The State of Delaware will provide $9 million in one-time funding to Delaware school districts and charter schools to prevent educator and staff layoffs due to enrollment reductions. Gov. John Carney and the Delaware Department of Education (DOE) made this announcement on Thursday, Dec. 24.
To access the one-time funding, districts and charters must certify they will not lay off educators or staff, and that the funds will go toward student instruction, focused on those students who have been most negatively impacted by the loss of in-person instruction. Based on enrollment levels, districts and charters will receive as much as $1.1 million in additional state funding to prevent layoffs.
“Our educators, school personnel, and school leaders have taken on the challenges of this pandemic and ensured children remain fed, educated, and supported,” said Carney. “We are pleased to make this funding available to districts and charter schools to ensure no staff members are laid off because of enrollment declines during the pandemic. We look forward to seeing students back in classrooms in a hybrid format in January, and I thank our schools for all the work they are doing to bring children back safely.”
“This funding will give our educators and students the stability they need as they finish this unprecedented school year,” said DOE Secretary Dr. Susan Bunting. “Whether our children have chosen hybrid or remote learning for the spring semester, they will highly profit from the instructional consistency and learning support that the current staff offers.”
“We thank the Governor and Secretary of Education for this funding, which will avoid the negative impact of the decline in enrollment due to this pandemic. At a time when educators have so much to worry about, this solution means they won’t have to worry about layoffs this year,” said Stephanie Ingram, president of the Delaware State Education Association (DSEA). “Instead, educators can continue to focus on safety, health, instruction and student learning.”
“Enrollment this year has been particularly transient due to the harsh realities our families have faced due to COVID-19,” said Dan Shelton, Ed.D., superintendent of Christina School District and president of the Chief School Officers’ Association. “We are pleased that the Governor and Secretary Bunting have supported our educators with the funding needed to maintain our services and supports at their current levels. Our educators are working tirelessly to engage students in new ways, under changing conditions. This recognition goes a long way in helping to meet the needs of our students, staff and families as we navigate this pandemic together.”
“The funds received through this agreement will be used to maintain critical jobs and best support students in our district communities,” said Jason S. Hale, Ed.D., CPA, and CFO for Brandywine School District. “On behalf of school districts across the state, I would like to thank the Governor for his support and recognize the efforts of the Secretary of Education, Director of the Office of Management and Budget and all those who worked to come to this resolution. This collaborative effort shows the collective commitment to the students of Delaware and those that serve them. This is a great day for education in the State of Delaware.”
“I am overwhelmed by this recognition of the issues facing schools. This critical support for our school will help ensure that we can continue to provide the increased assistance for our students that has been necessary during this unprecedented time,” said Ed Emmett, head of school at Positive Outcomes Charter School. “By providing for the unique challenges this pandemic has brought to our school's budget, the State and Department of Education recognize that our faculty and staff are our most precious resource.”