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Education advocates call for more funding for low-income students

AG Matt Denn

The Coalition for Delaware’s Kids, a diverse group of community leaders, is asking lawmakers to set aside unexpected tax revenue from last year for low-income kids.

Attorney General Matt Denn said Delaware took in about $55 million more in taxes than anticipated. Extra money is usually put toward balancing the state’s next fiscal budget.

But Denn said that money should be used to boost financial support for students living poverty.

“Most of these proposals are focused on kids who are growing up in poverty, who face obstacles that other children simply do not face," he said. "And our proposal is designed to give more of these kids, if they’re willing to work hard, a chance to succeed."

The coalition wants that money to create a trust fund to help those children over the next four years. Maria Matos, who heads the Latin American Community Center, said schools who serve high percentages of low-income students get the same amount of state funding as affluent schools.

“So, I mean a serious decision has to be made," she said. "We either support all children or say we don’t support all children. We can’t continue to say ‘We support all children’ and not supporting all children.”

The coalition wants to use the tax revenue to help poor infants and toddlers, high poverty elementary schools and expand after school and summer programs.

Advocates also hope to improve re-entry programs for juvenile offenders. Denn said 80 percent of young people reoffend after they’re released. They also want to fund a recovery high school for students with addiction issues.

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