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The Delaware State Board of Education (SBE) consists of nine members who are citizens of the State of Delaware. The SBE has a wide variety of roles and responsibilities. Meetings are held monthly and are open to the public.

Vision Statement

All Delaware students are engaged in learning that provides a foundation for success, preparing them to transition into postsecondary education and careers, engage with their communities, and continue to learn throughout their lives.

Mission Statement

In collaboration with community stakeholders, the Delaware State Board of Education provides voice and leadership for Delaware citizens to ensure that the education system meets the needs of each Delaware student.

Guiding Principles

The State Board remains committed to approaching its work through the following guiding principles:

  • Equitable Opportunities: Support high-quality educational opportunities for all students that reduce disproportionate student outcomes by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic conditions, and residence.
  • Student-Focused Education: Advocate for the development of the whole child, including strong academic, social-emotional, and physical health and safety practices that provide a rigorous, relevant, and relationship-based education.
  • Collaboration and Partnerships: Engage and collaborate with the community and partners to enrich education policymaking with diverse perspectives that represent Delaware’s citizens.
  • Data-informed Decision-making: Utilize national, state, and local research and data to inform decisions.

Roles and Responsibilities

The State Board of Education has a wide variety of roles and responsibilities, including:

  • Advancing Education Policies and Systems
    • Approving regulations governing 100+ topics, including approval of content standards, assessments, graduation requirements, educator evaluation, DIAA regulations, licensure and certification, and many others;
    • Serving as the CTE Eligible Agency for the State Perkins Plan;
    • Approving charter school authorizations—new, major modifications, renewals, and formal review.
  • Providing Strategic Oversight and Advocacy
    • Providing the breadth and viewpoint of a citizen’s board;
    • Providing the Secretary of Education with advice in the development of policy, new initiatives,
    • budget requests, etc.
  • Resolving Disputes and Controversies
    • Resolving disputes and controversies of the state education system, including school district boundaries, rules/regulations of local boards and student suspensions/expulsions for disciplinary reasons.


The Delaware State Board of Education consists of nine members who are citizens of the State of Delaware. The Board is comprised of seven voting members and two non-voting members. Voting members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate. Members have residence in each of Delaware’s counties and the city of Wilmington, belong to different political parties, and bring a diverse set of skills and perspectives to the work. At least two members have previously served on a local board of education. Non-voting members are appointed annually by the Governor and include an 11th or 12th grade student currently enrolled in a public school and a former State Teacher of the Year.

Name Position/Term Member Email
Shawn Brittingham President, appointed July 2022, serves at the pleasure of the Governor P-20 Council, co-chair
University of Delaware Board of Trustees, member
Delaware School Boards Association Board of Directors, member
Dr. Vincent Lofink Vice President, elected July 2022, term expires 2023 Charter School Accountability Committee, member (non-voting)
Candice Fifer Voting Member, term expires 2024 ESSA Advisory Committee, member
Teacher of the Year Selection Committee, member
Dr. Audrey Noble Voting Member, term expires 2027 NASBE Board of Directors, member
NASBE Government Affairs Committee, Chair
Delaware School Boards Association Legislative Committee, member
Charter School Accountability Committee, member (non-voting)
Delaware Early Literacy Advisory Group, member
Provey Powell, Jr. Voting Member, term expires 2025 Vision Coalition of Delaware, member
Wali W. Rushdan II Voting Member, term expires 2024 Equalization Committee, member
Delaware Early Literacy Advisory Group, member
Deborah Stevens Voting Member, term expires 2028 DPAS II Advisory Committee, member
Charter School Accountability Committee, member (non-voting)
Megan Szabo Non-voting Member, appointed August 2022, serves at the pleasure of the Governor Member, State Teacher of the Year (2015)
Nathan Cho Non-voting member, appointed August 2022, serves at the pleasure of the Governor Student Member
Mark Holodick Executive Secretary Secretary of Education
Kathleen Smith Executive Director State Board of Education

Additional Information

State Board of Education Procedures Manual – Learn more about the legal basis for Delaware’s Board of Education. Includes powers and responsibilities, board meeting procedures and more.

The State Board of Education is authorized by several sections of Title 14 of the Delaware Code to resolve disputes or hear appeals of certain matters. These matters include, but are not limited to:

  • Original Disputes:
    • Fixing and establishing the boundaries of school districts which may be doubtful or in dispute;
  • Appeals
    • A decision by a school district board of education involving the district’s rules and regulations (including disciplinary rules);
    • A decision by the board of directors of a charter school to suspend or expel a student for disciplinary reasons;
    • A decision by the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association that decided a controversy involving athletic rules and regulations;
  • Certain decisions involving the application of rules and regulations of the local board may not be appealed to the State Board, including:
    • Decisions involving student disciplinary actions where a student is suspended from school for ten (10) or fewer days, except where a request to expunge the disciplinary action from the student’s record has been denied by the local board.
    • Individual student grades.
    • Personnel actions which are covered under a collective bargaining agreement or are otherwise subject to adjudication by the Public Employment Relations Board.
    • Termination of employees conducted in accordance with Delaware Code Title 14 Chapter 14.
    • Termination or non-renewal of public school administrators and confidential employees, as those terms are defined in 14 Del. C. § 4002, at the conclusion of an employment contract.
    • District decisions on student residency in accordance with 14. Del. C. § 202 or the school choice program in accordance with 14. Del. C. § 407.

Filing a Petition or Appeal

A party may file a petition or appeal by mailing or delivering a petition or notice of appeal to the Executive Secretary.

Parties filing an appeal are strongly encouraged to utilize this Notice of Appeals form. A copy of the notice of appeal, and any other documentation filed, shall be mailed or delivered to the agency which made the decision at the same time the original notice of appeal is mailed or delivered to the Executive Secretary. The notice of appeal must be postmarked or delivered to the Executive Secretary within thirty (30) days of the day the notice of the decision was received.

The State Board’s Hearing Procedures and Rules can be found in the State Board of Education’s Procedures Manual. These procedures outline the requirements and expectations for De Novo and Evidentiary Hearings and Appeals.


Certification of Record form, for school districts and charter schools

The Department of Education’s information on Student Conduct and Discipline

The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association’s waiver requests

Early Literacy

The State Board of Education has recognized early literacy as a priority for its work through its strategic plan. In support of this priority, in 2021, the State Board of Education commissioned a project with the research firm West Ed to analyze Delaware’s licensure and certification structure related to early literacy. The report was released in August 2021 and is titled Alignment for Early Literacy: Review of Delaware’s PreKindergarten to Grade 3 Licensure and Certification Landscape.

As part of this work, West Ed generated summary reports addressing each of the research questions established in the study:

Brief 1: What is the evidence base for the current practices preparing teachers and support staff for teaching literacy?

Brief 2: How do Delaware’s current pathways for preparation and the current regulatory structure related to licensure and certification align to best practices for supporting literacy for young children in pre-K–Grade 3?

Brief 3: How does Delaware compare to states and countries that have seen increases in student achievement and growth in reading and literacy over time in their regulatory structures, certification process, and preparation pathways for supporting literacy?

Brief 4: What are our recommendations based on this analysis?

The report was presented to the State Board of Education at its August 19, 2021 meeting. A recording of this meeting is available for view. The slide presentation is also available.

In an effort to continue the conversation around the findings and recommendations, the report has also been presented to the Department of Education, the Professional Standards Board, the P-20 Council, and superintendents from throughout the state. Board members will continue to engage in these conversations to strengthen policies that support literacy for our youngest learners.

Questions about the report or next steps can be directed to Kathleen Smith.

CTE and Perkins Plan Information

Perkins V and CTE Subcommittee Overview

The State Board of Education (SBE) is the “eligible state agency” (Title 14, Chapter 33. § 3310) authorized under the Carl D. Perkins Career & Technical Education Act of 2006 and is responsible for leading the state plan development, establishing administrative and evaluation routines, providing oversight of the distribution of federal funds, and coordinating activities with the State Workforce Development Board related to career and technical education programs in the State of Delaware.

On July 31, 2018, President Trump signed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the 21st Century Act (referred to as Perkins V) into law. The law went into effect on July 1, 2019, and the first year of implementation was considered a “transition year”. The eligible state agency was required to submit a one-year transition plan prior to April 30, 2019, and once approved in July 2019, the eligible state agency was required to develop a full four-year state plan, covering the requirements of the Act, to have been submitted by April 2020. The full four-year state plan encompasses program years 2020 (SY 2020-2021) to 2024 (SY 2024-2025).

The SBE established a CTE Subcommittee to provide guidance and technical assistance to the SBE and the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) staff who supervise Career & Technical Education (CTE) as required under Perkins V. As such, the CTE Subcommittee:

  • Participated in a series of informational and development meetings;
  • Defined methods of technical assistance and engagement with various stakeholder groups, local education agencies, and postsecondary institutions;
  • Communicated subcommittee initiatives to various stakeholder groups, local education agencies, and postsecondary institutions;
  • Facilitated state-wide collaboration meetings between the subcommittee and various stakeholder groups through both face-to-face and online formats; and
  • Reviewed and provided feedback to the SBE and DDOE on the development of a transition plan that was submitted in 2019 and the full four-year state plan that was submitted in 2020.

Final approval of the transition plan and full four-year state plan was coordinated with the Office of Governor John Carney and the US Department of Education (USDOE).

Perkins V Transition Plan and Four Year State Plan

The subcommittee met from February through March 2019 to provide input on the development of the one-year Transition Plan. The draft Transition Plan was posted for public comment from March 22, 2019 through April 10, 2019 (Public comment received for the Perkins V transition plan). The Board approved the draft Transition Plan at their April 18, 2019 meeting. The Final Perkins V Transition Plan, as approved by the U.S. Department of Education, can be found online.

The subcommittee met from August 2019 through December 2019 to provide input on the development of the four year state plan. Subcommittee meeting materials are available on the DE State Board of Education eBoard site.

During that time, more than 550 people were directly engaged in the development of the draft plan and more than 1,500 people received communication on the topic. The draft State Plan was open for public comment from December 23, 2019 through February 21, 2020. Information sessions were held in each county in January and February 2020, and public comment received for the Perkins V Four Year State Plan was posted online.

The Board approved the draft State Plan at its March 19, 2020 meeting. The State Plan was submitted to the USDOE in April 2020, and approved in July 2020.

As a result of COVID-19 and the related economic impacts, the ability to provide CTE instruction, place students in work-based learning experiences, and support student attainment of industry credentials has been negatively impacted. Adjustments were made to the state determined levels of performance as a result of unanticipated circumstances this academic year. The updated metrics were posted for public comment from February through April 2021, and approved by the State Board at its April 2021 meeting.

Additional information including details about the implementation of this plan can be found under Career & Technical Education.

Charter Schools are authorized under Title 14, Chapter 5 of the Delaware Code and 14 Admin Code 275. Charter schools may be authorized by the Department of Education, with the approval of the State Board of Education (State Board) or by a local school district.

The State Board’s roles and responsibilities related to charter schools are:

  • Approval of New Applications: A new charter can be granted for an initial period of four years, and is renewable every five years thereafter. New applications must be decided upon by the Secretary and agreed upon by the State Board.
  • Approval of Major Modifications: A charter school can apply for a major modification of an existing charter. Major modifications may include replacing or removing a charter management organization, altering enrollment preference, increasing/decreasing enrollment by more than 15%, altering grade configurations, changing the site of instruction, changing educational services, altering the school’s mission and goals, altering the performance agreements, or altering the charter to meet the requirements for ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act). A major modification must be decided upon by the Secretary and agreed upon by the State Board.
  • Approval of Conditions for Formal review: A formal review is an investigation of whether a school is violating the terms of its charter. The conditions of a Formal Review must be decided upon by the Secretary and agreed upon by the State Board.
  • Renewals: Charters are renewed in successive 5-year terms of duration. Where a charter school has demonstrated an outstanding record of performance, a 10-year renewal may be granted. Any charter school receiving such an extended renewal term shall, at the midpoint of the 10-year charter, be subject to an annual performance and program evaluation that includes academic, financial and operations data that looks back to all of the years of the charter up to that point. Renewal decisions are made by the Secretary. The Secretary may request the assent of the Board.

Decisions regarding each of the actions outlined above are usually informed by the work of the Charter School Accountability Committee (CSAC). The materials from CSAC’s review, including minutes and reports, are considered part of the record that the State Board of Education may consider in making its decision.

Contact Information

For additional information you can email the State Board of Education office or call (302) 735-4010.

To be added to the State Board of Education’s email list, please send an email to the State Board of Education with the subject “SBE Mailing List.”