Final DCFY25 Budget makes education top priority

Statement of the DCSS Coalition on DCFY25 Budget

June 25, 2024

(Washington, DC) The DC Students Succeed coalition applauds the DC Council for protecting and enhancing education investments in the District’s fiscal year 2025 budget. The investments approved this month by the Council–and proposed earlier this year by Mayor Bowser–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. We are grateful to Mayor Bowser, Chairman Mendelson, and the entire DC Council for showing up to help DC students succeed.

“The 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. In the end, both the mayor and members of the Council made education a top priority. We must continue to do so.

“We remain committed to working with DC leaders to find additional ways we can support DC students, who continue to feel the negative academic and social-emotional effects of the pandemic.”

DCSS Priorities Included In Final FY25 Budget

Chronic absenteeism remains the most pressing concern of the coalition and we are grateful the budget includes $6 million for interventions to ensure students remain engaged in school.

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 and are supported in the FY25 budget by:

  • A 12.4 percent increase in the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula (UPSFF), which ensures funding reaches our students and educators no matter which public school they attend or teach in.
  • A 3.8 percent increase to healthy and safe school environments via the annual facilities allotment for public charter schools.
  • Ongoing investments in public charter school facilities through 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. In recognition of these principles, the FY25 budget:

  • Provides $2.2 million for high-quality literacy instructional materials to support the Literacy Task Force’s recommendations and a total of $3.5 million through FY28 for kindergarten training and a coaching pilot at up to 20 schools.
  • 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. The new budget

  • Invests millions of dollars to support and expand Advanced Technical Center programs, dual enrollment, and career readiness programs, with a new ATC planned for Ward 8.
  • Creates 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.

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