Delaware Governor Carney Signs House Bill 86


WILMINGTON, DE (STL.News)  Governor John Carney signed House Bill 86 on Friday alongside members of the General Assembly, educators and advocates, to provide increased funding for students kindergarten through third grade identified as eligible for basic special education services.

“Our goal is to ensure that every child who walks through the door of a school in Delaware has the resources they need to succeed,” said Governor Carney.  “This legislation will help us get there by providing important services early in a student’s academic career.  Thank you to Representative Williams, Senator Poore, and to all the members of the General Assembly, as well as our educators and administrators and the advocates for your dedication to Delaware’s children and for your work on this legislation.”

“We know that early identification and intervention are critical to a child’s overall success in school and life,” said Representative Kim Williams.  “No effort to improve the quality of public education in our state can be considered complete without a commitment to serve these students from their earliest school years.  My colleagues and I have worked to advance this legislation for nearly six years, and though it is long overdue I am thrilled that it is now coming to fruition.”

“With Governor Carney’s signature on House Bill 86, Delaware is finally closing a gap in how we fund special education in the earliest grades, where an investment in the right supports can dramatically improve the lives of children,” said Senator Nicole Poore.  “None of this would have been possible without the dedication and diligence of educators, parents and advocates who stood with Rep.  Kim Williams and I over the last six years to get this legislation passed.  I am eternally grateful for all the work they put in on behalf of the countless Delaware children who will now get the support they need to be successful.”

This legislation will increase the unit count funding for K-3 Basic Special Education students by School Year 2023-2024, Fiscal Year 2024, to be consistent with the unit of pupils currently available to students in grades 4 through 12.

“This is an extremely important investment in young students,” said Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education Susan Bunting. “The K-3 special education funding will provide students with the early extra supports that will help them develop strong foundational skills. For many, this early assistance will translate into their needing fewer services later in their academic years.”

“Until today, Delaware did not provide additional funding for children who qualify for basic special education services in Kindergarten through third grade” said DSEA President Stephanie Ingram.  “As educators, we know that early intervention works and that is why we have always supported HB 86.  This bill fixes the system by closing the funding gap and gives these children the help they need when it matters the most.”

Rewatch the bill signing ceremony here.