The Senate yesterday passed Senate Bill 56 almost unanimously, 20-0-1. Senator Dave Wilson did not vote. Senate Bill 56 codifies and fully funds the Delaware Opportunity Fund. This program provides direct funding and support to low income students, English learners and young special needs students. By fiscal year 2025, funding for the program would more than double, to $60 million annually.
Prime Sponsor Senator Laura Sturgeon released the following statement on the Senate’s vote:
“Delaware students face a wide range of challenges in and out of the classroom. As a 25-year public school teacher, I personally saw students battle through homelessness, domestic violence, and other obstacles most of us can hardly imagine.
“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.
“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.
“I am proud to sponsor this bill along with my friend and co-chair Sen. Lockman and our counterparts in the House. I thank all of my colleagues in the Senate for passing this bill today.
“Our work to provide educational equity in Delaware is far from done, but this is a significant step in the right direction.”
|Senate Bill 56 Sponsors||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|Sturgeon, Lockman, Brown, Ennis, Gay, Hansen, Mantzavinos, S.McBride, Paradee, Pinkney, Poore, Sokola, Townsend, Walsh, Lopez||Passed 20-0-1. Bonini, Brown, Ennis, Gay, Hansen, Hocker, Lawson, Lockman, Lopez, Mantzavinos, Paradee, Pettyjohn, Pinkney, Poore, Richardson, S.McBride, Sokola, Sturgeon, Townsend, Walsh||Wilson (not voting)|
|K.Williams, Chukwuocha, Baumbach, Bentz, Brady, Bush, Griffith, Heffernan, K.Johnson, Lynn, Matthews, Moore, Morrison, Osienski, Ramone, Shupe, M.Smith|
|Current Status — Sent to the House 3/12/21|