Protect proposed education funding for FY25

March 20, 2024

(Washington, DC) “The DC Students Succeed coalition recognizes that this year has been particularly challenging, presenting fiscal pressures that have made tough budgetary decisions necessary just as our schools face academic, attendance, and spending challenges in the wake of the pandemic.  

While the coalition and its members are still examining the details, the education investments proposed by the mayor align with many of our top priorities for fiscal year 2025 and provide resources that help combat the chronic absenteeism that is undermining our students’ futures by helping DC students feel prepared, engaged, and safe to show up for school. Together they provide necessary resources, engaging and impactful academic supports, and provide diversified pathways for DC students’ success.

We urge the DC Council to protect these investments as it considers the budget and its tough choices in the coming months.

  • Fund Schools Equitably Well-resourced schools are more likely to offer students academically rigorous material, presenting challenging coursework that keeps students interested in school and improves academic outcomes, especially for those who are furthest away from opportunity. Students are safer, happier, and more engaged in healthy and inspiring spaces: 
      • A 12.4 percent increase in the uniform per-student funding formula, which ensures funding reaches our students and educators no matter which public school they attend or teach in.
      • 3.8 percent increase in healthy and safe school environments through the annual facilities allotment for public charter schools. Council must, however, restore the multiyear investments and requirements for an annual 3.1 percent increase.
  • Drive Academic Achievement – Our children are more likely to be engaged and persistent in their education when their schools prepare them for the future. We must prepare students for academic success through an expansion of DC’s science-based literacy initiatives.
    • Provides $2 million for high-quality literacy instructional materials to support the Literacy Task Force’s recommendations.
    • Invests nearly $5 million for high-impact tutoring which has been shown to boost attendance and support students’ academic recovery
  • Strengthen Postsecondary Outcomes – Students are more likely to attend school when they can relate to what they learn, feel like they have a voice in what they learn, and can envision their future. It is critical that every student has access to experiences that expose them to and prepare them for college and careers – regardless of their background, ward or sector. We must engage students in their futures through increased access to diversified post-secondary pathways for all students.
    • Millions invested to support and expand Advanced Technical Center programs, dual enrollment, and career readiness programs.
    • Creation of the Office of Education Through Employment Pathways to support the implementation of a data system that will measure and utilize information on student college and career readiness and outcomes. This information will provide valuable insight into how best to support students and help them succeed.

Investments in education will not work in a silo. Good health, access to transportation, housing stability, and community safety also play an important role in ensuring that students are at school and ready to learn and that our educators are able to focus on the critical task of preparing our next generation for college and careers. We must continue DC’s track record of equity-driven investments that our policymakers have made in the whole child, whole school, and whole community by supporting and investing in public safety, mental and physical health, health care, access to safe housing, reliable transportation, and healthy food. We appreciate the mayor’s investment in providing out-of-school time opportunities, addressing absenteeism, and supporting safe passage to and from school.

The coalition and its members look forward to working with Councilmembers in the coming weeks to better understand this budget, work to protect the investments proposed today, and examine how we can further support a public education system that ensures DC students succeed.”

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