Delaware Sees Increase in Low-Income Student Population
The percent of low-income students enrolled in Delaware public schools has jumped 7.9% over the past three years (from 40.9% in 2007-2008 to 48.8% in 2010-2011) – prompting stakeholders throughout the state to consider the policy and practice implications both within and outside the classroom.
The increase was most likely brought on by a confluence of factors – most noticeably the shifting demographics of the state and the 2008 economic recession (which is still hurting many Delaware families – as this recently released Kids Count report highlights). The changes in low-income student enrollment have tremendous implications both within and outside schools, including:
- the allocation of federal and state funds to districts based on student enrollment;
- provision of services to those in need, including health care and nutritional assistance; and
- access to additional funding streams – grants, scholarships, and other financial programs.
In addition to the impact on current programmatic structures, these changes could have significant impact on educational outcomes – from statewide proficiency rates to college completion – ultimately impacting the economic competitiveness of our state.
In order to help mitigate these effects, we need to think strategically about how we can better spend our education dollars, enhance the quality of our teaching workforce, and provide alternative delivery structures through innovative instructional practices.
Related Topics: Low-income