February 13, 2023
Mayor Muriel Bowser
The Office of the Mayor
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Dear Mayor Bowser:
Thank you for providing historic investments in public education last year. I am writing to urge you to invest in equitable resources for all schools; ensure all educators receive high-quality preparation and support; provide affordable and high-quality postsecondary education opportunities; and invest in safe, stable, and positive learning environments for all students. Our FY 2024 budget priorities are the following:
INVEST IN EQUITABLE RESOURCES FOR ALL SCHOOLS.
- Increase the per student funding formula base by at least the inflation rate, with greater resources for students who need more support, and ensure all funds flow through the per student funding formula to both sectors. All students deserve a high-quality education.
- Maintain the public charter school facilities allotment at 3.1%. The District government must ensure that public charter schools have safe, high-quality, and educationally appropriate buildings.
ENSURE ALL EDUCATORS RECEIVE HIGH-QUALITY PREPARATION AND SUPPORT.
- Provide public charter educators with a raise in compensation by providing them with an equivalent payment to the backpay D.C. Public Schools teachers received and ensure that future salary increases are sent to all public schools through the per student funding formula. All educators deserve fair and competitive compensation.
- Require all K-5 D.C. educators to receive free and accessible structured literacy training with incentives to strengthen how educators teach children how to read. In 2022, only 32 percent of fourth-grade students performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level in reading. The District must ensure all students read at grade level by third grade regardless of where in the city they live, what school they attend, and their ability or language-learning status.
PROVIDE AFFORDABLE AND HIGH-QUALITY POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES.
- Improve college access and completion by expanding dual enrollment opportunities for students furthest from opportunity. 14 students out of 100 completed a postsecondary degree within six years. The District must expand access to all interested students, particularly students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, and students with disabilities; make the application process more efficient; and ensure students receive maximum dual enrollment credit hours for both high school and college classes. Additionally, the District should consider collaborating with Bard Early College to allow more schools to participate in the Bard Sequence Seminar program.
INVEST IN SAFE, STABLE, AND POSITIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS FOR ALL STUDENTS.
- Invest $5.7 million in the school-based behavioral health program. Stabilize the community-based organization (CBO) grant at the FY 2023 level plus inflation, which is an average of $103,000 per clinician.
- Support the well-being of our students. Faithfully implement and fully invest in Out of School Time, safe passage, restorative justice, and high-impact tutoring programming.
Thank you for all you do for our students, educators, and families! We look forward to continuing to work with you to ensure we have a just, equitable, and high-quality public education system for all students.
Jessica Giles, Executive Director
Education Reform Now D.C.