Greetings PAVE Parent & Supporters,

Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser released the 2018 budget for the District of Columbia - including the education budget which will affect your children and the public schools that they attend - public charter and DCPS.  With the Mayor’s proposed budget, equitable school funding is headed in the right direction for DC’s students, but the funding still does not adequately meet the needs of all of our children and all of their schools.

The Good News: The Mayor’s budget proposed a 2.2% increase in the facilities funding that charter schools use to develop and sustain the school facilities our students attend each day.  The Mayor also locked in that increase for the next four years.  In April of last year, over 200 parents and grandparents called into DC City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson's office to encourage him to fund a 2.2% increase on the public charter school facilities funding. While last year’s push was unsuccessful, the strength of the voices of families and education advocates was heard loud and clear this year in the Mayor’s proposed 2018 budget. The charter school facilities funding increase, coupled with the Mayor’s plans to modernize additional DCPS buildings, means that we are moving our city towards a goal of having all of our children in 21st century schools that allow them to discover their passions and free their creativity.

The Not So Good News: The Mayor’s budget also proposed a 1.5% increase in the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula (UPSFF) which dictates the amount of money provided to our schools for other uses such as curriculum enhancements, attracting and retaining excellent teachers, and funding important after-school and summer enrichment programs. Unfortunately, many families, teachers, education leaders, and advocacy leaders were hoping to see a minimum 2% increase in the UPSFF, even though they knew that wasn’t enough. Together with over 300 parents, school leaders, teachers, community-based nonprofits, and education advocacy organizations representing all public schools,  PAVE advocated for a 3.5% increase in order to adequately fund our public schools - traditional and charter - for the next school year. You can find a copy of the letter that was submitted to the Mayor’s Office here. That 3.5% increase was based on what a working group created by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) recommended to the city in order to adequately fund our schools - meaning just to keep up with rising costs in the city and the growing needs of our children and their schools.

Check out this chart for a quick comparison of what parents and advocates were suggesting versus what is included in the Mayor’s budget:

Sadly, the 2018 budget proposal sets the UPSFF at a level below the expected rise of inflation. Many schools plan their annual budgets assuming a 2% annual increase, which has been the median increase over the last decade. With the increase in the facilities funds, but a less than expected increase in the UPSFF, schools may have the beautiful spaces for important offerings like art, music, tutoring, and extracurriculars, but may not have the funding to actually implement those great program additions or hire and retain the excellent school staff responsible for carrying out those activities.

While the Mayor does set the budget, there are still opportunities to impact the final increases in the budget.  Throughout April there will be several City Council hearings that will allow parents to state their opinion on the budget, as the Council is responsible for approving the budget that the Mayor proposed.  We at PAVE want to ensure your voice is heard.  What do you think about the mayor’s budget?  Tell us and sign up here to testify at future hearings on
the budgets effects on your children and your city.  

Above all else, stay informed, participate, and become empowered on issues such as the budget for all of DC’s public schools - charter and traditional.  If you are not sure about how to get involved and want help, email us any questions or requests for support.  Check out the information below for quick ways to get up to speed and in front of those who are finalizing the DC budget. 


The PAVE Team

  • Call your Ward Councilmember (where you live/vote) to ask them to urge the Mayor to fund the 3.5% increase to the per pupil funding. Find you Ward.
  • Forward this email to other families and to your school listservs.
  • Sign up to testify at the DC budget hearings on April 25th, April 26th, and May 5th.
  • Contact PAVE at -  to join our Parent Leader in Education Board in your Ward where you can host a house meeting with other parents or write a blog/op-ed on the school budget.
Our new website is here for you! For up-to-date information on upcoming events and hearings, visit our new Community Events Calendar at
Keep in touch! Sign up to join the PAVE listserv here.

Do you have events and opportunities to share with the PAVE network? Email us at to add events to our April newsletter.
PAVE (Parents Amplifying Voices in Education) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that connects, trains, and empowers charter parent leaders to give families in DC a voice and a choice in the vision for education in our city. The goal of PAVE is to create an education system in DC where parents are partners and leaders in developing a diversity of safe, nurturing, and great school options for every child in every ward and community.
Copyright © 2017 Parents Amplifying Voices in Education, All rights reserved.