Laura V. Sturgeon
- District 4
Senate Bill No. 78 enhances the qualifications for an individual to serve as a member of a school board or the State Board of Education. Specifically, this Act does all of the following: 1. Requires a prospective member of a school district board or State Board of Education to undergo the background check for child-serving entities and provides authority for the State Bureau of Identification to provide the required background check information to the appropriate entities. 2. Provides that background check information provided under this Act is not a public record under the Delaware Freedom of Information Act. 3. Requires that the Commissioner of Elections determine that an individual does not have any disqualifying convictions before the individual can be a candidate for election to a school board. 4. Requires the suspension of a member of a school board or the State Board of Education if the member is charged with a crime that would disqualify the individual from holding the position if convicted. 5. Requires the suspension of a charter school board member who is charged with a disqualifying offense. Existing law requires potential charter school board members to undergo and pass a criminal background check to serve as a charter school board member. 6. Makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. The disqualifying convictions under Senate Bill No. 78 are similar to those that cause an educator to lose their license or certificate and the additional qualifications do not apply to current school board members until the expiration of the member’s current term, unless the member is charged with a disqualifying crime while serving. Senate Substitute No. 1 for Senate Bill No. 78 differs from Senate Bill No. 78 as follows: 1. Automatically suspends a member of the State Board of Education or a vocational-technical school district board if the member is charged with a disqualifying crime instead of requiring the Governor to suspend the member. 2. Imposes a 10 year period of ineligibility, instead of a lifetime bar, for someone convicted of a violent felony. 3. Removes the section making this Act effective immediately because legislation is always effective immediately, unless otherwise provided, so that section is unnecessary.
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