the holder to engage in the practice for which the license is issued.
(8) "Paraprofessional" means a public school employee covered by § 1324 of this title.
(9) "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education.
(10) "Standard certificate" means a credential issued to certify that an educator has the prescribed knowledge, skill and/or education to practice in a particular area, teach a particular subject, or teach a category of students. An educator may be issued 1 or more certificates.
(11) "Standards Board" means the Professional Standards Board established pursuant to this chapter.
(12) "State Board" means the State Board of Education of the State pursuant to § 104 of this title.
§ 1203 Rules and regulations.
Unless otherwise provided for in this chapter, rules and regulations necessary to implement this chapter must be proposed by the Standards Board subject to approval of the State Board. The Standards Board shall develop rules and regulations in consultation and cooperation with the Department. Once developed, the rules and regulations must be sent to the Executive Secretary of the State Board and must be included on the State Board's agenda no later than the second regular meeting of the State Board following the Executive Secretary's receipt of the rules and regulations. The rules and regulations must be addressed by the State Board when placed on its agenda. If approved by the State Board, rules and regulations have the force and effect of law. The Department shall adopt and publish all rules and regulations pursuant to the provisions of this section and to the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act [Chapter 101 of Title 29]. This subsection shall not apply to rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to the provisions of subchapter VII of this chapter.
§ 1204 [Reserved.]
§ 1205 Professional Standards Board.
(a) Recognizing that well-prepared, effective educators are critical to our students' success and that those entrusted with the achievement of our students should have a voice in the development of policies that affect their profession, there is hereby established the Professional Standards Board. The intent of the General Assembly is that the Standards Board and the Department work in close coordination and collaboration to fully and effectively implement the purposes of this chapter. To this end, the Standards Board shall file reports on January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1 of each calendar year with the General Assembly, the Governor, the State Board and the Department.
(b) The Standards Board shall develop rules and regulations relating to educators' professional development, licensure requirements, certification requirements and paraprofessional qualifications and training. The Department shall implement the rules and regulations promulgated and adopted pursuant to this chapter relating to licensure and certification of educators and certification of evaluators, and as otherwise directed by rules and regulations developed under this chapter.
§ 1206 Composition and governance of the Professional Standards Board.
(a) The Standards Board shall consist of 16 voting members as follows:
(1) Eight public school educators, no less than 2 from each county, with 1 being a special education teacher, 1 being an education specialist and at least 1 teacher each from the high school, middle school and elementary school levels. The 7 teachers and 1 education specialist must be selected from a list supplied by the Delaware State Education Association in accordance with subsection (c) of this section. Each teacher appointed to the Standards Board must have demonstrated excellence in that teacher's own field by achieving honors or special recognition in that teacher's field, including, but not limited to state, district or building level Teacher of the Year, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification, or the Presidential Award for Excellence.
(2) Four public school administrators, with at least 1 being from each county, selected from a list supplied by the Delaware Association of School Administrators in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.
(3) One member of a local school board selected from a list supplied by the Delaware State School Board Association in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.
(4) Two parents with children in public schools, from separate counties, selected from a list supplied by the Secretary of Education. The Secretary shall solicit nominations from groups such as the Delaware Congress of Parents and Teachers, the Delaware Parent Leadership Institute, and formal advisory councils in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.
(5) One representative of higher education selected from a list supplied by the Council of Presidents in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.
(b) The Governor, by and with the consent of a majority of the members elected to the Senate, shall appoint each voting member of the Standards Board for a term of 3 years, except that initial appointments are for the following terms: 5 members for an initial term that expires 2 years following the date of appointment; 5 members for an initial term that expires 3 years following the date of appointment; and 5 members, including the chair of the Standards Board, for an initial term that expires 4 years from the date of appointment. The Governor shall designate 1 voting educator member to serve, at the pleasure of the Governor, as chair of the Standards Board. The members of the Standards Board shall elect a vice chair. A member who misses 3 consecutive meetings without cause is presumed to have resigned from the Standards Board. A member of the Standards Board serves until that member's successor is appointed or until the member resigns. A member appointed to fill a vacancy serves for the remainder of the term of the member whom that member replaced. A Standards Board member is eligible for reappointment. If a disciplinary proceeding is initiated against a board member, the member may not participate in Standards Board business until the charge is adjudicated or the matter is otherwise concluded.
(c) With respect to appointments pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the designated organization or person shall provide the Governor with a list of potential appointees 60 days prior to the expiration of a term or within 30 days after a vacancy of any term. The Governor may require that a specific number of potential appointees, up to 20, be included on any list submitted. The Governor may reject all potential appointees on the list and request up to 4 additional lists at the Governor's own discretion. If the designated organization does not submit a list to the Governor as provided in this subsection, then the Governor shall submit the Governor's own appointments for any vacancy.
(d) The Standards Board shall have the following standing committees in the following subject areas:
(1) Licensure and Certification Criteria; and
(2) Professional Development and Associated Compensation.
A standing committee must consist of at least 1 member of the Standards Board and other persons as may be mutually agreeable to the chair of the Standards Board and the Secretary.
(e) The majority of the voting members of the Standards Board shall appoint an executive director of the Standards Board. The executive director must have been a resident of Delaware for a minimum of 1 year immediately prior to the executive director's appointment and must have at least 10 years' experience as a professional educator in a public school system, with at least 5 years as a classroom teacher. The executive director acts as secretary to the Standards Board and receives compensation commensurate with the Department salary schedule. The executive director shall serve at the pleasure of the majority of the voting members of the Standards Board. The executive director is excluded from "classified service" and "state service" as defined in Chapter 59 of Title 29. The Department shall provide the Standards Board with access to Department personnel who are reasonably necessary to carry out the duties of the Standards Board.
(f) The Standards Board may create any committees that it deems necessary, provided that a committee created under this subsection does not overlap or otherwise make recommendations in the subject areas governed by the standing committees designated in subsection (d) of this section; and, further provided, that, prior to creating any such committee, the Standards Board shall first specify the tasks to be addressed by the committee and the time in which the committee is to complete those tasks. The chair of the Standards Board may appoint members of the Standards Board to such committees. The Standards Board may, by mutual agreement between its chair and the Secretary, appoint educators, parents, citizens and members of the business community to a committee created under this subsection.
(g) A majority of the current members of the Standards Board constitutes a quorum. No motion or resolution of the Standards Board may be adopted without the concurrence of the majority of the members of the Board plus at least 1 additional affirmative vote.
(h) A member of the Standards Board is entitled to receive $50 per meeting not to exceed $600 annually, and to be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in connection with the performance of official duties. The Standards Board may hold 1 meeting per month during normal school hours, but any additional meetings in the same month shall not be held during normal school hours.
The provisions of subchapter III of Chapter 58, Title 29 shall not apply to members of the Standards Board who are employed by a public school district. Any Standards Board member employed by a public school district will be released from that member's normal duty for the purpose of attending any regular monthly meeting of the Board which is scheduled during normal school hours as provided in this section, and such member shall receive that member's normal salary from the member's employer pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 13 of this title and any applicable collective bargaining agreement. Subject to the availability of appropriated funds, the Standards Board shall reimburse the member's employing school district for such costs as the school district may incur in order to obtain the services of a substitute teacher to take the place of any teacher member of the Standards Board who is granted release time pursuant to this section. A member of the Standards Board who is granted release time pursuant to this section shall have that member's compensation, as provided in the first paragraph in this section, proportionally reduced so that such member is not compensated twice for the time spent in meeting.
(i) Upon the request of the Secretary for advice or recommendations on matters within the purview of the Standards Board, the Standards Board shall respond to the request within a time frame that is mutually agreed upon between the Secretary and the chair of the Standards Board.
(j) The initial 15 voting members of the Standards Board must be appointed no later than 90 days after the enactment of this act.
(k) The Standards Board is subject to the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act (Chapter 101 of Title 29).