Del. Looking to Give Low-Income HS Students Better Access to Col - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Looking to Give Low-Income HS Students Better Access to College Classes

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CAMDEN, Del. (WBOC) - Delaware is looking to make college classes more available to low income high school students. Gov. Jack Markell was at Caesar Rodney High School Wednesday to roll out a plan to spend $300,000 to do that.

It was one of a small number of new items Gov. Markell asked the legislature to approve in this year's budget proposal. Lawmakers are currently working on the state's 2015 budget.

The $300,000 would help schools districts pay for low-income students to take dual-enrollment classes at Delaware's institutions of higher education. They'd get the college credit without the expense.

"You just hear about more and more people going to college and taking more than four years to graduate," said Mindy Cook, a junior at Caesar Rodney High School. To be able to have the credits under your belt before you get out there, I think that's great."

Gov. Markell his proposal is not just about the credits and the money but the experience.

"If you experience college level work while you are still in high school," he said. "Whether it's on a college campus or within these walls, that will help you transition to the even more rigorous expectations on you when you get to college."

State Education Sec. Mark Murphy says the burden isn't just on lawmakers to consider whether this is worth approving, but on students, if it gets the ok.

"It doesn't matter unless all of you take advantage of it. It doesn't matter unless you've worked hard in 9th, 10th and 11th grade, so you're ready to take one of these classes," he said.

State education officials say it's unclear for now just how many kids the $300,000 would help. It could be a few hundred, maybe up to 1,000. The total would depend, in part, on the fee structure with the colleges and universities for the classes.

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