FY11 Budget Process 

Even though it is still early in fiscal year 2010 it is already time to start preparing the DC Public Schools fiscal year 2011 budget.

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Thank you to all the LSRT members who have engaged in the budget process up to this point.  Now it is incredibly important that LSRTs give principals their advice on the budgets principals will submit February 6th.

Please note the revised timeline for the budget development process.  The timeline is still aggressive but it has been extended by a few days.

Please keep in mind the resources available as the process continues to move forward:



It is already time to start preparing the DC Public Schools fiscal year 2011 budget.

Our budget process exists within the larger citywide budget adoption process. This means there are some nonnegotiable time constraints. The most important is that we must submit our proposed budget to the mayor in late February.

Last year, we made progress. We finalized school budgets earlier than in previous years, improved the way we engaged the community in the process, and created new school budget sheets to improve transparency.

This year we want to build on that progress by further improving the way we include local school communities through an improved budget timeline and better training. This will ensure everyone involved gets the tools they need to participate in the process.

Budget Information Sessions

On January 7th, 11th, and 13th, Budget Information Sessions will be held for LSRT Chairpersons and members to learn about the basics of the school budgeting. These sessions will provide:

  • An overview of how school budgets are calculated
  • A look at the different areas where schools can spend money
Dates and Locations for the Budget Information Sessions
Date Time Location
January 7, 2010 6:30pm - 8:00pm Langdon EC
(1900 Evarts St. NE)
January 11, 2010 6:30pm - 8:00pm Savoy ES
(2400 Shannon Pl. SE)
January 13, 2010 6:30pm - 8:00pm Bancroft ES
(1755 Newton St. NW)


Download the PowerPoint presented during the Budget Information Sessions

Download the One-Pager for the Budget Information Sessions

2010-2011 School Budget Guide

Download the DCPS School Budget Development Guide for School Year 2010-2011. This guide will provide important guidance for principals and school communities as we move forward in this year's budget process.

Improvements for FY11

The process for the FY11 budget cycle has been retooled in order to allow for maximum input from members of individual school communities. Changes are as follows:

Goal Specific change for FY11
Schools will have more time to develop school budgets. This year, schools have 20 days to develop their budgets from the time they receive their allocations (January 14th through February 3rd). Last year, schools had roughly 4 days (February 9th through February 13th).
Principals and LSRTs should be engaged for a longer period of time. This year’s principal/LSRT briefing is December 16th. Last year’s briefings were on February 9th (principals) and February 10th (LSRTs).
LSRTs should have several kinds of technical assistance—both more extensive and earlier in the process. This year, we will hold 5 sessions for principals and LSRTs from December 29th through January 13th, in addition to staffing a hotline and email help for LSRT chairs and members. Last year, we held 3 drop-in sessions for principals only from February 10th through February 12th.
Schools will have an early opportunity to review and petition relative to student enrollment. This year, schools have until January 6th to submit petitions specific to enrollment projections. Last year, enrollment petitions were incorporated into the overall budget petition process in mid-February.
Schools will be required to share their final school budget submission with their larger school community. Not required last year.

FY11 School Budget Process Kick-Off Meeting

On December 16, 2009, Patterson Elementary School hosted the School Budget Process Meeting to start preparing for the DC Public Schools fiscal year 2011 budget. During this meeting, LSRTs, principals, DCPS staff and community members learned about the budget process and timeline for fiscal year 2011.

Download the PowerPoint Presentation
Download the Meeting Notes
Download the letter sent to principals on December 4, 2009
Download the letter sent to LSRT Chairpersons on December 7, 2009

November 23 Budget Hearing

Thank you for your substantive testimonies.  We would still like more feedback on two specific questions:

  1. How can we better include local school communities in the budgeting process? The process spans from November to February but much of that time is taken by the holidays.
  2. What do you think of the Comprehensive Staffing Model? Do we have the right positions included? Keep in mind that if we add a position we will probably have to remove another.

Submit your opinion on the questions above.

Download the PowerPoint presentation from the hearing.

Proposed FY11 Budget Process

While the DCPS budget process is dependent on the citywide process and the timeline is difficult, especially around the holidays, we want to improve the way we work with local school communities during the budget process.

We are proposing a process that should support more, and higher quality, input from local school communities into their school budgets.

Take a look at the proposed process below and let us know if something doesn’t make sense, or if you have other ideas about how we can best include the local school communities. We have included the process from last year for comparison.

Please note that only the December 16 School Budget Process Meeting is a final date.  All other dates are proposed and subject to change.

  Activity FY11 Proposed Process FY10 Process Comments
  1. DCPS Budget Hearing November 23, 2009 November 20, 2008 The official beginning of the budget process.
  2. Letter to principals and local school community leaders Early December 2009 None We want to start the dialogue early to increase transparency and planning time.
  3. School Budget Process Meeting December 16, 2009 None This meeting will prepare community members and principals earlier than in previous years so when enrollment projections are ready, the budget development process can begin immediately.
  4. Budget Information Sessions Early January 2010 None More focused preparation  time to give everyone the tools they need to participate in the budget development process.
  5. Distribution of school budget allocations Mid January 2010 February 9, 2009 The exact date is dependent upon when school level enrollment projections are ready.
  6.  Principal and school community technical assistance Mid January 2010 February 9-10, 2009 Technical assistance for after school allocations are distributed.
  7.  Schools develop budget for submission to chancellor January 15-February 1, 2010 February 9-24, 2009 The timeline remains tight but better preparation should allow schools to work quickly and efficiently.
  8. Principals submit budget to chancellor February 1, 2010 February 24, 2009  
  9. Roundtables with principals resulting in final budgets Late January to Early February February 17-24, 2009 Roundtables will occur as schools wrap up their budget development at the school level.
  10.  DCPS submits budget to mayor Late February February 27, 2009 This date is defined by the citywide budget adoption process.


Comprehensive Staffing Model

The Comprehensive Staffing Model (CSM) was updated for the 2009-2010 school year to incorporate feedback we received from principals, parents, students, and community members.

The CSM retains the central method of allocating a core set of positions to all schools, which includes a principal, art, music and PE teachers, instructional coaches, librarians and social workers or counselors. Under the CSM, every school will have the resources we know are fundamental to academic success.

Beyond the core, schools are allocated flexible funds, based on enrollment, to staff and resource the remainder of the school program. Flexible funds allow principals to tailor the academic program to the specific needs of each school community.

Download the CSM Chart.

Provide feedback on the CSM.

Engaging the Community

Four ways we are improving engagement during the budget process:

  1. More time and opportunity for community involvement
  2. December 16, 2009 Budget Kickoff Meeting to make sure everyone starts on the same page
  3. A clear timeline of the process at the school level
  4. Budget 101 training in January so everyone has the knowledge they need to help develop the budget.

How can we do even better while staying within the citywide budget adoption process?
Download the PowerPoint presentation from the November 23 Budget Hearing.
Tell us what you think about the proposed process.

Inside DCPS Highlights.


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