The Senate yesterday passed Senate Bill 95 by a unanimous vote of 21-0. Sponsored by Senator Trey Paradee, Senate Bill 95 will provide Delaware high school students who possess strong academic credentials and demonstrate a commitment to volunteer public service with scholarship monies sufficient to cover the full cost of tuition at Delaware State University. The intent of this bill is to increase the number of students in Delaware who not only attend the University but who successfully complete degree programs.
Senate Bill 95 also addresses a critical shortage in higher education attainment among Delawareans, particularly people of color. Delaware’s post-secondary attainment rate (41.4%) – including both degrees and credential programs – lags behind the national average (51.3%), with attainment rates for African American (29.7%) and Hispanic students (18.8%) both below the state and national average.
|Senate Bill 95 Sponsors||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|Paradee, Brown, Pinkney, Bonini, Gay, Hansen, Lockman, Lopez, Mantzavinos, S.McBride, Sokola, Sturegon, Townsend||Passed Senate 21-0. Brown, Ennis, Gay, Hansen, Lockman, Mantzavinos, Paradee, Pinkney, Poore, S.McBride, Sokola, Sturgeon, Townsend, Walsh, Bonini, Hocker, Lawson, Lopez, Pettyjohn, Richardson, Wilson|
|Bolden, Chukwuocha, S.Moore, Lynn, Baumbach, Briggs King, Bush, Heffernan|
|Current Status —||Passed Senate 21-0|
“Over the decades, there has been no greater engine of economic prosperity for people of color than Delaware State University and there is no better way to help our students earn a degree and start their adult life debt free than by expanding the Inspire Scholarship program,” said Sen. Paradee, D-Dover. “This legislation is a down payment on economic justice that will help all Delawareans access the tools they need to thrive in our state’s workforce.”
“Delaware State has represented hope and opportunity to tens of thousands of Delaware residents, many of whom are the first in their family to attend college,” said Rep. Stephanie T. Bolden, the lead House sponsor of SB 95 and a DSU graduate. “The Inspire Scholarship opened even more doors to Black and Brown Delawareans, but now we are taking this last, critical step to fulfill our state’s commitment to our young people, that if you apply yourself, you can get a quality college education at DSU and emerge without the crippling burden of debt. I’m grateful that we are providing this opportunity to our young people, and I look forward to passing it in the House.”