Delaware has more than doubled its spending to support English learner students (ELs), as well as those who come from low-income households, with a $60 million plan over the next three years.
Announcing the plan, Dr. Susan Bunting, Delaware’s secretary of the Department of Education, commented: “We have the opportunity to increase funding, which has never been done before [in Delaware], specifically for our low-income students and English-learning students. That number has been growing in Delaware over the past few years but there has been no specific funding to help those students.”
The layout for the proposed funds would be $60 million in total, with $30 million being one-time monies and another $30 million coming from the operating budget. The expenditure of those funds would come to roughly $20 million annually, and the allocation of the funds would be a total of $40 million for the first year and $10 million for the latter two years. “Using a combination of operating funds and one-time monies, we are able, over the next three years, to make it $60 million dollars,” added Bunting, who also noted that a previous support of $6 million was purely opportunity grants and that the plan will take some time to take effect.
In the meantime, her office will be developing a template for the plan, which will extend funding to schools with a lower percentage of ELs. “In the past, the schools that qualified for the opportunity grants had 60% low-income or they had a concentration of 20% English learners,” she added. “We’ve worked in collaboration with the superintendents. We’ve listened, talked, and considered—and so every English learner student will receive monies and every low-income student. So, even if you had a school with 10% English learner students, you’re going to get money for each of those students, which is very different.”