State of the States
Next Phase Is Planned for All-Day Kindergarten
• Gov. Ruth Ann Minner
Gov. Ruth Ann Minner’s State of the State Address on Jan. 19 included proposals to help improve Delaware’s education system, health care, economy, and environment.
In her speech to the legislature, the second-term Democrat called for the state to add 10 mathematics specialists to the 22 specialists in middle schools that were funded by a special $1.3 million appropriation in fiscal 2006. In Gov. Minner’s first term, she introduced a program to provide schools with reading specialists. She is focusing on math during her second term.
Kindergarten: The governor also said her proposed budget would include money for the second phase of a plan to fully implement full-day kindergarten statewide by 2008. Delaware lawmakers approved $3 million for that effort last year and an additional $13 million for construction of the classrooms needed to expand the program.
The new phase would expand funding for districts with available classroom space and continue to finance building costs for districts that passed referendums for full-day kindergarten last year, Gov. Minner said.
“This additional funding,” she said, “will help solidify our students’ foundation for learning and prepare them for a lifetime of success.”
Higher Education: The speech also highlighted the progress of the Student Excellence Equals Degree, or SEED, scholarship program that Ms. Minner successfully championed last year. The program guarantees high school graduates a full scholarship to the Delaware Technical and Community College. Students must maintain a 2.5 grade point average to earn the money. The governor said the program this year will apply to students entering college in the fall and will be more actively promoted in schools.
Vol. 25, Issue 20, Page 18