July 2019 Newsletter

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12th Annual Conference on Education

The Vision Coalition of Delaware‘s 12th Annual Conference on Education will be held at the University of Delaware on November 12, 2019.

The conference will bring together voices from around the state and beyond for an engaging day focusing on collaboration as well as the future of education.



When the dust settled on the 150th Delaware General Assembly, there was one obvious conclusion—Delawareans support and want the recommendations listed in Student Success 2025 implemented in public education.

Read on for the big stories that emerged during the first half of the 150th General Assembly and their relation to each core area outlined in Student Success 2025.


“At the beginning of 2019, the Vision Coalition Leadership Team convened to established legislative priorities for this past session. I am proud to say that all of our priorities were accomplished. We understand the work does not stop here and look forward to supporting more progress in each of the six core areas listed in Student Success 2025. Our hope is that you’ll join us and visit our website to find ways to get involved.”

The EARLY LEARNING community celebrated as the state committed resources into quality programming and showed interest in universal pre-k.

The Joint Finance Committee approved a $6.7 million increase in STARs, whose rating system helps codify and incentivize quality in early learning programs, and a boost for Purchase of Care, a state funding stream that helps providers cover tuition costs for low-income families.

Many lawmakers indicated their support for universal pre-K, including those who introduced Senate Bill 173—a bill that will create a Universal Pre-K Consortium to ultimately recommend a comprehensive plan for the implementation of a mixed-delivery, non-compulsory public pre-k program for all Delaware four-year-olds. The bill passed through the Senate and is ready for action with the House of Representatives when session resumes in January.

Student Success 2025 Recommendations:
“Increase quality across all early learning programs–including community, district, and home-visiting providers–for children birth to five by raising standards for high-quality early education and gradually requiring programs receiving public subsidies to achieve a required Star level of quality.”
“Establish and incrementally expand voluntary, full-day, high-quality prekindergarten for three- and four-year-olds. Community-based programs and districts could apply to provide education and care at a required level of quality, professional qualifications of staff, and length of school day.”

Senate Bill 187 represents a first step toward unified and streamlined early learning SYSTEM GOVERNANCE, ALIGNMENT, AND PERFORMANCE in Delaware.

The bill connects the Delaware Stars for Early Success standards with the Office of Child Care Licensing regulations, and removes the Office of Child Care Licensing from the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families and puts it within the Department of Education to facilitate that consistency.

READ: Vision Coalition of Delaware’s letter to governor advocating for consolidated early learning governance

Student Success 2025 Recommendation:
“Develop an aligned early learning governance structure to enable unified and efficient decision-making as well as new and sustainable sources of funding.”

Budget language signaled an investment in PERSONALIZED LEARNING for Delaware students with $350,000 dedicated to establishing school-based health centers in elementary schools.

Additionally, the Opportunity Funding initiative includes $5 million this year that can be used for various student supports including mental health services, school psychologists, and reading supports for grades K-5 in 49 high-needs schools statewide.

Student Success 2025 Recommendation:
“Support the holistic development of schools in high-need communities that provide a broad array of wrap-around services to students (e.g., physical and mental health services) and engage with community partners to provide these services.”

To sustain and scale Delaware’s POSTSECONDARY SUCCESS initiatives, the budget also included a $500,000 investment for supporting employer engagement related to Delaware Pathways. The funds will be used by the Workforce Development Board with coordination from the Delaware departments of labor and education, to engage employer groups, chambers of commerce, and associations in creating paid work experiences for youth.

Student Success 2025 Recommendation:
“Provide all students with early exposure to workforce and higher education experiences, beginning in middle school, with the goal of greatly increasing the number of students graduating high school with college credit, an associate degree, and/or an industry-recognized certification. Enable all students to graduate with one meaningful career experience and one higher education experience.”

The budget also included investments in EDUCATOR SUPPORT AND DEVELOPMENT with yearlong teacher residencies geared around keeping quality teachers at high-need schools ($1 million); a high-need educator student loan payment program ($700,000); reading interventionists in high-need elementary schools ($4 million); and math coaches ($1.5 million).

Student Success 2025 Recommendation:
Build closer connections between teacher preparation programs and K-12 schools by requiring that preparation programs demonstrate both how their graduates are effective teachers, and how the programs are improving their courses based on feedback from schools. For example, by designing “residency programs” and “model schools” jointly managed by teacher preparation program staff and K-12 administrators.

The Opportunity Funding initiative, $75 million over three years, brought Delaware one-step closer to FAIR AND EFFICIENT FUNDING. This initiative includes $20 million this year in per-pupil funding for low-income students and English learners across all grade levels.

Student Success 2025 Recommendation:
“Allocate a larger portion of district/school funding in flexible funds so that district and school leaders can expand the ways they educate children to meet specific student needs, rather than in one-size-fits-all categories.”


The Vision Coalition of Delaware is a coalition of public, private, and civic leaders committed to moving education forward for Delaware’s students. The Vision Coalition Leadership Team includes:
Tony Allen, Ph.D.
Provost, Delaware State UniversityJeffrey T. Benson, Jr.
President – One Direction Insurance – Benson Development Group, LLCSusan Bunting
Delaware Secretary of Education

Heath Chasanov
Superintendent, Woodbridge School District

Katrina Daniels
Principal, Colonial Early Education ProgramErnest J. Dianastasis
CEO, The Precisionists, Inc.

Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Farley-Ripple, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Education and Public Policy in the School of Education and an Affiliate of the Institute for Public Administration at the University of Delaware

Dorrell Green
Superintendent, Red Clay School District

Paul A. Herdman
President and CEO, Rodel

Logan S. Herring
Executive Director for the Kingswood Community Center

Mark Holodick
Superintendent, Brandywine School District

Stephanie Ingram
President, Delaware State Education Association

Leslie Newman
Chief Executive Officer, Children & Families First of Delaware

Rob Rescigno
Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Wilmington University

Justina M. Sapna
Vice President for Academic Affairs at Delaware Technical Community College

Gary Stockbridge
President, Delmarva Power

Javier G. Torrijos
Chair, Delaware Hispanic Commission and Assistant Director of Construction at Delaware Department of Transportation

Margie López Waite
Head of School at Las Américas ASPIRA Academy

Copyright © 2019 Vision Coalition of Delaware, All rights reserved

Our mailing address is:
Vision Coalition of Delaware
100 West 10th Street
Suite 704
Wilmington, DE 19801