(Dover, De.) “Earlier today, I presented our budget request for FY 2010 before the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). During this hearing, I provided information about the programs that have been funded through the Department of Education budget and the outcomes that have been a result of these investments over the years. It is important that we all understand that the progress we have made has not happened by accident.
Investments to support policy and legislative initiatives aimed at improving Delaware’s public education system have resulted in significant improvements in education outcomes over the last ten years. Our educators are better prepared today to meet the challenges of standards based reform and the expectations of strong accountability. Our students are performing better on state and national assessments, and Delaware is a national leader in reducing the achievement gap among subgroups. Our infrastructure is sound and our schools are safe and well maintained.
Without strong professional development programs our educators at all levels will not be able to learn new strategies and programs. Without support for extra time and other related support our students will miss out on opportunities to improve their skills so that they can meet the expectations of the 21st Century. Without programs to address social and behavioral issues in schools, too many students will not have the skills they need to be productive students and eventually productive workers.
Given the current economic situation, it is not appropriate for me to request additional dollars for the Department of Education budget. My request today is that those who will have the final say on the State’s budget will be thoughtful and mindful of the importance of building on the strong foundation that has been put in place. Decisions to cut back or to eliminate funding even for the short term too often have long term consequences.
One specific issue needs to be considered. The Appoquinimink School District has experienced increased enrollment over the past several years. This year is no exception with an additional increase of 500 students. The district must seek a referendum to build an additional elementary school, and the State of Delaware must do all it can to support the citizens and the children to make that school a reality.”
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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