For Immediate Release
May 5, 2016
Contact: Keenan Austin
Grosso's FY17 Budget Unanimously Passed by Committee on Education
Washington, D.C. - Today the D.C. Council Committee on Education unanimously passed the budget formulated by Committee Chairperson David Grosso. The $2.3 billion in operating dollars and $1.6 billion in capital budget for the city's public education system includes public schools, public charter schools, and libraries, and next goes to the full Council for a vote. The budget builds upon the Executive's investment in the full modernizations of all schools. The Committee continues its work on an objective approach to capital funding, establishes a strategic communications protocol around environmental safety, including exhaustive water testing, and restores a critical investment in public libraries.
"I've often said that the education of our children does not happen exclusively in our schools. To best serve our children, every part of the government must be engaged in this process," said Grosso.
"This budget supports the full modernization of all DCPS schools with a priority on the schools that are in the greatest of need. Many of our schools have not seen full construction or modernization over the past few decades, while others enjoy second and third iterations of development. These inequities cannot exist if we are committed to each child receiving a quality education regardless of their zip code."
"It is the responsibility of our government to make sure that taxpayer dollars support our students fairly and equitably. Last year I introduced a tool to remove politics from the city's education budget, and this year we were able to improve it with even greater analysis and better data."
The Committee also makes a number of important policy recommendations including a periodic review of the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula and the publishing of statewide discipline guidelines and regulations. The Committee's budget also establishes a D. C. Oral History project to ensure that our unique history is properly preserved for generations to come. The budget includes the following enhancements:
- $220M new funding for DCPS capital modernizations
- $22.5M in small capital improvement projects at DCPS
- $1.8M to increase child care subsidy rates to align rates with licensing ratios
- $1.6M for early childhood literacy interventions to improve 3rd grade reading outcomes
- $3.9M for a data warehouse centralizing data from our school system
- $2M for general library maintenance, as well as $350,000 for general collections
- $450,000 for life-saving access to epinephrine in schools
- $200,000 to support college access and college readiness programs
- $1M for Healthy Tots subsidies for early childhood education centers
- $727,000 for environmental literacy
- $400,000 for collections and maintenance for the soon-to-be reopened West End, Capitol View and the Palisades libraries
- $1.5 M to support the Cleveland Park Library project
- $600,000 to provide additional funding support for the Books from Birth program
- $200,000 for the establishment of a D.C. Oral History Project
- Sends $107,871 to the Department of Human Services to increase 1.0 FTE for the PASS program which works with youth and families to improve school attendance and performance and prevent juvenile justice involvement