The Delaware State Senate has passed legislation that expands and makes permanent the Opportunity Funding program that boosts schools with a high population of students from lower-income families or who are still learning English.
Under the two-year-old Opportunity Funding program, schools have been able to offer additional support through individualized coaching and mentoring, or appropriate supplies such as books and programs.
Senate Bill 56 sponsored by Senator Laura Sturgeon (D-Brandywine Hundred) – a former teacher – would establish opportunity funding as a permanent fixture and would gradually increase state spending for it to $60-million a year by 2025.
“Since 2019, we have strived to better meet the needs of our most vulnerable students through Opportunity Funding, a program that provides districts additional supports for English language learners and low-income students. For some students, that means additional staff to provide individualized coaching and mentoring. For others, it means additional Spanish language teachers, books, and programs. Across the board, this funding closes gaps between what our funding system offers by default and what each individual student needs to succeed,” Sturgeon said. “In short, the legislation we passed today invests in a program that directs critical resources to the students who need it most. In keeping with the recent legal settlement between the state and educational equity advocates, it also makes Opportunity Funding a permanent fixture in Delaware and gradually increases it to $60 million per year by 2025.”
“Our work to provide educational equity in Delaware is far from done, but this is a significant step in the right direction.”