Criminal Justice Council to Hold Public Hearing

WILMINGTON – The Criminal Justice Council will hold the third of its four annual public hearings on Tuesday, December 18th, at the Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center in the City of Wilmington at 6pm.   The purpose of these hearings is to give the public an opportunity to present its views on public safety and criminal justice issues to the Criminal Justice Council.

Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center is located at 1018 W. 6th St., Wilmington, DE.  The last hearing will be held early next year in Sussex County.

Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn, the chair of the Criminal Justice Council, began holding the Council’s public hearings in neighborhoods affected by crime rather than in traditional state government buildings when he took over as CJC chair.

The Criminal Justice Council is an independent council that is responsible for allocating federal criminal justice funds that come into Delaware and making recommendations for improvements in Delaware’s criminal justice system.

What: Criminal Justice Council Public Hearing

When: Tuesday, December 18th from 6pm – 8pm

Where: Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center 1018 W. 6th Street Wilmington

 


Criminal Justice Council to Hold First of Four Public Hearings

WILMINGTON – The Delaware Criminal Justice Council will hold the first of its four annual public hearings on Tuesday, November 13, at Canaan Baptist Church in New Castle.   The purpose of these hearings is to give the public an opportunity to present its views on public safety and criminal justice issues to the Criminal Justice Council.

Canaan Baptist Church is located at 3011 New Castle Avenue in New Castle.  The other three hearings will be held later this year in the City of Wilmington, Kent County, and Sussex County.

Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn, the chair of the Criminal Justice Council, began holding the Council’s public hearings in neighborhoods affected by crime rather than in traditional state government buildings when he took over as CJC chair.

The Criminal Justice Council is an independent council that is responsible for allocating federal criminal justice funds that come into Delaware and making recommendations for improvements in Delaware’s criminal justice system.


Lieutenant Governor Denn and Secretary Kee mark National School Lunch Week and Farm to School Month

Photos available for media use on Flickr.

 

SMYRNA – To mark National School Lunch Week and Farm to School Month, Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn and Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee joined students, teachersSchool Lunch and administrators at Sunnyside Elementary School in Smyrna for lunch Wednesday.

Denn and Kee toured the school’s cafeteria and kitchen with Smyrna School District Child Nutrition Supervisor Melissa Sayers, learning how schools create healthy, nutrition-packed meals for hundreds of students while keeping waste to a minimum and how school lunches have evolved. They then sat down to a lunch with Sunnyside students, featuring made-to-order sandwiches, a selection of salads, homemade vegetable soup, baby carrots and dip, fresh apple slices, apple cider and red potato & green bean salad.

“Our schools do a terrific job making delicious lunches that give our children fuel for their minds and bodies,” said Lieutenant Governor Denn.

National School Lunch Week, running from Oct. 15 to 19, recognizes the work that nutrition professionals do to make meals great for their students. All Delaware public school districts participate in the state’s Farm to School Program, a collaborative initiative by the Farm to School Advisory Board to get local foods into schools, increasing healthy eating opportunities and students’ awareness of agriculture.

“There is no better source of healthy food than our local Delaware farms,” said Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee. “More growers are becoming interested in having their produce served in our schools, and from what we’ve seen today, the kids love it.”

“We’re pleased to help highlight the wonderful work being done in our schools and across the state to make lunch an exciting part of the school day,” said Smyrna School District Child Nutrition Supervisor Melissa Sayers. “Each time a child tries a piece of broccoli or a forkful of green beans, it’s a victory for nutrition and for our families.”

The state’s Farm to School Advisory Board, which supports local food purchases by Delaware’s public school districts, includes representatives from school districts, farmers, parents, the Department of Education, Nemours Health and Prevention Services, the University of Delaware, Delaware State University and Master Gardeners.

“Putting together a healthy school lunch menu is a complicated job, balancing nutrition, cost and timing,” said Linda Wolfe, Director of School Support Services for the Delaware Department of Education. “Delaware’s child nutrition supervisors do a wonderful job, and their work is a testament to how school lunches have modernized and focused on health.”

 

Photos available for media use on Flickr.

Contact:
Dan Shortridge
Chief of Community Relations
Delaware Department of Agriculture
(302) 698-4520


Delaware Proposes Nation’s First Comprehensive Cyberbullying Policy

Statewide Policy Will Give School Administrators Clear, Enforceable Rules to Prevent Cyberbullying

WILMINGTON – This week, Delaware became the first state in America to propose a detailed, comprehensive cyberbullying policy that will be adopted by each of its public schools.  The policy, drafted by Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn and Attorney General Beau Biden, was formally proposed by the Delaware Department of Education and will provide schools with specific, enforceable rules to combat cyberbullying.

The proposed regulation is open for public comment until November 5, after which a final regulation will be issued by the Department of Education and all public schools will be required to adopt it within 90 days.  The regulation is the product of public hearings that Lieutenant Governor Denn and Attorney General Biden held throughout the state.

The cyberbullying regulation provides guidance to school officials in three important areas:

* The regulation provides a narrow definition of cyberbullying, which is that it must be uninvited and unwelcome electronic communicated directed at an identifiable student or group of students.  In addition, the activity must fall into one of three specific categories: speech that (i) interferes with a student’s physical well-being, (ii) is threatening or intimidating, or (iii) is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it is reasonably likely to limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s educational programs.

* The regulation provides that postings on certain mediums such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube will automatically be considered to be directed at an identifiable student or group of students, because the person posting knows that that posting is likely to be available to a broad audience in the school community.

* The regulation requires that the above standards be applied from the standpoint of a reasonable student of the same age and other circumstances as the victim.  This ensures that particularly vulnerable students receive a higher level of protection.

“Attorney General Biden and I put this policy together the right way,” Lt. Governor Denn said.  “We listened carefully to parents, school officials, and civil liberties advocates.  We carefully reviewed the evolving case law with respect to the free speech issues raised by cyberbullying.  And then we crafted a detailed regulation that is responsive to the concerns we heard, compliant with First Amendment case law, and usable by school officials.”


Lt. Governor Releases 3rd Annual School Spending Reports; Public School Districts and Vo-Tech & Charter Schools Included

Over $21 million annually could be spent on students

DOVER, Del. (Thursday, September 6, 2012) – Today, Lt. Governor Matt Denn released his third annual reports on how Delaware’s schools spend their funds on direct educational services for students.

These reports (one for public schools and another for Vo-Tech & Charter Schools) focus on expenditures in the 2010-2011 school year.  The purpose of these reports is to provide parents and taxpayers with information regarding the spending practices of the school districts in which they live and/or where their children attend school.

The ultimate goal of providing this information is to encourage schools districts to direct more public dollars into the classroom and less into administrative overhead.

For public school districts, this year’s report shows one significant overall change in the 2010-2011 school year, as compared to prior years: the disparity between schools that are spending the highest percentages of funds on direct educational services and the other school districts significantly narrowed compared to the two prior school years.  In the prior two school years, the Lt. Governor’s office calculated that if all of the school districts were spending on direct educational services at the same ratios as the districts with the five highest percentages, over $28 million additional dollars could be spent on such direct educational services.  This year, that figure is $21,133,243, a 26% improvement over the prior school year.

For charter schools, as in last year’s report, most spent a lower percentage of their total dollars on direct educational services than traditional public school districts.  This year’s report is no different than the last two; there is an extraordinary range among the charter schools with respect to the percentage of funds spent on direct educational services– substantially greater than the spread among traditional public school districts.  Finally, almost all of the state’s charter schools spent a higher percentage of their funds on direct educational expenses (total) in 2010-2011 than in the prior year.

Both reports and charts are located at ltgov.delaware.gov/schoolreports along with school district comments.