Your Voice is Needed NOW! Help us ensure our schools receive the funding they need for next school year.
We understand that making budget choices in a pandemic economy is challenging, but city leaders should look to the Great Recession as a cautionary tale for what can happen if we reverse investments in our schools. Nationally, less funding led to worse academic outcomes and massive layoffs of school staff, consequences that would only prolong our city’s recovery. To prevent these predictable results, the mayor and D.C. Council should hold the education budget harmless by raising revenue and strategically leveraging federal support.
The DC Line published an Op-Ed from President Davis along with Alyssa Noth and Qubilah Huddleston from the DC Fiscal Policy Institute outlining our position on the School Year 20-21 Budget. We hope you’ll read it and share it widely.
These city-wide priorities can't overshadow the decisions being made at local schools, including proposed cuts to School Library Programs. The American Library Association sent this letter to Mayor Bowser and city council members, opposing proposed cuts to School Library Programs across DC Public Schools. We invite you to sign the Petition for DC School Librarians to ensure our school system is fully funded AND every DCPS student receives a rich, well-rounded education.
We’re asking for your help in Ensuring Our Teachers and Our Students have what they need to succeed in the next school year.
Please Sign Below.
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Dear Councilmembers –
Making budget choices in a pandemic economy is challenging, but city leaders should look to the Great Recession as a cautionary tale for what can happen if we reverse investments in our schools. Nationally, reduced funding led to worse academic outcomes and massive layoffs of school staff, consequences that would only widen our city’s achievement gaps and prolong our city’s recovery.
As you consider the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget, we encourage you to ensure:
- The DC education budget receives a 4% increase in Per Student Funding, as initially proposed earlier this year, and that individual school budgets are held harmless;
- Continued support for DCPS’ ELi initiative to provide resources to expand access to computers in our classrooms and to support Distance Learning; and
- Increased support for mental health supports for students and school communities, including anti-violence measures.
These city-wide priorities can't overshadow the decisions being made at local schools, including proposed cuts to School Library Programs. Students choose DC Public Schools for a variety of reasons. Chief among them are opportunities for a well-rounded, enriching education that include access to robust programming and rich extra-curricular activities. Any potential cuts to programming and staffing at local schools, especially in high-risk communities, will do irreparable harm to our city’s by-right public schools.
We also believe that the DC Council should embrace the principals of an open and democratic society during these trying times. In addition to inviting public witnesses to speak in person at oversight hearings on the Education Budget, the Council should request DCPS release preliminary staffing plans for individual schools, consistent with Open Meeting Act regulations, which Local School Advisory Teams (LSATs) discussed and submitted in February 2020. If we are to understand the impact of COVID on our local school budgets, this level of transparency is required. We also ask that you require DC Public Schools to go through their usual school community process for input on school –level budgets that are changed due to the COVID crisis.
In the past few years, schools that serve some of the city’s poorest children have suffered deep budget cuts, including staff reductions. We hope that in this time of crisis you will ensure that all students, regardless of their school choices, have access to the well-rounded, enriching learning environment that they deserve.