Avoiding a trial that was scheduled to take place early next year, the parties to the Delaware adequacy litigation reached agreement on a settlement on October 12, 2020. The suit was brought on behalf of two organizations: Delawareans for Educational Opportunity and the NAACP Delaware State Conference of Branches against the Governor and other state officials. The settlement requires the governor to propose a series of budget increases for specific programs each year between 2022 and 2025 as well as other reform legislation. If the General Assembly does not appropriate the specified amounts and enact the proposed legislation, plaintiffs may petition the Court to reinstate the case and resume the trial.
Plaintiffs had alleged that only 25% of low-income students, 7% of students with disabilities, and 5% of English language learners achieved proficiency in eighth grade math, and that similar results occurred in other subjects and at other grade levels. Unlike 35 other states, they claimed, Delaware provides no additional financial support for educating low-income students and unlike 46 other states, Delaware provides virtually no additional financial support for educating students who are learning English as a second language. In an extensive decision issued in November, 2018, the trial court had denied the defendants motion to dismiss.
Among the reforms listed in the agreement are: