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School choice is sweeping the nation, and Delaware is up next! Today, Delaware Governor Jack Markell will be signing education reform into law to open up better educational opportunities for children in that state.
Delaware currently offers limited school choice options for parents, with both intra- and inter-district open enrollment, and approximately 9,500 children enrolled in charter schools. Delaware has some of the lowest spending on education in the United States, and test scores were slightly above national averages, but graduation rates were in the lower third nation-wide.
Last month, Delaware state legislature approved a school choice bill which was unanimously approved in both the House and Senate. This bill will standardize criteria and application processes, which now vary across school districts, making choice much easier for parents. In addition, it requires schools to use the same criteria when deciding to accept choice students as they do with regular students, eliminating any potential discrimination against special-needs students.
It should be easy for parents to get their children into the school which is right for their family, but in Delaware, it was tough for parents even to know how to go about taking advantage of the choices which were available. Now, this streamlined approach to school choice will take away some of those roadblocks. We are excited to see another state take steps towards empowering parents and improving education for kids.