Attending a town hall? Public debate? Meet and greet? Ask these important questions before you cast a ballot!
Vote to Protect and Expand
Education Equity in 2022
Violations of students’ rights, historic underfunding of public schools, systemic racism, and harsh disciplinary practices are common occurrences behind school walls. All of Delaware’s students deserve a safe, equitable, and proficient education. Delaware schools should foster an environment where all students belong by including students in academic and enrichment experiences that prepare them for life after grade school – both academically and personally. Addressing inequity in education at the roots of the issues can help us make that vision a reality.
Schools are the heart of our communities, and children are the future of our country. The state of our education systems is directly connected to public health, incarceration rates, employment, economic success, and more. Whether you have children in school now or not, electing candidates who are committed to prioritizing education equity helps protect some of the most vulnerable student populations who are often excluded from the conversation and the community.
Our Education Equity Platform
Learn more about what education equity issues to consider when casting your ballot.
Closing the Funding Gap
Centuries of racism have created an education system that offers vastly different experiences for children who live in different parts of our state. Historically white neighborhoods boast schools that are well-funded and well-resourced. In contrast,schools in historically Black and brown neighborhoods are left to scrape funds together, leaving resource gaps wide enough for entire communities to fall through. Kids who are living in poverty aren’t starting their education in the same place their peers from higher-income backgrounds are; they’re starting their journey miles behind the starting line, with many barriers along the way.
Efforts to improve funding for Delaware’s low-income schools have increased in recent years, but without concentrated efforts to continue to bridge these funding gaps, a huge imbalance in education equity will persist. Realizing equity in education means addressing these demographic barriers at the academic level and on a personal level, so that all students can begin their academic journeys at the starting line with their peers.
This election season, we must support candidates who are ready to take the following steps toward education equity in Delaware schools.
- Create equity in COVID response and virtual learning through extra support at high-needs schools;
- Create equity for Wilmington’s schools by holding districts to the same standards set at schools in higher-income communities;
- Ensure more resources are getting to the schools and students who need them, and are responsive to community needs;
- Replace police officers in schools with trauma-informed and culturally appropriate support services;
- Erase racial and ethnic disparities in rates of disciplinary action;
- Hold decision-makers accountable for swift and equitable solutions; and
- Ensure that relevant and culturally responsive curriculums are implemented in all schools with teacher and staff training to support implementation.
Codifying the Ombudsperson Program
Delaware’s school funding systems continue to leave disadvantaged students behind. The recently implemented Delaware Ombudsperson Program hopes to help lessen disparities by increasing family and community engagement in schools through non-legal intervention. Ombudspersons are required to be non-state entities and function to resolve disputes or complaints concerning disparate discipline, inequitable access to school programs, or otherwise different or unfair treatment of students. While the creation of this program is a step toward combating educational disparities, particularly for low-income students, students with disabilities, and students who are English learners, it does not go far enough.
This election season, we must demand that our elected officials are prepared to introduce legislation that ensures the Ombudsperson Program has the framework and funding necessary to continue advocating for Delaware students in the future. Our students, families, and communities deserve access to resources that allow them to work collaboratively within their schools to make systematic changes.
Learn more about the Ombudsperson Program here.