English Learner in Delaware Fact Sheets Win National Award

April 18, 2019 arsht
We are excited to share that our English Learner Fact Sheet series won not only first prize at the 2019 Delaware Press Association’s annual Communications Contest for best infographic—it has also won first prize at the 2019 National Federation of Press Women (NFPW) Annual Communications Contest.

“This is wonderful news—and our funding for this project is one of the best investments that the Arsht-Cannon Fund has made,” says Christine Cannon, executive director of the Arsht-Cannon Fund at the Delaware Community Foundation.

“The communication of key facts and their impact on Delaware’s Latino families and English Learners throughout Delaware has been such an important step in increasing awareness and future actions to help insure all of Delaware’s children can learn, grow, and succeed.”

Research conducted for the fact sheets found that high-quality English language instruction and academic instruction are necessary to close English learner (EL) achievement gaps. Despite this fact, Delaware remains, one of seven states where overall education funding does not follow all individual students according to their need and one of only four states that does not dedicate extra state funding ELs.
This recognition comes at a time when the Delaware legislature is considering a proposal to provide additional funding tied to specific student needs. In January, Governor John Carney and Delaware Education Secretary Susan Buntingannounced a three-year, $60 million Opportunity Funding initiative to target resources toward English learners and low-income students.
All four organizations who worked on the English Learner Fact Sheet series are part of theEducation Equity Delaware coalition, which has applauded the governor for proposing additional per-pupil funding for ELs and low-income, and also acknowledge this must be just one important first step toward a long-term solution to make sure funding follows students, fully recognizes their needs, , is flexible at the school level, is publically transparent and accountable, and is sustainable and predictable.

The coalition remains committed to working together with political leaders to build upon the Opportunity Funding and enact a full vision of weighted student funding in Delaware to best serve our students. Our long-term vision includes an investment for high-needs students and also fixing the underlying unit system. Transitioning to a more flexible system where dollars follow students improve transparency, equity, efficiency, and create the conditions needed to leverage all our education investments to target the needs of students and impact student learning.

“The Hispanic Commission is excited to head down to legislative hall next month to talk to legislators and share what we’ve learned through the process of developing these fact sheets. We hope these fact sheets will be a tool to help our community, advocates, and policymakers understand the life of an EL student told through firsthand quotes, statewide data, and national best practice,” says Javier Torrijos, chair of the Delaware Hispanic Commission.