Historic Delaware settlement provides $100 million investment for disadvantaged students

DOVER, Delaware (WPVI) -- The state of Delaware celebrated a historic settlement and a huge win for thousands of disadvantaged students.

Governor John Carney and Delawareans for Educational Opportunity, and the Delaware NAACP reached an agreement to pour $100 million in new investments in Delaware public schools across the state.

"The fact of the matter is that the predominance of high poverty schools is filled with minority children who happen to be low income," said President of Delawareans for Educational Opportunity Jea Street.

This legislation has been several years in the works, and the primary goal is to close the education divide.

"We want our children, low-income children, minority children to be able to thrive in academic settings just as well as any other children and compete with children from all walks of life academically," Street added.

With the historic settlement, $25 million will go to Opportunity Funding to enhance services and provide resources to English learners and low-income students.

By the 2024-2025 school year, that number will more than double to $60 million and increase proportionally with student growth going forward.

"We'll see things like math specialists, reading specialists, we'll see behavioral modification programs," said Street.

By the 2023-2024 school year, the Early Childhood Assistance Program, which funds preschool programs for low-income families, will double its funding to $12.2 million. And $4 million a year will go towards teacher recruitment and retention in high-needs schools beginning in the 2022-2023 school year.

"This creates an incentive for teachers to, number one, come who want to be here," said Street. "Number two, creates an opportunity for them to want to stay."

While the settlement is moving forward and has the governor's support, it still has to be approved by the legislature.

The funding aims to help nearly 50,000 students from early childhood education through high school.
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