Proposal to Make Early Teacher Hiring Permanent

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR AND STATE LEGISLATORS PROPOSE TO MAKE EARLY TEACHER HIRING PROGRAM PERMANENT

Pilot Program Has Dramatically Reduced Late Hiring of Teachers and Improved Schools’ Ability to Compete With Surrounding States for Quality New Teachers

The original sponsors of Delaware’s pilot program to allow school districts to make earlier hiring offers to new teachers have introduced legislation to make the pilot program a permanent one. The pilot program has demonstrated extraordinary success in allowing Delaware school districts to better compete with surrounding states for new teachers and adequately train those new teachers before the start of the school year.

House Bill 259 will make permanent the pilot program originally created in 2011, which required the state’s Department of Education to estimate each school district’s enrollment for the following school year in May, and guarantee state funds to each district sufficient to cover 98% of the state’s share of hiring the teachers justified by that enrollment estimate. The pilot program was created through legislation implementing the recommendations of a task force chaired by Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn and State Senator David Sokola.

“Our task force findings were very straightforward,” said Lieutenant Governor Denn. “The school districts told us that they were holding back on early hiring because they couldn’t risk getting less state money than they expected. And the consequence was that they were losing teaching candidates to other states that were making firm offers earlier in the year. Our solution was to guarantee the districts the vast majority of their money in May, and the results have been striking.”

The University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration, in its ninth annual Delaware Teacher and Administrator Supply and Demand Survey Analysis Report[1], quantified the change in early teacher hiring caused by the pilot program: the percentage of school district teachers who were hired after July 31st dropped from 64.3% in the 2010-2011 school year, to 48.6% in 2011-2012 and 46.5% in 2012-2013. Delaware Teacher and Administrator Supply and Demand Survey Analysis Report, June 2013, at p. 12. This significant drop in the percentage of late-hired teachers was directly attributed by the University of Delaware to the pilot early teacher hiring program:

What has led to the reduction in later teacher hiring in Delaware? The most obvious answer is Senate Bill 164 with House Amendment 1, the extension of SB 16. SB 16 requires that projections of enrollment be made by April 15 and that the State will guarantee that school districts receive funds equivalent to 98 percent of these projections. This bill was aimed at decreasing late teacher hiring, and it appears to have had the desired effect.

(Delaware Teacher and Administrator Supply and Demand Survey Analysis Report at p. 50).

State Representative Darryl Scott, prime sponsor of House Bill 259 and one of the original sponsors of the 2011 pilot program, said, “Our goal is to hire the very best teachers and have them prepared to start the first day of school. Early unit counts have proven to be an effective tool for our school districts in accomplishing this goal and removing the sunset provision keeps this tool available to our school districts.”

Senator Sokola, the Senate sponsor of House Bill 259 and the original sponsor Senate Bill 16, added, “In my work, I understand the importance of testing and validating data. I’m pleased that the data have validated this experiment in giving our schools more flexibility in hiring top-quality teachers and that we’re making it permanent.”

Other original sponsors of Senate Bill 16 who are co-sponsoring the legislation making it permanent are Representative Debra Heffernan and Representative Earl Jaques.

[1] The report can be found on-line at http://www.ipa.udel.edu/publications/teacher_supply13.pdf.


Bloom Energy Officially Celebrates New Manufacturing Center

“the new face of manufacturing in Delaware”

 JPMorgan Chase announced as newest Bloom customer

10315998274_a69b35f73f_b(Newark, DE) –  Bloom Energy officially celebrated its new manufacturing center in Newark and says it will be hiring more than 100 new workers in the coming months in jobs ranging from welders to production control technicians to electric/electronic engineers.   Bloom Boxes use revolutionary solid oxide fuel cell technology that converts fuel to electricity using an electrochemical reaction, rather than combustion, allowing customers to reduce their carbon footprint while cutting operating costs.  At today’s event, JPMorgan Chase announced it will be Bloom’s newest commercial customer in Delaware.

“This is the new face of manufacturing, and we have it right here in Delaware “ said Governor Jack Markell, who spoke about traveling to Bloom’s California headquarters in 2010 to talk with company leaders about expanding to Delaware.  “The growth of innovative companies like Bloom and of new, high-tech manufacturing is necessary to move Delaware’s economy forward.  We know one of the major reasons Bloom chose Delaware is our outstanding workforce.  We are committed to supporting and developing a pool of talented workers prepared for jobs in new manufacturing.  I am confident the company will continue to discover the great talents we have in Delaware and partners in the community that support Bloom’s continued growth here.”

JPMorgan Chase announced that it will soon pilot an 500 kW installation of Bloom boxes powering its Morgan Christiana site that will support power to its data centers.

“The fact that Bloom is opening this additional manufacturing plant in Delaware gives us easy access to maintenance and monitoring engineers at our Morgan Christiana site.  We hope to expand the pilot as we move forward,” said Bill McHenry, global head of Property Operation, who spoke at the official opening. “We are able to not only improve our facility right here in Delaware, but also fulfill our companywide commitment to investing in new technologies designed to reduce our impact on the planet.”

“Bloom has the best technology when it comes to converting fuel to electricity,” said K.R. Sridhar, C-E-O of Bloom.  “We have a tremendous following with our customers who want affordability, predictability when it comes to costs , reliability, security, and sustainability.  Using less fuel is the pathway to efficiency.”

Sridhar talked about Bloom’s commitment to Delaware saying, “We have built a factory; we are creating jobs and  we are putting cleaner energy in the s10316020315_7e10c9d7d9_btate.  Our commitment continues.   Good partnerships are about trust and we will continue our commitment.”

University of Delaware President Patrick Harker said, “This is a milestone moment for us in terms of sponsoring innovation.  Bloom saw the potential of this campus early on.  They understood the advantages of proximity to UD: the creative energy of a lot of great minds working together; the efficiency that expedites time-to-market for important discoveries; the synergy of centralizing high-quality R&D education and training, technology development and manufacturing so that each can inform and improve the other.”

Bloom announced its plans to build its new, high-tech manufacturing center in Delaware in 2011 and broke ground on its facility in Newark in April 2012 which is located on the site of the former Chrysler plant in Newark.

Bloom’s customers include WalMart, which endorsed its growing partnership with Bloom during today’s event, as well as Google, Apple,  Bank of America, FedEx, Co a-Cola, Staples, A-t-and-T, Verizon and E-Bay.  Walmart first installed Bloom systems in 2009 and is one of Bloom’s largest customers.

Bloom began shipping Bloom boxes from the Center this summer and currently has approximately 80 people working at the new manufacturing center and has more than 70 jobs posted for immediate hiring.

Photos from the event are available on Flickr.

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Captive Insurance Program Inaugural Class Graduates

Dover – On June 6, twenty-five participants will complete the captive insurance risk management certificate program offered by University of Delaware in partnership with the Delaware Department of Insurance.

Owned by the entities they insure, captive insurance companies are formed by businesses and organizations to better manage the cost and administration of their insurance coverage. This new program is aimed at financial and insurance service professionals who wish to offer such options to their clients.

The fourteen-week program provided practical-up-to-the-minute information on the foundation of captive insurance; the nuts and bolts of captive operations; capital planning, accounting and regulation; and captive applications for corporate enterprise.

Delaware prides itself on being the state of choice for corporations and business entities. Across the U.S. and worldwide, over a million business entities have their legal home in Delaware, including more than 50% of all U.S. publicly-traded companies and 63% of the Fortune 500.

Delaware Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart notes that this program showcases the Department of Insurance’s commitment to Governor Markell’s focus on enhanced state performance measures with a strong emphasis on education and job creation. Commissioner Stewart said, “Delaware’s sophisticated corporate laws, judiciary and financial infrastructure make it the preeminent jurisdiction for business.” Commissioner Stewart believes that recent legislation over the last few years has created a more modernized Delaware law regarding the formation of captive insurance companies. “Delaware is now poised to become the home to the growing number of such companies being created by organizations worldwide,” said Stewart.

Each topic in the 14 session certificate program was taught by certified professionals who are nationally recognized leaders in the captive insurance industry.

Commissioner Stewart shared, “The captive certificate program was extremely successful and we look forward to future collaborative efforts between the Delaware Department of Insurance and the University of Delaware.” The graduation ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. at the University of Delaware Wilmington Campus, 2800 Pennsylvania Avenue, Wilmington, Delaware.

For more information about the Captive Insurance Risk Management Certificate and other programs offered by the Delaware Department of Insurance call 302-674-7300 or visit www.delawareinsurance.gov.