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Delaware Senate Democrats

Statement from Sen. Laura Sturgeon on Senate passage of Senate Bill 56

March 11, 2021

Sen. Laura Sturgeon, chair of the Senate Education Committee, released the following statement regarding the Senate’s passage of SB 56, legislation to expand and make permanent Opportunity Funding in the State of Delaware:

“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.”