Where are the required alternative discipline programs for disruptive and expelled charter students

§ 1604. Treatment of severe discipline problems component.

The Department of Education shall establish a program component which will provide alternative educational and related services for the more severe discipline problems in the public schools. This component will serve primarily secondary school students, including but not limited to: youngsters who have been expelled from regular schools, students who may be subject to expulsion, and others who have serious violations of the local school district discipline code. The Department of Education shall provide rules and regulations for the conduct of programs authorized under this section subject to the following limitations:

(1) School districts shall make application to the Department of Education for funding to implement programs authorized under this section. Preference shall be given to applications from consortia of school districts. To the extent feasible, programs offered under this component should serve eligible pupils within a county, however, multiple sites may be operated by a single consortia of school districts within a county.

(2) Any application submitted under this section shall specify the types and level of services to be provided and an estimate of the number of youngsters to be served. The application shall also include a budget of proposed expenditures during a fiscal year. That budget shall indicate, at a minimum, the funds being requested from appropriations authorized under this section and funds to be obtained from all other sources.

(3) All applications submitted to the Department of Education under this section shall indicate an agreement to fund at least 30 percent of the total cost of services provided from sources of funding other than those authorized under this section.

(4) All projects funded under this section shall submit an annual evaluation report on the effectiveness of the program to the Department of Education. Such report shall incorporate the data and information specified by the Department.

(5) School districts shall be permitted to use funds collected in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 6 of this title to make tuition payments for youngsters assigned to programs authorized under this section.

(6) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a consortia of school districts from contracting for educational or related services with public or private agencies when operating programs authorized under this section.

(7) The provisions of § 4130 of this title shall not apply to youngsters enrolled in programs authorized under this section.

(8) A student 16 years of age or less who is expelled or suspended pending expulsion by a local school district or charter school shall be presumed appropriate for placement in a Consortium Discipline Alternative Program site, provided the student is not otherwise ineligible by statute or regulation for placement in such a program. The burden of establishing that a student is not appropriate for placement in a Consortium Discipline Alternative Program shall be on the local school district or charter school. Any student not shown by preponderance of evidence to be inappropriate for placement in a Consortium Discipline Alternative Program shall be placed in such a program.

Shouldn’t charter school applications define their alternative discipline placement programs for expelled and disruptive students?

(8) A student 16 years of age or less who is expelled or suspended pending expulsion by a local school district or charter school shall be presumed appropriate for placement in a Consortium Discipline Alternative Program site, provided the student is not otherwise ineligible by statute or regulation for placement in such a program. The burden of establishing that a student is not appropriate for placement in a Consortium Discipline Alternative Program shall be on the local school district or charter school. Any student not shown by preponderance of evidence to be inappropriate for placement in a Consortium Discipline Alternative Program shall be placed in such a program.

Surely charter schools aren’t violating the law and just kicking students out into the street sending them back to their traditional public school districts for treatment!

Why is the Delaware State Board of Education approving charter school applications that don’t indicate how they will comply with this section of the law?

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26 Responses

  1. That may be why charters don’t expel students. If the student “agrees” to leave, the charter’s obligation to that student ends, right?


    • New meaning to counseling out! HOWEVER, one would think the charter application to DE DOE requires the alternative placement plan for disruptive and expelled students.How can DOE approve an application without a plan! The law is quite clear! Looks to me it’s back to the public school instead of alternative placement!


  2. See number 8:

    504A. Powers.

    Consistent with its charter and the provisions of its certificate of incorporation, bylaws or membership agreements, the board of directors of a charter school or schools shall, as to each charter that the board holds, have the power to:

    (1) Manage the implementation of its approved education program;

    (2) Determine its own budget and operating procedures;

    (3) Acquire and convey interests in real property, subject to rules and regulations established by the Department with the approval of the State Board with respect to real property acquired by charter schools using state funds;

    (4) Incur debt;

    (5) Accept gifts;

    (6) Contract with any school district, or any other public school or private nonsectarian, nonreligious entity also empowered to enter into contracts, for any and all real property, equipment, goods, supplies and services; provided, that a school district must make unused buildings or space (defined as space no longer needed, permanently or temporarily, for non-charter school purposes) buildings or space in buildings available to a charter school, and shall bargain in good faith over the cost of rent, services and maintenance related to such space; provided further, that a charter school may, with the approval of the Secretary and the State Board for the sole purpose of determining compliance with this proviso, contract with a sectarian or religious college or university incorporated in the State and operating a program or programs for teacher education within the State empowered to enter into contracts for such property and services, so long as the property contracted for is used in a nonreligious and nonsectarian manner and the services contracted for are provided in a nonreligious and nonsectarian manner and are of a nonreligious and nonsectarian type. A charter school’s continued use of school district space shall be subject to review at least on a 5-year basis, and may be terminated by the district with 1 year’s notice, if the district’s non-charter school capacity requirements warrant. Charter schools shall have preference over state agencies for purposes of § 1057(b) of this title except that nothing in this section shall require the displacement of any tenant either during the term of its current lease or any renewal thereof;

    (7) Hire, manage, and terminate any school employee in accordance with the terms of its personnel policies or any collective bargaining agreement it negotiates with its employees;

    (8) Establish reasonable academic and disciplinary standards specifically related to the missions, goals and educational objectives for the charter school as set forth in its charter for students to continue enrollment in the charter school; provided, however, that an expulsion from a charter school shall have the same effect for the purposes of § 4130 of this title as expulsion from a school district. Charter schools may refer students to the alternative programs operated pursuant to the provision of Chapter 16 of this title subject to the following conditions:

    a. A student may only be referred to a program which serves that student’s district of residence and only if there is space available in such program to serve the student;

    b. The student otherwise meets eligibility criteria for students who may be enrolled in such program; and

    c. The student’s district of residence and the charter school in which the student is enrolled agree to a proration of student funding between or among the charter school and the school district in which the student resides, in which case the district of residence shall become liable for any cost associated with the placement of the student in the alternative program;

    (9) Establish an application and admissions process which shall enable the charter school to provide the local districts in which its students reside with a preliminary roster of its students for the subsequent school year on or before May 1 of each year. To the extent practicable, each charter school shall make the timetable for its application and admissions process identical to any such timetable set forth by this Code for the operation of a public school choice program.


  3. Wonderful :( There is that “may” in the law re: (8)! So the other option kick them out and send them back to the traditional public schools!

    But we’re still back to there appears not to be any section of the charter schools application addressing alternative placement!

    I think really time for us to move the fight for changing the laws from parents bickering to going after state board of education members who approve charter applications. However, they tactfully put up a communication firewall by removing E-mail addresses on the profile “and” disallow public comments on charter application during the board meeting a charter approval vote is to take place. Some much for Jack Markell’s open government!


    • Just place @ where you aee “AT”
      A “.” where you see “DOT”











    • Amazing!!!!!!!! When you go to the official DE DOE state board website you get this with no E-mail

      So it time to start E-mail the state board re: next week’s vote.

      I have a hunch dontdestroychristina and her group has begun those e-mails


    • Great job! Thanks, all…We’ll start ours too! :-)


  4. I would agree with you that the fight is not with each other, but with the laws and those who craft/enact them. I think for the most part the parents all want the same – a great education for their children.
    Those “may”s and “shall”s are tricky little things, aren’t they?


  5. The lack of email addresses is amazing. You can email The Governor but not anyone on the state school board? Maybe we need direct election to the state school board. That would bring about all sorts of access and no more of ‘you can’t say anymore about anything else’, like we currently get.

    I’m gonna call a friend to introduce legislation mandating that email addresses be published and that we have direct elections so that all of the player’s have a better shot at having a larger voice versus the Animal Farm mindset that is currently at work.


  6. http://www.communities4educationde.org/Home.html

    Communities 4 Education is a group of concerned parents and community members who advocate for equal public education for all Delaware Students.


    The proposed expansion of the Newark Charter School to include a high school challenges our ideals that public education should be equal and equitable for all students.

    PLEASE ACT NOW to STOP this proposed expansion! Send a letter or email to state leaders. Tell them that you oppose the Newark Charter expansion! Attend the March 7 meeting and voice your concerns!


    Tell the State Board of Education, Secretary Lowery and Governor Markell that you oppose the expansion of the Newark Charter School! Call for an immediate moratorium on charter schools!

    tgray@doe.k12.de.us; Jorge.melendez@pnc.com; gcoverdale@DOE.K12.DE.US; pheffernan@DOE.K12.DE.US; barbararutt@yahoo.com; imjwilson@comcast.net; whittakt@udel.edu; governor.markell@state.de.us; llowery@doe.k12.de.us


    • I don’t oppose it ! I would like to see the preference of 5 miles removed and replaced with CSD and a cafeteria. And yes we need to put the breaks on new charter schools and fix the broken charter school law


    • Agreed on the radius & cafeteria :-)

      BTW……Do you ever sleep? lol!


    • I sleep with one eye open!


  7. Re: electing state board members
    Back when they changed the department of public instruction into the Department of education they stripped the board of much of they former responsibilities. If you went back there then the board would appoint the state superintendent instead of have a secretary. Now the board members serve seven year terms so many of them were not appointed by the current governor. As for the email issue, it seems their address and phone numbers are available on the website. Perhaps they don’t have state email? Are they all state employees? Didn’t seem so based on their profiles.
    Regarding their public comment rules, it seems you can provide public comment during the legal comment period. According to
    Code there looks to be a 30 day public comment period on most regulations brought before them and the charter applications have public comment periods established as well. There was a state email address listed on the site to contact the state board office, I guess if phone and traditional mail isn’t enough direct contact for you you could use that. Just a question though, there are many boards and
    Commissions in Delaware are all of their members’ email addresses published?


  8. Wow, Nancy- I didn’t see those on their site but I did find regular mail and phone numbers. Where were they posted?


  9. And not just NCS,all charters.

    It’s the law stupid. It’s the bad bad bad law we have.


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