Field Trip Funding Bill Would Give Relief To Low-Income Schools

School Field Trip Funding

Delaware State Representative Sean Matthews submitted House Bill #282 for pre-filing yesterday which would give $25 to each student for field trips in designated low-income schools across the state.

In order to support enrichment activities such as field trips for students at high-poverty schools, this bill would require the State to provide $25 per student to high poverty schools for the purpose of educational and enrichment field trips.
The bill is co-sponsored by State Senator Harris McDowell with additional sponsorship provided by Senators Brian Bushweller and David Sokola and State Reps. Paul Baumbach, Stephanie Bolden, Helene Keeley, and Trey Paradee.
Matthews sent a note to his colleagues in the General Assembly in asking for sponsorship:

Much of what makes a student successful in school is the background knowledge and outside experiences that a student gets from going on trips. Students that go on trips to museums, historical sites and parks are able to acquire knowledge and life experiences that help them do better in school. Field trips are predominately paid for by parents, so students from families of more financial means are typically able to go on more and better field trips. 

This bill will allow schools with a 50% or greater low-income student population to receive financial support to plan and run educational field trips. The identified schools (see list below…schools are in all 3 counties) would get $25/student and could use that money to plan field trip/s. The money could be combined with private funding (parents, PTA, grants, etc.) in any manner the school sees fit to maximize its use.  Please note that most schools already have policies and procedures to ensure that field trips are educational in nature. 

We’ve spent years trying to “fix” struggling schools with programs and money solely within the four walls of a school. Let’s try something new and get students from schools with large low-income populations out of the building on high quality field trips. I believe we will see real and lasting results. Note: The approximate cost to fund this bill Statewide based on the most recent data on low-income students, is $500,000.

Since this bill comes with a fiscal note, I would expect some resistance to it, especially coming from the Republican side.  As I see no sponsorship from either the Senate or House Republicans, it is hard to tell what will happen with this.  With that being said, I strongly support this bill.  It is a definitive and urgent need for high-need students.  And yes, low-income and poverty is very much a high need.  We have a large amount of students this would benefit which could give tangible and immediate results in their education.  Frankly, I’m disappointed no Republicans signed on as some of them represent districts where some of the below schools reside in.  I can think of a lot of wasteful spending in this state and this would NOT be one of them!

This is not limited to traditional school districts but also charter schools that qualify.  Please support this legislation!

The list of schools:

Elementary Schools: East Dover, South Dover, Booker T. Washington, Fairview, Towne Point, Lake Forest, North Laurel, Dunbar, Banneker, Mispillion, Blades, Frederick Douglas, Harlan, Highlands, Lewis Dual Language, Shortlidge, Baltz, Richardson Park, Mote, Warner, Brookside, Oberle, Bancroft, Elbert-Palmer, Pulaski, Stubbs, Eisenberg, Academy of Dover, East Side Charter, Thomas Edison Charter, Charter School of New Castle, Kuumba Academy, and Academia Antonia Alonso.

Middle Schools: Central Middle, Skyline, Stanton, Bayard, and McCullough

High Schools: Pyle Academy & Great Oaks

ILC Schools: Kent Elementary ILC & Kent County Alternative

Special Schools: First State School, Douglass School, & Carver Center

To read the full bill, please see below:


3 thoughts on “Field Trip Funding Bill Would Give Relief To Low-Income Schools

  1. Field trips are great get-aways and excellent learning experiences for students, however, many students depend on a single parent for support and that person is usually unable to get off work to chaperone or financially strapped and cannot pay for the trip. I can remember my own classmates and I working together washing vehicles, selling donuts/candy/stationary/magazines, mowing lawns, etc., to pool our money to pay for our field trips.

    Based on recent budget figures the State of DE spends $2.3 billion on K-12 education, $4.08 billion on higher education, and $7.9 million on early education programs – that’s 34 percent of the State’s budget. Bill 282 will add millions of dollars to support an educational system that is already mismanaged. This is another welfare assistance program and does nothing to improve the position of the student. There are many studies that substantiate the philosophy that idleness and dependency are harmful to the recipient and the recipient’s family. The recipient of welfare must perform useful labor in exchange for benefits received. The dependence on government benefits needs to end.


    1. Actually, the estimated fiscal cost for this is $500,000. I think you sold the reason for this in your first paragraph. This state gives out unnecessary money all the time. That is what we need to go after and weed out of the budget. While replacing that with things such as this.


      1. The point was missed – giving money away without the receiver knowing where the money came from and the sacrifice the giver made for the student, is the point. Most people in this state earn an average of $8.25 per hour ( DE for 2017), many people work 2 jobs to support their families. People worked 2 or more hour(s) to earn the $25.00 to give to a student to take a trip. Does the student have any concept where the money came from – NO. Does the student care where the money came from – NO. Does the student feel like he/she should show gratitude toward the person who gave the $25.00 – NO. Does the student feel like they owe anything to their school/community for the gift – NO.

        Where is the school “booster club” that use to help support students with these types of activities?
        Where’s the student groups that raise money’s for other school activities?
        Aren’t there any needy students in other schools that aren’t mentioned in the lists you noted in the previous notice? Just because there’s a high concentration of needy students in a particular geographic area doesn’t mean there aren’t needy students elsewhere.

        You are correct the State wastes thousands of dollars for useless issues but if citizens continue to vote in the same legislators who operate the DE government on the same agenda as previous elected officials DE will continue to have the same problems. There is no incentive to clean house.


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