Delaware budget cuts squeeze a teacher resource
Delaware teachers are likely going to be spending more of their own money this year on classroom materials and training.
The Delaware Teacher Center locations are closing because state lawmakers axed its funding in May.
The nine centers offer teachers supplies, equipment and training at no cost - but the lost state funds mean there’s no longer part-time staff to run them.
Misty Yencer is the director of the Delaware Teacher Center. She’s also currently its only employee. She’s been struggling to get some of the facilities across the state open to help teachers prepare for the new school year.
Yencer said lawmakers provided money for salaries and benefits, but only for full-time employees.
“We found out a few weeks into it that it only covered full-time employees," she said. "But I’m the only full-time employee, so I had 12 part-time employees - it did not cover them, so they are all no longer working. And there’s no way that I can possibly be opening nine centers all at once.”
Yencer said without the free resources of the Teacher Center, more of the financial burden falls on teachers and their students.
“The parent’s list is already about a page long," she said. "If they don’t buy it themselves, they’re going to be asking families to spend more money on those things as well.”
Yancer said she hopes lawmakers restore the funding in next year’s budget.
Some of the Teacher Center locations are using other resources than state funding to staff them so they can open them to teachers.
Delaware Teacher Center locations
Brandywine: will be open for 7 days over the next three weeks
Cape Henlopen: closed
Dover: open with some after school hours
Del Tech Georgetown: open during the day
Lake Forest: open during the day
Woodbridge: Pace students will staff the center during the day
Main Office: closed