More than 2,200 people have signed up for the 2021 Polar Bear Plunge, Special Olympics Delaware’s biggest annual fundraiser, although Covid safety restrictions prevent the typical events – a run into the ocean from Rehoboth Beach. In the nearly 11 months since the pandemic began disrupting Special Olympics Delaware events, athletes and coaches have taken to gathering online 2–3 times per week for workout sessions and anticipate playing spring sports outdoors in person.
New Castle County, Delaware’s most populous county, has agreed to reassess property values for taxation purposes for the first time in more than 30 years, settling part of a lawsuit seeking to revamp the state’s school funding system. The reassessment will take effect in fiscal year 2024. The lawsuit alleged that Delaware underfunded schools that have large populations of students with disabilities, students from low-income households or English language learners. Local property taxes make up about a third of Delaware school districts’ funding.
The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) started investigations of possible discrimination against students with disabilities in school districts in Virginia, Indiana, California and Washington. Reporting from Indiana and Washington suggests the DOE’s attention is due, in part, to local news stories about teachers refusing to offer tailored instruction or other accommodations to students with disabilities during periods of remote learning.
Gov. Carney released his annual budget proposal, which includes several million dollars in spending increases for Medicaid and school “Opportunity Funding”; across-the-board pay raises for state employees and a $30 million Covid contingency fund. Carney’s budget would also maintain grants-in-aid funding, which support non-profit organizations, including many that serve people with disabilities, at essentially the same level as last year.
One of the largest voting machine manufacturers in the United States, Dominion Voting Systems, is suing for defamation former President Trump’s confidant and lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani linked Dominion’s founding with long-dead Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. The company actually started in Toronto, manufacturing assistive technology that enabled people who were blind to mark paper ballots.