Indian River district agrees to rejoin DSBA

GEORGETOWN — Following a hiatus of several years, Indian River School District’s board of education at its June 24 meeting cast 9-0 approval to rejoining in the Delaware School Boards Association – a voluntary, non-profit organization of school boards which seeks to further public education and assist board members in carrying out their responsibilities.

Dr. John Marinucci is the executive director of the DSBA, whose basic goals are to advance the quality of Delaware’s public schools, promote efficient and effective administration of those schools and strengthen the tradition of local citizen control through the establishment of education policy by elected and appointed school board members directly accountable to the communities they serve.

The DSBA Legislative Committee annually reviews bills pertaining to education and through lobbying efforts offers the association’s opinion to state legislators.

“Dr. John Marinucci is a terrific leader,” said IRSD Superintendent Mark Steele. “I know they are attacking an awful lot of legislative issues that I think is something that would be best for a district our size to be involved in.”

Based on total units within a district, IRSD’s membership dues for 2019-20 is $15,273. DSBA membership runs from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.

Last year, Indian River School District’s board of education by two-thirds majority voted against 2018-19 membership in the DSBA. It would have cost the district $15,105 in membership for that fiscal year.
For more than 30 years, IRSD had been a DSBA member until July 2015 when the board voted not to renew its membership. The Indian River district was picked up in 2017-18 with DSBA membership at no charge to the district.

“I think John Marinucci has certainly been more responsive than the last person,” said IRSD board member Dr. Donald Hattier prior to the board’s vote. “You send any emails, any messages to him and he is back to you in a hurry. He has been more than kind including us in everything over the last three or four years and keeping us posted even though we are not members. I think it is to our advantage to be members.”

Board member Rodney Layfield agrees that membership benefit now could outweigh cost.
“We have saved $45,000 to $60,000 by not being a part of it,” said Mr. Layfield. “There is a lot of legislation. I am in favor of paying $15,000 …”
Founded in 1946, DSBA’s stated purpose is to encourage and foster equity of thought and action of Delaware school boards and to further educational interests in the state.

Most public schools in Delaware are DSBA members, including the Capital, Lake Forest, Polytech, Sussex Tech, Cape Henlopen, Laurel, Seaford and Woodbridge districts in 2018-19.
DSBA offers members:

• Developing statewide legislative and funding priorities for public education in conjunction with the Legislative Committee and member boards;

• Monitoring the impact and progress of legislation introduced in the General Assembly which may affect the programs, operation, funding or administration of school districts;

• Planning and presenting orientation and training programs designed to enhance the effectiveness of school board members;

• Providing local school boards with information concerning those issues and activities which affect school districts;

• Coordinating legal services or local board efforts in those instances where boards share common concerns and goals; and

• Serving as liaison between school boards and other educational organizations or State agencies.

DSBA is a member of the National School Boards Association, representing approximately 80,000 of the nation’s school board members, which in turn represents more than 97 percent of all public school children in the U.S.

DSBA maintains an office in Dover that is staffed by an executive director and an executive secretary.

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