Delaware Looks to Build on Success Strengthening its Educator Workforce

March 20th, 2024

Category: Educator Support and Development

At a Glance...
– Delaware continues to launch strategies to strengthen its educator workforce, including budget increases and legislative action.
-New proposed bills aim to attract and retain educators earlier—and to support them as they pursue careers in education.
– Delaware leaders are in the midst of a concerted effort to support new and future educators.

Delaware continues to launch strategies to further strengthen its educator workforce—from increased pay recommended in the next budget cycle—to a handful of new bills introduced in Legislative Hall this session.

Like the rest of the country, Delaware has fewer teachers in its pipeline than in generations past, punctuated by declines in educator preparation enrollment and retention challenges. However, in recent years, Delaware has embarked on a concerted effort to support new and future educators. Delaware legislators have passed bills establishing “Grow Your Own” programs, yearlong teaching residencies, and Registered Apprenticeships in teaching, and now state leaders looking to do even more—with a focus on starting earlier.

HB 332 establishes standards for the state high school K-12 Teacher Academy, with the goal to connect aspiring educators with their next career steps—including higher education, work-based learning, and courses that can advance their pathway to becoming an educator in Delaware.

These experiences would all build on the three pathway courses already required and be available to students in their fourth year. At that late stage in their pathways journey, many upperclassmen students have already burned through all available coursework and work-based opportunities.

The bill directs the Department of Education to support expansion of the Teacher Academy, provide standard curriculum, and ensure coursework is articulated to higher education institutions. The goal is to build intentional connections with Grow Your Own initiatives, apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships, and yearlong teacher residencies—and to support students to secure scholarships to continue their education.

HB 331 establishes a career scholarship for Teacher Academy students to fill the $2,500 gap between the current career scholarship and other funding, including registered apprenticeship funding, which can cover two years of a students’ higher education. This would be in addition to SEED and Inspire scholarships, which cover tuition at public universities for qualifying students.

The goal of both bills is to attract and retain educators earlier—and to support them as they pursue education as a career in Delaware.

Several other bills related to the educator workforce are under consideration as well, including:

  • SB 227, which would implement the recommendation of the Public Education Compensation Committee to allocate units for IT staff to Delaware districts and charters
  • SB 187, which would award credit for degrees earned prior to becoming an educator, advancing educators on the salary schedule regardless of the subject area of their degree
  • HS 2 for HB 252, which awards years on the salary schedule for educators who complete a teacher residency


These bills come during a budget cycle in which Gov. John Carney included the PECC recommendations to increase educator salaries in his proposed FY25  budget, which starts July 1. Delaware continues to advance its educator recruitment, compensation, and retention strategies—foundational pillars of any education system.

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Madeleine Bayard