For Immediate Release:
April 28, 2016
Contact: Keenan Austin
Grosso: Dissolution of D.C. Trust is Both a Challenge and an Opportunity
Washington, D.C.--Councilmember David Grosso, Chairperson of the Committee on Education, released the following statement regarding the dissolution of the D.C. Trust, formerly known as the Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation, after today's budget oversight hearing with the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services:
"Today's hearing provided an important venue to discuss how to move forward in the aftermath of the D.C. Trust's dissolution. I appreciate the thoughtful insights brought by community members and Deputy Mayor Donald. I also understand the frustration and disappointment felt by members of our youth-serving community at how this has all unfolded. I look forward to working with my colleagues, the executive, and stakeholders in the community to chart the best course forward in a collaborative and transparent manner.
Since taking office I have questioned the efficacy of the D.C. Trust in the wake of historical mismanagement. While the Trust provided funding for many critical activities after school and during summer, I was not sure it was the best model for delivering this money. For this reason, I met regularly with the Trust and pressed the agency for answers, such as last fall when important youth-serving programs were facing cuts to their funding. With the dissolution of the Trust, it is imperative that we develop a new mechanism to fund youth programs, in a way that is stable, well-managed, and sufficiently resourced. I will also work with my colleagues to ensure that the $4.92M originally meant for the Trust remains in the FY17 budget for the same purpose, and that funding for summer programs, which the Trust will still administer, gets out as quickly as possible.
While this announcement presents many challenges, I also see it as a moment of opportunity. As Chairperson of the Committee on Education, I am optimistic that we can now completely re-envision what it means for the D.C. government to invest in and support our youth and children from a holistic, cross-agency perspective. The work of the Trust and the programs it funded are critical to the success of our city in general, and key to improving educational achievement in particular. I want our families, young people, and youth-serving organizations to feel reassured that although the D.C. Trust is closing, I will see to it that the government redoubles its commitment to supporting our students, inside and outside of the classroom."