This past week I introduced a balanced budget that builds on our core values, most importantly making economic opportunity available for all Delawareans. That means investing in areas that have the greatest impact in creating opportunity: stronger schools and workforce training, innovation and infrastructure to spur economic growth, supporting better health and a high quality of life, and ensuring our budget is sustainable for years to come.
Access to a high quality education is the biggest driver in setting our children on a path to success. We’ve made significant progress, with record high graduation rates and giving more students access to college, but we can do more. To attract and retain great educators, we must recognize our starting salaries are the lowest in the region. I’m recommending funding to change that. We must do more for underserved youth in Wilmington, so we should fund the Wilmington Education Improvement Commissions plan to support low-income students as well as redistricting that helps families better engage in their schools. And we must build on the investments in early learning that have allowed us to increase the number of kids in high quality programs from 5 to 59 percent.
The last two years have set a record for job creation in the state, but we can do more to support economic growth . That includes leveraging state funds to attract investment to our downtowns, supporting high growth sectors like bioscience, and supporting research and development at our colleges and universities.
We will only be able to maintain investments in our progress if we address the unsustainable costs of health care. My budget offers new proposals to bring down costs. I look forward to another year when we challenge ourselves to make our state stronger than ever – and to keep Delaware moving forward.