Del. announces $60 million education initiative for English language learners and low-income students

DOVER, Del. – It’s a first for the first state. Delaware will now target additional resources for disadvantaged students.

Delaware is one of the few states that does not have weighted funding for English language learners and low-income students. But that’s all about to change thanks to a new initiative.

Delaware is allocating $60 million over three years up and down the state with the Opportunity Funding initiative. Secretary of Education, Dr. Susan Bunting says, “There will be $10 million from the operating budget and $10 million annually from some extra, we call them one time monies. We’re looking at $500 per EL students, $300 per low income student.

It will give districts the flexibility to see what works for them in their school system with their disadvantaged students.

The $20 million annually could help them with whatever needs fit them, such as counselors, after-school programming, or trauma-informed training.

Patricia Rivera, a board member of the Delaware Hispanic Commission and President of La Esperanza says, “We know that children who are immigrants do have trauma and that is something that we haven’t addressed in the education systems. As a general, we’re not really looking at that trauma that’s coming with that whole immigration experience and that funding will allow us to do that as well.”

With $60 million dollars on the line, Governor John Carney says, they want to see results. “We are doubling down and leaning into in a big way making sure that every 3rd grader can read at grade level. Our targets are very specific third grade reading, 8th grade math, and graduation college or career ready,” Governor Carney says.

In July, they will have a goal setting conference with superintendents about their upcoming plans in order to make sure that each investment will affect one or both sub groups. By the end of July, those plans should be approved.

This initiative should be set and ready to go at the start of the 2019 – 2020 school year.

The state is currently the target of a lawsuit alleging that Delaware is failing to meet its constitutional commitment to disadvantaged students, but Governor Carney says this initiative was in the works prior to the lawsuit.

Categories: Delaware, Education, Local News