Washington, DC – The DC Charter School Alliance applauds the DC Council for passing a strong 2023 budget that centers and supports students. The budget includes a number of priorities charter school leaders championed on behalf of students and families, particularly for adult students and students designated “at risk.”
“The budget is a critical component in accelerating learning equitably for students as we continue to weather the ongoing pandemic,” said DC Charter School Alliance Founding Executive Director Shannon Hodge. “I’m grateful that the Council and Mayor Bowser are thinking boldly about the future of public education and making these investments in our students so they can receive a great education that prepares them for lifelong success.”
The Council today voted to raise the UPSFF by 5.87 percent, raise the adult foundation weight from 0.89 to 0.91, and create two new “at risk” concentration weights to the UPSFF to help better target funding to schools serving a higher number of students designated “at risk.” The budget also includes a critical 3.1 percent increase in funding for charter school facilities to ensure schools can continue to safely support in-person learning for students.
The Council also approved $8.6 million in pandemic supplemental funding to be distributed per student to charter schools. School-based mental health funding will go to the Department of Behavioral Health to ensure adequate funding to support access to a mental health provider in every school and for a cost study to determine the level of funding needed for future years. And, the Council approved $4.5 million for DC Health to expand school nursing services in charter schools and DCPS.
Finally, the Council also appropriated $300,000 to conduct a new comprehensive education adequacy study, which charter leaders have been calling for to produce the data and recommendations needed to craft good policy and make funding decisions.
Hodge continued, “We are grateful for Chairman Mendelson’s leadership and the Council’s willingness to listen and heed the calls of educators doing the work, from increasing funding for academics and facilities to ensuring policymakers have the data and recommendations needed to make sound decisions in the coming years. We look forward to working together to build the best urban education system in the country.”
The DC Charter School Alliance, along with the leaders of the 68 nonprofit organizations that operate more than 130 public charter schools and serve nearly half of all DC public school students, has consistently advocated to support continued, increased, and equitable investments in public education in a way that accelerates learning equitably—particularly for students most affected by pandemic-related hardships.