The House voted for a bill that would speed up aspects of school board elections.

Bill aims to rectify school board candidacy delays

Jarek RutzHeadlines, Education

The House voted for a bill that would speed up aspects of school board elections.

The House voted for a bill that would speed up aspects of school board elections.

A bill that would eliminate delays to school board candidates’ names appearing on Delaware’s Department of Elections website was passed by the Delaware House Tuesday.

House Bill 88, sponsored by Rep. Paul Baumbach, D-Newark, would require the state to publicly list school board candidates who are waiting for their background checks to be completed as a “provisional candidate.”

Due to a recent law that requires candidates to complete a criminal background check and a child registry check, the public didn’t know the full list of candidates for this year’s election until about three weeks after the March 3 filing deadline.

This created issues of transparency and also cut down on the amount of weeks candidates had to campaign, said Laurisa Schutt, executive director of First State Educate, a local advocacy group.  

RELATED: School board candidate listings delayed by background checks

HB 88 will now head to the Senate Education Committee.

Also Tuesday:

  • House Bill 47, sponsored by Rep. Bill Bush, D-Dover, increases the minimum amount of capital stock and free surplus an insurer must possess and maintain in order to transact business within the state. This makes insurers more in line with other jurisdictions, the bill reads.  HB 47 will be assigned to a Senate committee for discussion. 
  • Senate Bill 33, sponsored by Sen. Kyle Evans Gay, D-Arden, would drop the number of families that Division of Family Services caseworkers  have from 18 to 12. The House voted for it unanimously. SB 33 now heads to Gov. John Carney’s desk for signature. 
  • Senate Bill 60, sponsored by Sen. Laura Sturgeon, D-Hockessin, chair of the Senate Education Committee, would give teachers and other school employees the same protection to be absent without a loss of pay to report to serve on a jury and to appear under subpoena to testify in a matter, unless they are one of the parties in the case or if the trial is directly related to that employee’s work. 

Rep. Mike Smith, “R-Pike Creek” reminded legislators Tuesday that this issue is collectively bargained on a local level with school employees and school districts.“We need to have a larger discussion at some point on when we should get involved or when we shouldn’t,” he said before voting for the bill. It now heads to Carney for his signature.

Share this Post