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Third revision for Wilmington redistricting plan introduced

Delaware Public Media

Pilot programs in all three counties for low-income students, English language learners and special needs education from Kindergarten to third grade could be on the horizon for three First State school districts.

This appeal to downstate schools is the latest move in the long running chess match to overhaul Wilmington’s education system.

If approved, students in Red Clay, Capital and Indian River School Districts would have access to these new opportunities.

It’s long been seen as a necessary move by those supporting the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission or WEIC to make forward progress in the General Assembly.

Rep. Ruth Briggs King (R-Georgetown), who represents part of Indian River, says parity for all areas of the state is needed to secure her vote.

“We have poverty and students in poverty throughout this state and to think that it’s all located in one place – and primarily Wilmington – is a misconception," said Briggs King. "So when we’re looking at trying to address problems in one area, we have to have some fairness and consistency in others.”

WEIC has stumbled forward through nearly all of its hurdles – including needing two chances to gain approval from the State Board of Education.

Lawmakers currently have $6 million to use for the plan, barring a windfall in state revenues later this month.

A fiscal analysis for this latest plan is expected early next week before the bill gets a hearing in a House committee Wednesday.

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