To:  Mike Jackson, Director, Office of Management and Budget
CC: Susan Bunting, Secretary, Department of Education
From:  D. Dusty Blakey on behalf of the Chief School Officers Association
RE:  FY 2020 Budget Request and Epilogue submission

The CSOA is pleased to submit the attached documents for consideration in the Fiscal Year 2020 Governor’s Recommended Budget.  We appreciate the ability to submit our priorities and look forward to collaborating with you on funding these important items.

The areas identified for funding are the result of conversations with numerous groups and stakeholders, including district CFOs, DSBA, DASA, DSEA and various elected officials, including Governor Carney.  This funding request will allow districts to address areas that are of concern for every district but do so in the way best suited to their individual schools and community.

Additionally, under separate cover, we are including a number of requested changes to existing epilogue that have no fiscal impacts to the State budget but will provide additional clarity and streamline operational processes for districts.

Budget request:

  • $6,000.00 for School Safety, Security and Crisis Prevention
  • $10,000.00 for Socioemotional and Mental Health Supports
  • $5,250.00 for Public School Early Learning Expansion Initiative
  • $4,000.00 increase to Opportunity grants for district level support of EL, low SES populations.
  • $2,855.20 increase for basic special education in kindergarten through Grade 3
  • $28,105.20 total requested

Epilogue for Budget Request:

Section NEW.  Section 1 of this Act provides $6,000.00 to Department of Education, District and Charter Operations, Other Items (95-02-02) for School Safety, Security and Crisis Prevention Programs.  These funds are allocated proportionally to districts and charter schools based upon the prior year Division I unit count as certified in 14 Del. C. §1704(2) and §1710. These funds shall be utilized to enhance school safety, security and crisis prevention as determined by each district or charter school. Allowable expenditures shall include, but not be limited to, School Resource Officers, Constables, Security Monitors, safety training and professional development activities, security cameras, visitor management systems, bullet or break resistant film, electronic access badging systems, bus camera and GPS location systems, security lighting, door and window hardware, etc. To maximize their effectiveness, these funds may be used for any Division III purpose pursuant to 14 Del. C. §1304, §1705, §1707(h) and §1711.

Section NEW. Section 1 of this Act provides $10,000.00 to the Department of Education, District and Charter Operations, Other Items (95-02-02) for Mental Health Supports. These funds are allocated proportionally to districts and charter schools based upon the prior year Division I unit count as certified in 14 Del. C. §1704(2) and §1710.  These funds shall be utilized to enhance social emotional, mental health, and school climate as determined by each district or charter school. Allowable expenditures shall include, but not be limited to, Guidance Counselors, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Board Certified Behavior Analysts, drug counselors and awareness programs, opioid addiction programs, professional development activities, and school climate and culture initiatives such as Positive Behavior Supports. To maximize their effectiveness, these funds may be used for any Division III purpose pursuant to 14 Del. C. §1304, §1705, §1707(h) and §1711.

Section NEW. Section 1 of this Act provides $5,250.00 to the Department of Education, District and Charter Operations, Other Items (95-02-02) for the Pre-K Inclusion Program. Funding under this program is intended to support the inclusion of ‘typical peers’ as behavior models for Pre-K students with disabilities as required under IDEA.  $2,500.00 shall be allocated for each “typical peer” Pre-K student equal to the number of students identified with disabilities enrolled as of September 30th and February 1st of the following year provided that no student will be funded more than one time during a fiscal year. Districts are directed to utilize these funds to expand 4-year old programs to full day and prioritize the placement of at-risk typical peers who are not currently enrolled in any early education program.  Allowable expenditures shall include, but not be limited to curriculum, materials, furniture, professional development, transportation, parenting support classes, playground equipment, teachers, paraprofessionals, family support counselors, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, etc. Districts shall submit a report to the Secretary of Education, Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Controller General by November 1 of each year.  The report shall describe the program objectives, goals and metrics for the current year as well as outcomes from the prior year. To maximize their effectiveness, these funds may be used for any Division III purpose pursuant to 14 Del. C. §1304, §1705, §1707(h) and §1711.

Section 360. Section 1 of this Act provides $10,000.00 $6,000.00 to Department of Education, District and Charter Operations, Other Items (95-02-02) for Opportunity Grants. These funds shall be used to provide integrated student services, which may include trauma-informed supports, to low-income students or to provide other additional supports to low-income and/or English language learner (EL) students based on the needs of those students during the current school year.

  1. Funding under the Opportunity Grants shall be allocated as follows:
    1. $6,000.0 to be allocated among eligible schools.  For the current fiscal year, eligible schools are those with greater than or equal to 60 percent low socio-economic status (Low-SES) and/or greater than or equal to 20 percent EL enrollment.  Eligibility excludes special schools, Bancroft Elementary School, Bayard Middle School, Frederick Douglass Stubbs Elementary and Casimir Pulaski Elementary School. In addition, schools which received funding in the prior year shall continue to be eligible for funding.  Funds will be allocated among eligible schools based on prior year enrollment data for Low-SES and EL students. Funding shall only be used by the individual, qualifying schools.
    2. $4,000.0 to be allocated proportionally to districts and charter schools based on prior year enrollment data for Low-SES and EL students. Allocated funds are to be provided to districts and charters not awarded past Opportunity Grants or eligible under item (1) of this section. To maximize their effectiveness, these funds may be used for any Division III purpose pursuant to 14 Del. C. §1304, §1705, §1707(h) and §1711.
  2. Districts shall submit a report to the Secretary of Education, Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Controller General by November 1 of each year.  The report shall describe the program objectives, goals and metrics for the current year as well as outcomes from the prior year.

Section 370.  Section 1 of this Act appropriates $9,281.80 $6,426.60 to Department of Education, District and Charter Operations, Education Block Grants (95-02-05) for Student Success Block Grant.

  • (a)  Funding under the Student Success Block Grant shall be allocated as follows:
    1. $5,710.4 2,855.2 to support basic special education in kindergarten through third grade. Funds shall be allocated proportionately based on the number of kindergarten through third grade students in each district or charter school identified as eligible for special education and related services, but not counted in an intensive unit or complex unit.
    2. $3,571.4 to support reading assistance in kindergarten through fourth grade. Funds shall be allocated with the intention to support one 10-month Reading Interventionist in each qualifying school only. Qualifying schools are those in a district or a charter school, which meet the following criteria: (1) a grade configuration containing kindergarten through fourth grade and (2) greater than or equal to 60 percent low socio-economic status and/or greater than or equal to 20 percent English Learner enrollment. State funds shall be based on the state share of personnel costs for a teacher holding a master’s degree plus 15 credits with 15 years of experience and employed for 10 months.
  • (b)  Notwithstanding any provision of the Delaware Code or this Act to the contrary and in order to maximize resources under this program, local school districts shall be authorized to assess a local match on a 60/40 basis pursuant to the provisions of 14 Del. C. § 1902(b).
  • (c)  Funds allocated under this section are intended to support inclusion efforts in schools. Local education agencies may request to use funding allocated under the Student Success Block Grant for purposes other than intended upon the approval of the Secretary of Education, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Controller General.

Operational Epilogue changes:

Section 304.  For this fiscal year, the inflation factor for the local per pupil payments required under the State’s Enrollment Choice Program, as specified in 14 Del. C. § 408(e), and for the local per pupil payments required under the State’s Charter School Program, as specified in 14 Del. C. § 509(d), shall be equal to 2 percent.

Section 315.  Section 1 of this Act provides to Department of Education, District and Charter Operations, Other Items (95-02-02) $28,150.90 for the Educational Sustainment Fund. The funds are allocated proportionally to districts and charter schools based upon the Division I unit count as certified in 14 Del. C. § 1704(2) and § 1710. These funds are to maintain critical educational programming and services. To maximize their effectiveness, they may be used for any Division III purpose pursuant to 14 Del. C. § 1304, § 1707(h) and § 1711.  Districts and charter schools must submit a report to the Office of Management and Budget and Controller General’s Office by November 15 of the current fiscal year detailing how the funds will be utilized, particularly in support of English language learners and students of low-socioeconomic status, prior to receiving the full allocation.

Section 336.  Notwithstanding the provisions of any state law to the contrary, the Colonial School District is authorized to utilize state transportation dollars to fund students traveling from routes to and from Gunning Bedford Middle School, George Read Middle School and McCullough Middle School as part of the district’s middle school redesign program. Additional routes resulting from the redesign program, and associated state transportation dollars, shall require the approval of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Controller General and Secretary of Education.

Section 352.  Beginning in Fiscal Year 2009, all school districts and charter schools shall access the data services and technical assistance of the New Castle County Data Service Center (DSC) for compliance with the provisions of 14 Del. C. § 122(11). Such access shall ensure that all financial reports remain available in the new financial system and are accessible by the Department of Education, the Office of Management and Budget and the Controller General’s Office. Services provided by DSC, which is owned and operated by the Colonial and Red Clay Consolidated School Districts, for compliance with this section, shall be provided and paid for through an agreement with the State of Delaware.

Section 354.  Pursuant to provisions of 14 Del. C. § 1902(b), all local districts shall be authorized to assess a local match at a 60/40 State/local ratio for Fiscal Year 2010 Reading Resource Teachers and Mathematics Resource Teachers/Specialists and Fiscal Year 2008 Extra Time.  The State share of Reading and Math teachers shall include salary, OECs and Division III funds.

Section 361.  Section 1 of this Act contains appropriations to the Department of Education, District and Charter Operations of $1,385,558.80. The appropriations include a reduction of $26,000.00 in state operating funds taken in Fiscal Year 2018.  The reductions shall be allocated proportionally to district and charter schools based upon the current year prior year Division I unit count as certified in 14 Del. C. § 1704(2) and § 1710.

Beginning on July 1, preliminary reductions will be applied to Division II – All Other Costs. Districts and charter schools shall be permitted to submit a preliminary reduction plan before September 1 of the current fiscal year. Final reduction plans are to be submitted to the Department of Education, Office of Management and Budget and Controller General’s Office by December 21, 2018. Once final reduction plans are received and approved, the district or charter will be notified by January 15, 2019. If the plan is not approved, the final state allocation for Division II – All Other Costs will be reflective of the total reduction amount. Final adjustments will be made by January 31, 2019. Reduction plans should be in accordance with the following:

  1. Districts may use Division I savings from unfilled units as a reduction for whole unfilled units. The amount to be utilized as a credit per person will be as follows: Superintendent $133,738; Assistant Superintendent $120,831; Administrative Assistant $74,910; Director $119,441; Supervisor $89,750; Principal $109,571; Assistant Principal $96,803; 10-month Teacher $69,931; 11-month Teacher $76,924; 12-month Teacher $83,917; Secretary $56,406; and Custodian $52,779.
  2. Funds associated with the cash options authorized in 14 Del. C. § 1321(e) (11) for administrative positions and 14 Del. C. § 1716(g) for academic excellence units are acceptable.
  3. Appropriations used to offset district funding reduction shall be taken from a state budget appropriation and may not be taken from local funds.

Section NEW. Amend 14 Del. C. § 1305(h) by making insertions as shown by underline as follows:  § 1305(h) The Department of Education with the approval of the State Board of Education may reduce the number of hours devoted to actual school sessions for pupils and/or educators for just cause or upon showing unusual circumstances.  Closure of state offices for weather related events, as ordered by the Governor, and within the geographical boundary of a school district, shall correspondingly reduce the number of hours requirement for pupils and educators for that school district without the need for Department of Education or State Board approval.