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DC Public Schools Releases Budget Priorities for Fiscal Year 2018

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Contact: Michelle Lerner (202) 805-2885

(Washington, DC) Today, DC Public Schools released its budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2018, continuing eight years of increased investments to schools, as well as new investments for middle and high school students.

“This budget—and the additional $25 million going directly to schools—is reflective of what we want for our young people: equity and excellence for students, with algebra and computer science clubs in all middle schools, college and career coordinators in high schools, and the seeding of Reign: Empowering Young Women as Leaders for young women of color,” said Antwan Wilson, Chancellor of DC Public Schools.

DCPS School Budgets have increased 28%

The Fiscal Year 2018 budget continues critical investments, including extended year, Opportunity Academies, LEAP, and study abroad. DC Public Schools’ continued investments over the last several years include:

  • $17.5 million in additional music, art, world language, physical education, and other courses in elementary schools;
  • $12.7 million in more core curriculum offerings, elective courses, field trips and enrichment opportunities, and social and emotional services in middle schools;
  • $14.5 million in expanding AP courses, extracurriculars, athletics, and career academies in high-wage, high-growth fields such as engineering, hospitality, and technology; and
  • $14.6 in extending the school year at 11 schools, new programming to support males of color, and supporting over-age, under-credited students.

Investing in the Middle School Experience

Starting in School Year 2017-2018, DC Public Schools will increase extracurricular offerings in middle schools, a change that will ensure every middle school student in DCPS has the option to participate in at least one extracurricular program. New offerings will include: coding clubs, lacrosse, wrestling, rugby, archery, and hockey, as well as wheelchair track and field and unified basketball for students with disabilities. Middle schools will also add algebra courses and engineering and computer science electives, allowing students to access robust engineering instruction and have exposure to STEM courses before reaching high school.

Preparing Students For College and Career

Starting in School Year 2017-2018, DCPS will expand its college and career support, ensuring more 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students receive a tailored postsecondary plan for college or career. Piloted at Ballou High School, H.D. Woodson High School, and Anacostia High School in School Year 2016-2017, College and Career Coordinators ensure that all students have plans for high school and beyond, more exposure to college via tours and expos, and assistance with SAT prep and FAFSA completion. College and Career Coordinators will support students at Ballou High School, Coolidge High School, Anacostia High School, Cardozo Education Campus, Dunbar High School, H.D. Woodson High School, Columbia Heights Education Campus (CHEC), Eastern High School, and Roosevelt High School.

With the support of their College and Career Coordinator, 100 percent of graduating seniors at Ballou High School have applied to college.

Investing in Over-Age, Under-Credited Students

In SY 2016-2017, Mayor Bowser made critical investments in Opportunity Academies (Luke C. Moore High School, Washington Metropolitan High School, Ballou STAY High School, and Roosevelt STAY High School) and neighborhood high schools. These investments gave more students, especially over-age, under-credited students, a path to graduation.

In the coming year, DCPS will build on those investments at Opportunity Academies by: providing Summit Personalized Learning, an instructional program that integrates high-quality, individualized digital learning in all core subjects; offering specialized programming to prepare students for college and the workplace; and providing students with increased out-of-class opportunities, including paid internships and expanded athletics programs.

Reign: Empowering Young Women as Leaders

DC Public Schools will support young women of color in a multi-pronged initiative that aims to build community, confidence, and leadership skills. The three pillars of Reign: Empowering Young Women as Leaders are, creating spaces for young women of color to build community, confidence, and leadership skills inside and outside of school; ensuring that schools are empowering places for young women of color by providing support to teachers and staff with training on gender and racial equity and expanding the health and gender curriculum at DC Public Schools; and launching Reign Innovation Grants to improve academic and social outcomes for young women of color by focusing on academic development, family engagement, and social-emotional supports.

New Schools and Programming in School Year 2017-2018

Ron Brown College Preparatory High School will add a grade, serving 9th and 10th grade boys; MacFarland Middle School will add a 7th grade; and Van Ness Elementary School will add a 2nd grade.

For more information, follow @DCPublicSchools on Twitter and Facebook.