Delaware education officials are asking lawmakers for more than $52 million in additional spending next year, citing the need for more teachers to address skyrocketing numbers of students identified as having special needs.
The request presented to the legislature's budget committee Thursday includes about $16.4 million for 190 new positions, on top of 52 positions currently funded with the state budget office's contingency money.
Many of the new positions are aimed at providing for students with special needs. Education officials said that of 1,167 more students noted in enrollment numbers this year, 926 are considered special education students.
The budget request also includes $5 million in new spending for support low-income students and English language learners in school districts, and $3.8 million for special needs programs involving early childhood initiatives.