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Delaware education officials seek funding hike

Randall Chase, Associated Press

DOVER, Del. (AP) -- Delaware education officials are asking for a 4 percent increase in the Department of Education's operating budget for next fiscal year.

DOE representatives told state budget officials Wednesday that the request for more money includes $37 million to continue funding certain existing budget items, including periodic salary increases and funding to accommodate enrollment growth.

Education officials also are asking for $12 million in new spending, including $8 million for additional classroom and student support and $2 million for what they call "developing great educators."

DOE officials also are seeking permission to use unspent federal Race to the Top funds. They're looking at the possibility of extending current programs funded with Race to the Top money that would require future state appropriations estimated at up to $8.5 million.