A People-first FY2024 Budget: Schools
We must establish high-quality DCPS schools in every community, ensuring a predictable and accessible path from pre-school to high school. The FY 24 budget advances that goal, prioritizing well-resourced classrooms, modern facilities, support for teachers, and nutritious school meals. I am proud that the Council rectified shortcomings in the initial proposal to reverse devastating school-level budget cuts, support teacher wellness and retention programs, and proactively address school infrastructure maintenance and modernization. The final budget:
- adds $6.2 million to the capital budget for Stoddert Elementary to enable a sensible addition that can fully meet the needs of the community.
- provides first-time funding to address the challenges of midyear mobility in DCPS schools — many DCPS schools receive significant numbers of students after audit day and they should be braced for those predictable arrivals, an issue I have raised for close to a decade.
- enables significant pay increases for charter teachers to keep pace with DCPS while also adding significant transparency requirements on charter teacher pay.
- Increased budgets for eight Ward 3 schools as part of Chairman Mendelson’s citywide Schools First in Budgeting initiative. I remain concerned about the impact of moving as many dollars from the DCPS central office to schools and about the pace at which hiring using these new funds will occur, but am committed to making this program succeed.