For Immediate Release: 
May 28, 2019
Matthew Nocella, (202) 724-8105

Councilmember Grosso’s priorities funded in final fiscal year 2020 budget

Washington, D.C. – Councilmember David Grosso, chairperson of the Committee on Education, celebrated investments in his budget priorities included in the District of Columbia's fiscal year 2020 budget following today’s final approval by the D.C. Council.

“Putting our students in the best position to succeed requires a greater commitment to funding education. The Committee on Education was able to work with several other committees to increase per student and at-risk funding to better support our students’ needs and set them up for academic success,” said Grosso. “While we must continue to provide additional resources, I am proud of the budget we have passed today. It fully invests in the Committee on Education’s efforts over the past two years to reduce exclusionary discipline, combat sexual assault and abuse in our schools, and improve the academic success of our most vulnerable students.”

Education investment highlights include:

  • Increases per-student funding by 3%, including an increase in the weight for students at-risk of academic failure to 0.225.

  • Fully funds the Fair Access to School law to reduce the use of exclusionary discipline and address the root causes of student behavioral issues with $9 million more for school-based mental health services.

  • Fully funds School Safety Act to ensure schools are working to prevent and properly handle cases of sexual assault and abuse through better policies, improved hiring practices, and age-appropriate consent education.

  • Fully funds the creation of a multi-stakeholder Students in the Care of the District of Columbia Committee to identify challenges and resolve issues that students in detainment, commitment, incarceration, and foster care face in achieving academic success.

  • Promotes safe passage to increase student attendance with funding for a District Department of Transportation safe routes coordinator to work with schools.

  • Invests over $2 million in the successful early literacy intervention program that gets students at or above reading level by third grade.

  • Restores funding for St. Coletta of Greater Washington to support their work educating the District’s most vulnerable students. 

Grosso also succeeded in his fight to restore $53 million for the long-delayed modernization of Banneker Academic High School and relocate the school to the former Shaw Jr. High site on Rhode Island Avenue NW to ensure it would not face further delays.

“Today’s budget passage is a major victory for the Banneker community which has waited far too long for a school building that meets its academic needs. I’m proud of the students and community members who have advocated for their school. Their voices have had a tremendous impact and their modernization will now move forward in a timely manner,” Grosso said.

In addition to his work on the Education Committee, Councilmember Grosso secured or supported changes to the budget in the areas of health, public safety, human services, the arts and humanities, transportation, and good government:

  • Over $4 million increase to expand violence interruption teams to additional neighborhoods.

  • Initial funds to implement Grosso’s Medical Marijuana Patient Health and Accessibility Improvement Amendment Act of 2019 when it passes, specifically to set up facilities where medical marijuana patients can consume if they are not allowed to do so at their home.

  • Restores dedicated funding for arts and humanities grants and strengthens the independence of the Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

  • Fully funds public restrooms legislation to build two new public restrooms sites each year and give incentives to businesses downtown to make their restrooms available to the public.

  • Funds 60 new shelter beds, 50 new transitional housing slots, and 35 permanent supportive housing units to combat youth homelessness.

  • Invests in ending chronic homelessness for about 600 individuals through permanent supportive housing and targeted affordable housing and continues homeless outreach despite the end of a federal grant.

  • Combats family homelessness with 180 new units of permanent supportive housing and 200 new units of targeted affordable.

  • Reverses the mayor’s cut of about $500,000 Emergency Rental Assistance Program and further increases it by over $600,000.

  • Advances the design of the East Downtown protected bike lane project, for which Grosso has advocated.

  • Leaves out an inappropriate Freedom of Information Act amendment which would decrease government transparency and accountability.