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budget oversight


Mayor Bowser attempts to game Council budgetary process

For Immediate Release: 
May 11, 2017
Matthew Nocella, (202) 724-8105 (Grosso), Kelly Whittier, (202) 431-5697 (Cheh)

Mayor Bowser attempts to game Council budgetary process

Washington, D.C. – Councilmember David Grosso, Chairperson of the Committee on Education, and Councilmember Mary Cheh, Chairperson of the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, released the following joint statement in response to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s errata letter on the education portion of the D.C. Fiscal Year 2018 budget:

“Several weeks ago, after months of planning, Mayor Muriel Bowser submitted to the Council her budget for fiscal year 2018. We, along with parents, teachers, students, administrators, and advocates were very disappointed when we received a budget that leaves our schools without the resources to put every child in the best position to succeed.

“Our committees, like all council committees, have examined agency funding levels, historical spending, and will make a determination as to the appropriate spending for fiscal year 2018.  We found that the mayor drew up her budget and, like many mayors, built in funds to be used at her discretion, beyond effective Council control.

“Today, she sent the Council an errata letter, usually meant to fix minor mistakes in the submitted budget.  However, this letter bears all the hallmarks of an attempt to regain control of those funds. And it irresponsibly claims to have solved the uniform per student funding formula shortfall that the mayor created. In truth, it includes only one-time money.

“Through our oversight of the budget, we have found sources of funds that can be reallocated to provide a more sustainable solution to investing in our students’ futures by providing recurring, not one-time, dollars to increase the uniform per student funding formula over the mayor’s original proposed 1.5 percent.  Recurring dollars represent a real commitment to our students, providing year-to-year funding, rather than having to go through this exercise in the next budget cycle.

“The mayor now attempts to defeat that reallocation by saying ‘Oops – we see some errors and want to correct them.’

“The public is ill-served by the mayor’s political gamesmanship which lacks transparency and is contrary to the system of checks and balances. The mayor proposes, the Council disposes. And that’s exactly what we, working with our colleagues, intend to do, regardless of today’s letter.”




Grosso's FY17 Budget Unanimously Passed by Committee on Education

For Immediate Release

May 5, 2016

Contact: Keenan Austin  

(202) 724-8105


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