House Bill 307 w/HA 1 was signed into law on June 9, 2016. This bill provides a reimbursement upon the applicant becoming a teacher in a Delaware public school. Below is a little background information about the original House Bill 146 which was signed into law last July 2015.
In 2015, I sponsored House Bill 146, which enacted the one-time fee of no more than $100 for an educator’s first license in Delaware, House Bill 146. Delaware was one of only a few states that did not charge a fee for educator licensure or for certifications. Delaware processed approximately 10,000 applications for licensure and certification each year, in addition to other processing requests for current educators, such as plus credits. Because of reciprocity agreements and the lack of license fees in our state, the Department of Education processes approximately one to two thousand applications per year from applicants outside of the State of Delaware who do not become employed here. Establishing a $100 fee for new licenses will help deter applicants who apply because of the lack of cost and with the intent to seek reciprocity elsewhere. This will reduce the processing burden and allow the licensure office to better serve the needs of Delaware’s educators.
Delaware Leadership Project is an alternative route to principal certification for teachers who aspire to lead the state’s lowest performing schools. The Delaware Leadership Project is ran through Innovative Schools.
The Leadership Project is operated by a nonprofit organization(Innovative Schools)that has experience working with the state’s low-performing public and charter schools (I was not aware that Innovative Schools has so much experience working in the state’s lowest performing schools). DDOE opted for an external provider for the program (rather than an established educational institution such as a university or school district) to secure independence in the recruitment, selection, evaluation, and dismissal of candidates. (Interesting that DOE would not actually want an educational institution providing these services. It is also interesting that DOE points out that they would want an independence in recruitment, selection, evaluation, and dismissal of candidates, not really sure I understand that statement.)
The Delaware Leadership Project is a 15-month fellowship program for aspiring principals that begins and ends with two full summers of training and includes a school-year residency during which candidates work under a mentor principal in a low-performing school. The program, which is free for participants, also leads to a principal certificate. Participants receive a stipend of up to $65,000 based on their present salaries. The Leadership Project is funded through the state’s Race to the Top grant as well as two private foundations.(Now that Race to the Top Funds are gone, who is actually paying for this program?) Program graduates must make a commitment to work in one of Delaware’s low-performing schools for at least three years after completion of the program; however, there is no guarantee of a principal’s position at the end of the 15 months. (On Innovative Schools website, they do not advertise that the candidate must work in a low performing school,
Some of the folks who have graduated from the program have been place into some of our schools. Not all of the schools where these folks have been placed are low performing schools, so my question is how can this be? Two of the candidates were sent to Forest Oak Elementary School and Conrad Schools of Science neither one of these schools is a low performing school.) Click here to see candidates.
What are the selection criteria for Delaware Leadership Project aspiring principals?
Admission to the Delaware Leadership Project is highly selective. In order to be eligible for the program, candidates must have:
• A master’s degree in any field from a regionally accredited college or university
• A minimum of three to five years of teaching experience
•Valid teacher certification from any state or from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
• A graduate school GPA of 3.0 or higher • A willingness to commit in writing to working in the Delaware public school system for 3 years upon graduation from the program