For Immediate Release
May 17, 2016
Contact: Keenan Austin
D.C. Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Passes First Vote with Grosso's Priorities
Washington, D.C. -- Today, the D.C. Council took its first vote on the "Fiscal Year 2017 Local Budget Act of 2016", "Fiscal Year 2017 Federal Portion Budget Request Act of 2016", and "Fiscal Year Budget Support Act of 2017", which together comprise the fiscal year 2017 budget. Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) worked closely with his colleagues to ensure inclusion of his top priorities in the budget. Grosso made the following statement:
"I am proud of the hard work and collaboration that happened during the budget process on behalf of D.C. residents. My colleagues and I were tasked with balancing the city's many priorities. Through this arduous process, we produced a budget that is fair and puts the needs of the people at the forefront.
"Budgets are about choices and unfortunately we could not do everything that we wanted or that was asked of us. Nevertheless, I believe this budget will continue to move us forward and help ensure that we are putting students in the District of Columbia in the best position to learn and succeed. The Committee on Education's budget and policy recommendations that passed a couple of weeks ago were strong, reflecting the needs and issues raised during the performance and budget oversight hearing process, and I am delighted to see that the Committee of the Whole builds upon our efforts. For a second year, the Committee utilized an objective process that evaluated the status of DCPS facilities and ranked them for modernization based on 4,600 data points.
"I am especially grateful that my colleagues once again supported the Committee on Education's approach to depoliticize funding of our school modernizations. Our model, based on equity, student demand, community-centered schools, and transparency, prioritizes the schools in greatest of need.
"Particularly important is inclusion in this budget of funding for the replacement and closing of D.C. General, a goal that I have championed for years. I commend Mayor Bowser for taking on this important and difficult task. While I acknowledge the great deal of work ahead, the changes that the Council made will strengthen the plan, while saving money and ensuring stability. I was glad to help identify capital funding necessary for D.C. to own the new shelters rather than lease them, while working with my colleagues to ensure that Coolidge High School will still complete its full renovation onthe Mayor's schedule."
Grosso's Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Victories
Under Grosso's leadership, the Education Committee approved a $3.9 billion budget improving public education, literacy, and career readiness for all District residents, including:
- $1.8 million to increase the subsidy rate for child care providers;
- $2.3 million to increase additional capacity for the Strong Start Early Intervention program that provides services to infants and toddlers with disabilities or developmental delays;
- $1.6 million to continue the early literacy grant initiative targeting third grade reading success, which Grosso created in Fiscal Year 2016;
- $11.9 million in capital funds for data systems infrastructure at OSSE, to improve data collection, transparency and coordination in the education sector;
- $800,000 to restore the 21st Century Learning Grants at OSSE;
- $200,000 for the establishment of a D.C. Oral History Project
- $440 million in FY17 for school modernizations and other repairs for D.C. Public Schools;
- $2.5 million for Show Up Stand Out, ACE, and PASS, programs that support student attendance and divert young people away from the criminal justice system;
- $700,000 to increase the library collections budget including opening day collections for Palisades, West End, and Capitol View branch libraries;
- $600,000 to support the success of the Books from Birth program at DC Public Library;
- $1.2 million to expand the school-based health centers located in 7 schools throughout D.C.; and
- $650,000 for the Department of Health to continue funding for the teen pregnancy prevention programming and teen peer sexual health educators.
Capital Improvement Plan for DC Public Schools
This year, the Committee on Education continued its objective approach to capital modernizations. The model was refined to include 4,600 data points throughout 10 categories to rank all 112 schools in the DCPS portfolio, and was based on the following principles:
- Ensure that the Capital Improvement Plan reflects equity focused planning, aligns investments with student demand, upholds the values of community centered schools, and builds facilities to support quality educational programs;
- Exercise greater discipline in managing the scope and budget for the projects; and
- Increase transparency in the capital funding process, including delineating general stabilization fund categories such as roof repairs, boiler repairs, ADA compliance, and electrical upgrades to school specific projects.
As a result, the Committee approved a $440 million Capital Improvement Plan for FY17, enhancing the Mayor's plan by $13 million.
As a world class city, Grosso believes we must plan and develop strategies to sustain a thriving artistic and creative sector, which includes:
- $4.6 million to increase Arts Building Communities to provide more grants to more artists and provide larger grants to organizations that currently apply for multiple grants in order to meet their need;
- $1.45 million to conduct educational activities and outreach to youth and young adults;
- $30,000 to increase training and employee development of new staff of the Commission on Arts & Humanities; and
- $20,000 to increase legislative and grants management for the processing of additional grants by the Commission on Arts & Humanities.
Health and Human Services
As a member of the Committee on Health and Human Services, and recognizing the impact health and human services has on the success of students at school, Grosso is glad to see important investments in this sector including:
- Over $100 million in capital funds to build smaller, more humane shelters for families experiencing homelessness, resulting in the closure of D.C. General, fostering more stability, and saving over $165 million in the process;
- $2 million for additional Permanent Supportive Housing for individuals transitioning out of homelessness;
- $2.5 million for additional Targeted Affordable Housing for individuals and families transitioning out of homelessness;
- $4.9 million for youth development funding that will be issued in FY17 while the government and community create a new strategy to replace the D.C. Trust; and
- $1.2 million for Produce Plus to support low income individuals eating healthy and fresh food.
To learn more about the Committee on Education's budget and priorities on the Committee on Education, please visit www.davidgrosso.og.