House Bill 90
147th General Assembly (2013 - 2014)
The General Assembly has ended, the current status is the final status.
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EDUCATION AND THE SCHOOL DISTRICT ENROLLMENT CHOICE PROGRAM.
This bill updates the school choice program, which has not received substantive attention since 1998. This bill aims to make it easier for parents to navigate the choice process by standardizing application forms and deadlines across traditional and charter schools. More specifically, the bill requires all local education agencies to accept a standard application form provided by the Department of Education, which must be available on the Department’s website. Further, the bill seeks to eliminate discrimination by districts against choice students by: (1) allowing districts to request supplemental application information from choice students only to the extent it requires the same information from attendance zone students; (2) limiting the supplemental criteria a receiving district may use to evaluate choice applications—after that, districts must use a lottery system; and (3) removing the provision that allows districts to reject applications of students with special needs. Districts would also be required to accept choice students until each school and/or program has reached 85% of its capacity. Districts would be required to hold a public information session about choice and enrollment opportunities by October 31 and report estimated capacity and projected enrollment information to the Department of Education by November 30; those estimates may be revised until January 30. Finally, the bill will create a task force to consider the current landscape of all school enrollment preferences to include magnet, vocational technical, and charter schools, and to develop recommendations as necessary.