(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser launched the District of Columbia Public Schools’ (DCPS) Pocket Budget Guide, a first-of-its-kind resource for school communities to better understand DCPS’ Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 school budget planning. The Mayor also announced that her DCPS FY 2021 budget will include a 4% increase to the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula (UPSFF) over last fiscal year’s amount, which will result in schools on average receiving an 8% local budget increase.
“With the new DCPS Pocket Budget Guide, we’re giving school communities the clarity and transparency they deserve. The continued success of our students and schools reflects the commitment of our community and taxpayers. This year, we are continuing those historic investments. Across all eight wards our goal is the same: to make sure every student and every school has the resources they need to succeed,” said Mayor Bowser. “As we continue through Fair Shot February, we look forward to engaging the community to build and submit a budget that reflects our DC values.”
DCPS is continuing investments in the Empowered Learners Initiative with a multi-million dollar investment to close the digital divide and reach a 1:1 student to technology device ratio by 2022 by adding grades 4, 7, and 10 along with the investment made for grades 3, 6, and 9 from FY 2020. DCPS will invest $2.1 million in Connected Schools that provide students and families with wraparound services, including family wellness supports, housing, childcare, and financial assistance referrals. DCPS is also planning to invest $500,000 toward early literacy intervention programs to help all students in grades K-2 read at grade level by 2022.
“Putting students first must be at the heart of our budget decisions,” said DCPS Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee. “This mobile-friendly guide will make it easier for school communities to understand the budget planning process and how we are designing school budgets to ensure we have a great school in every neighborhood at every grade level. We have more work to do to support our schools and I look forward to continuing to partner with our families to ensure we are making investments that improve student outcomes.”
The DCPS Pocket Budget Guide is the latest tool for school communities to understand how dollars are allocated across all DCPS schools. DCPS kicked off planning for next year’s budget in October with a student roundtable discussion, a public budget hearing, and two community budget forums. In addition to the Pocket Budget Guide, school communities can visit the DCPS Data Center for a video tutorial on how school budgets are made and see their school’s budget with year-over-year comparisons. DCPS also released a Family and Community Guide explaining the budget and outlining steps being taken to make the budget process more transparent.