Gov. John Carney toured a Dover elementary school Thursday. He talked with school administrators about funding for disadvantaged students.
East Dover Elementary School has a large low income population - including children of color, special ed and English Language Learners.
The governor and other state officials are being sued by Delawareans for Educational Opportunity and the Delaware NAACP. Those groups argue the state’s education funding formula should have additional money tied to disadvantaged students because they need more support.
But Carney says he’d rather give one-time grants that don’t demand ongoing funding in the budget.
“Anybody who pays attention should understand that there’s no guarantee that the funding will there for the current unit count, right," he said. "The legislature either has to cut spending somewhere else or raise taxes, it’s just that simple.”
Carney said he also supports giving the counties incentives to reassess property values. He said he thinks the judge in that case is signalling that all three counties will soon have to reassess property taxes. “I guess the legislature could force them to do it, they’re probably not inclined to do that," he said. "I think the best way is to help provide some resources because you’d have to a whole statewide reassessment and that costs money. A lot of money actually.”
Eighty percent of property taxes go to public schools. Property values haven’t been assessed since the 70’s and 80’s. He notes reassessments could give public schools some much needed revenue.