Delaware Education Budget Contains Increases
Despite a challenging economy, funds have been allocated or increased for multiple education-related initiatives that will have a positive impact on our students and schools. This funding priority was also mirrored by a significant legislative session for education. In an important legislative decision, charter school requests for minor capital funding now will be funded in the same manner as vo-tech school districts.
The total education budget is $3,490,544,700. Notable education allocations this year include:
- $83,550,600 for school districts’ transportation needs, reflecting a $2,269,900 increase from last year’s budget.
- $3,300,000 for middle school behavioral health consultants.
- $2,500,000 for school improvement funds, reflecting an additional $1,500,000 from last year’s budget.
- $2,000,000 to establish the Charter School Performance Fund, which will allow funds to be awarded on a competitive basis to schools that have a proven track record of success based on criteria established by the Delaware Department of Education. For more information about the Charter School Performance Fund and its related legislation, click here.
- $421,500 to the Early Childhood Assistance Program.
- $300,000 to provide the funding for Academic Excellence start-up grants to support new gifted and talented programs. For more information about these grants and their related legislation, click here.
Technology can be a transformational tool to improve student learning and the state legislature, realizing its importance, significantly supported it this year. Districts were allocated $2,650,000 for computer leases for state testing and $2,250,000 for Technology Block Grants, to be dispersed to schools based on their Division I unit count. Funds are intended to support the following:
- Replacement or purchase of equipment supporting classroom instruction;
- Technology maintenance in the schools either through the use of technology personnel or contractual services; or
- Other technology needs as may arise which could improve or enhance the technology capabilities of the district or charter school.
Several bills enacted this year established competitive grant funds to be administered by the Department of Education. Read our blog post “Delaware Legislature’s Impressive First Half” to learn about these competitive grant funds and why this first half of the 147th General Assembly was one of the most successful legislative sessions for education.