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Delaware Education Officials Want Hike in Budget

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware education officials are asking for a 4 percent increase in the Department of Education's operating budget for next fiscal year.

DOE representatives told state budget officials Wednesday that the request for more money includes $37 million to continue funding certain existing budget items, including periodic salary increases and funding to accommodate enrollment growth.

Education officials also are asking for $12 million in new spending, including $8 million for additional classroom and student support and $2 million for what they call "developing great educators."

DOE officials also are seeking permission to use unspent federal Race to the Top funds. They're looking at the possibility of extending current programs funded with Race to the Top money that would require future state appropriations estimated at up to $8.5 million.                                   

But Office of Management and Budget Director Ann Visalli said it looks unlikely that schools will see much more than the required increase, given current budget projections.                      

She said that it is too early to say “anything definitive.”

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.