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Testify at Public Hearing on DCPS Budget

The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) will hold an online public budget hearing on Wednesday, Nov. 16, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The purpose of the hearing is to gather input from the public about the upcoming Fiscal Year 2024 (School Year 2023-2024) budget.

In FY 2023, $1.162 billion wass allocated to DC Public Schools (DCPS) with another $1.101 billion gooing o to Public Charter Schools. Those were allocated through a budget method that changed last year with a view to increased equity, transparency and stability.

The basis of both DCPS and DC Public Charter School budgets is local dollars provided via the Universal Per Student Funding Formula (UPSFF). School populations are estimated based on various factors including school counts from previous years. Enrollment counts are finalized on Oct. 5 of the school year, which can lead to budget adjustments. The UPSFF base amount is supplemented by targeted support given according to added weights that reflect the costs of serving additional student needs and supplemented by stabilty funding and grants.

School families have not always found the way their school’s budget is calculated to be easy to follow.

The biggest difference in the updated model for FY23 is that schools have the flexibility to make budgetary choices to meet their school needs. In the previous Comprehensive Staffing Model (CSM), central office provided staff and non-personnel services to schools based on enrollment and school level. In the new model, after funding is determined through the UPSFF, the stability funding has four different sub-categories of resources: safety net, stabilization funding, recovery funding, and hold harmless funding.

This new method was intended to allow principals and Local School Advisory Teams (LSAT) to make decisions about how they spend these funds. Critics say at base, the problem is that funding is insufficient and the way that at-risk funding is used at that stability funding was allocated lacks transparency.

Members of the public are invited to provide testimony at the hearing. Individuals or groups wishing to testify should register online by Nov. 14 at bit.ly/dcpsbudgetrsvp.

For questions, please contact the Office of Engagement and Partnerships by e-mail, ceo.info@k12.dc.gov or (202) 744-0423.

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