Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Budget Woes for Local Districts

Local school districts are facing challenges in the proposed Delaware budget. First, districts will be asked to increase the pension contribution for the employees, amounting to 1.7% of educators' salaries. Statewide, this means about a $5 million cost increase. Second, Division 2 money will be reduced by $1.5 million. Division 2 generally refers to funds used for energy costs. Third, districts face a $5 million reduction in minor capital funds. Fourth, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act is dwindling; down $19 million from where it was last year. Finally, there will be $20 million of cost shifting to local districts for transportation. All of the above totals around $50 million.

WAR is coming. Winter Advocacy Retreat (WAR) is the annual meeting of educator activists from the Delaware State Education Association. The event will be this weekend at Rehoboth. Governor Jack Markel and Delaware Secretary of Education Lilian Lowery will both be guest speakers on Saturday. Topics of discussion will include budget cuts impacting educators, Race To The Top, and this year's elections.

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