Published: January 6, 2005
Delaware is one of just five states that have never had lawsuits challenging their school finance systems. Delaware is also one of the few states that do not distribute money to schools based on a foundation formula. The state pays for education in three “divisions.” Division I provides funds for teacher salaries and compensation based on the state salary schedule. Division II is a uniform flat grant provided to every district in the state. Division III consists of state equalization aid. For the latter, the state provides money on a matching basis with local taxation to help ensure that unequal property wealth does not lead to inequitable school funding. Division I funding is based on such district characteristics as grade levels served, the number of special and vocational education students, and a “teacher experience index” that is based on a teacher’s years of experience and highest degree attained. Delaware also provides money to districts through 41 categorical programs. Some of those categorical programs include support for special education, reading initiatives, professional development, gifted-and-talented education, bilingual education, and early-childhood education.
Vol. 24, Issue 17, Page 62