March 04, 2011
DC Public Schools Releases School Budget Allocations for FY12
District pledges additional funds to soften impact to schools
Safiya J. Simmons
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WASHINGTON - DC Public School principals received their fiscal year 2012 budget allocations today following Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s announcement Tuesday that DCPS will receive additional funding to support schools.
At his weekly press briefing, Mayor Gray and District CFO Dr. Natwar Gandhi announced an increase of $105 million in the District’s revenue and Mayor Gray committed a portion of that to DCPS, underscoring his commitment to making education a priority.
As a result of the additional money, DCPS avoids a number of funding and staffing reductions that would have reduced school budgets and the number of teachers that could be provided to each school. The additional revenue also reduces the number of cuts needed at the individual school level and ensures that some critical programming – such as summer school, afterschool programming and evening credit recovery – continues next year.
“Ensuring a quality education for all children is one of my top priorities,” said Mayor Gray. “DCPS is sharing in the sacrifices to address our budget deficit, and I want to do everything I can to make sure that their sacrifice doesn’t negatively impact our students.”
The school allocations reflect the funding each school will have to identify the staff, services and programs it will need to serve its students next year. DCPS’ enrollment is up for the first time in 41 years and it will see an increase in local funding as a result of the fact it is serving more students. However, other program changes and reductions are still necessary to offset reductions in federal funds and costs associated with inflation and fully fund special education. One particular change Interim Chancellor Henderson is considering is how to better meet the needs of the special education population at the Transition Academy at Shadd.
“We are incredibly grateful for Mayor Gray’s commitment to our schools and we are likewise committed to being conscientious fiscal stewards,” said Henderson. “This infusion of cash, however, does not eliminate the pressing need to take a hard look at our finances, the effectiveness of the programs we offer and the number of small schools that we can sustain and support in the future.”
Even with the additional funds, DCPS still must address nearly $50 million in lost revenues or increasing costs in FY 12. DCPS will continue to develop portions of its budget other than the direct school allocations released today over the next month and announce those changes on April 1 when the Mayor releases the District-wide budget.
Principals will have two weeks to work with their LSATs and finalize their budgets by March 18. All of the school allocations will be available on the DCPS website Monday, March 7.