Delaware Department of Education requests $2.3 billion in FY 2025
The Delaware Department of Education submitted its budget request to the Office of Management and Budget, but could not formally include teacher salary raises due to budget constrictions.
The Delaware Public Education Compensation Committee, established by lawmakers, is charged with recommending an enhanced compensation structure for school staff.
Those recommendations were released at the end of October, suggesting an incremental increase over the next four fiscal years to reach a teacher state share base salary of $42,000 by FY2028.
DOE Associate Secretary of Operations Kim Klein says due to a budget request cap, DOE could not include PECC’s recommendations, but Education Secretary Mark Holodick urged OMB to consider funding teacher salary raises.
“The committee now known by many as PECC submitted a number of solid recommendations for funding in fiscal year 2025 to ensure that Delaware's public education salaries are competitive to those in surrounding states," Holodick said.
The commission’s recommendations also include raises for specialists, paraprofessionals, bus drivers, secretaries, food workers and custodians – it will be up to Gov. John Carney on whether those raises make it into his FY2025 budget plan.
You can read PECC's full list of recommendations here.
Holodick noted hiring literacy coaches for public schools is among one of the department's top budget priorities.
He is requesting $3 million to employ 20 literacy coaches in public schools with the goal of boosting literacy achievement.
“The literacy coaches are going to be critically important in the coming couple of years as we deliver on legislation that was passed now a couple of years ago, having to do with the science of reading," he said.
Holodick is referring to a bill passed in March 2022 that requires all public school students in kindergarten through third grade to participate in reading screenings to identify potential literacy deficiencies.
He says some school districts already have their own literacy coaches, but this funding would allow the state to support all districts and create a more consistent model of literacy coaching.