Building a Budget with Allocations – All Flexibility Levels

Level 3 Flexibility Allocations

Level 3 allocations are fully flexible funds that are provided to schools to budget for staff and programming.

Student-Based Funding

Schools receive a base weight amount of funding for each student along with additional funds to support students with greater needs.

All student-based funds are fully flexible. That being said, schools that serve special student populations are encouraged to use additional dollars to support services for Multilingual Learners (ML), Special Education (SPED), Pre-K, and At-Risk students.

For more information on student-based funding, please see the DCPS budget website.

Specialty Payments

These funds are provided to select schools as fully flexible funds. The exceptions to this are Bard Early College HS and Coolidge HS, for which the specialty payments are locked and support partnerships with Bard College and Trinity Washington University, respectively.

Schools Receiving Specialty Payments in FY25

Bard Early College HS

Benjamin Banneker HS

Brookland MS

Coolidge HS

Ellington Schools of the Arts

McKinley Technology HS

School Without Walls HS

School Office Support

Each school is provided $74,890 in flexible office support funding that can go towards obtaining front-office staff or non-personnel services.

NPS Total Allocation

How Funds Are Allocated

The FY24 per-pupil amount was based on historical spending data, across the different school types. The FY25 per-pupil NPS allocation is a 3.7% increase compared to the FY24 NPS allocation to account for inflation. Projected enrollment was multiplied by the per-pupil amount to calculate the allocation. Below are the FY25 per-pupil amounts by school type: 

  • Elementary Schools & Early Learning Centers: $361/student 
  • K-8 Education Campuses: $367/student  
  • Middle Schools: $380/student  
  • High Schools (including Secondary Education Campuses and Alternative High Schools): $660/student 
  • Special Education Campuses: $2,398/student

Budgeting Guidance

Schools should note that portions of their NPS allocations are pre-budgeted for the Library MOU and for administrative premium/overtime pay. All remaining NPS allocated funds are flexible and should be budgeted according to the NPS budgeting guidance.

  • Library MOU Funding: In FY25, the library programming allocation to fund the DC Public Library MOU and district wide electronic library resources is included in the NPS Total Allocation. Every school’s specific amount ($21.66 per student) has been locked at a level 1 flexibility.
  • Administrative Premium/Overtime: Based on historical spending of administrative premium and overtime, schools have a required amount of funds pre-budgeted as level 2 flexibility line amounts, which Principals may request to adjust through the petition process.

Program Guidance


For non-WTU members, time worked outside of an employee’s tour of duty is compensated using overtime pay. The overtime rate is based on the employee’s hourly rate at time and half. 70-hour aides (less than 40 per week) receive regular pay for all hours worked under 40 hours/week. Overtime rates apply when the employee exceeds 80 hours in the pay period.

Administrative Premium

Administrative premium pay is negotiated compensation for WTU and CSO members per the new CBA. “Teacher” will be defined as any ET-15 (including ET-15/10, ET-15/11, and ET-15/12) or EG-9 member of the WTU. No other employee or non-employee of DCPS is eligible for administrative premium. The rate for administrative premium is $60/hour.

The information that follows provides guidance regarding allowable categories of administrative premium. Activities that do not fall within this guidance are not authorized for administrative premium.

Afterschool Programs

In accordance with the WTU collective bargaining agreement, the rate of pay for teachers working in the afterschool program is equivalent to the rate established for administrative premium pay. 

Class Coverage/Loss of Planning or Lunch Period

In cases when substitute services cannot be obtained for an absent teacher, other teachers may be required to provide class coverage, thereby resulting in a loss of a planning period or lunch for the covering teacher. In addition, teachers may lose a planning period or lunch because another teacher who is typically assigned to cover their class is unavailable. In these cases, the teacher losing the planning period or lunch shall be compensated for the additional workload using administrative premium pay. Compensation shall be in accordance with Article 23.17 of the WTU collective bargaining agreement. Finally, where an elementary school teacher receives students of an absent teacher, which causes the class size to exceed the contractual limit, such teacher shall receive administrative premium pay. 

Exceeding IEP Case Manager Limit

Article 24.5.5 of the WTU collective bargaining agreement provides a caseload limit for Special Education teachers of 15 students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for the year. This refers only to the students with IEPs to whom the Special Education teacher is assigned as case manager. In cases where a Special Education teacher agrees to be case manager for more than 15 students with IEPs annually, such teacher will be paid the administrative premium rate in the amount of three hours per year for each additional student with an IEP over 15. For example, if a Special Education teacher is case manager for 17 students with IEPs during the year, he or she will receive $360 in administrative premium pay for the year ($60/hour x 3 hours/case x 2 cases). 

Other Eligible Activities Approved by the Supervisor or Appropriate Central Services Team

  • Additional School Time Programs: Administrative premium pay is allowable for teachers working in Saturday schools or centrally run Evening Credit Recovery programs.
  • Before and After School Activities: Administrative premium pay is allowable for teachers who are authorized by their supervisors to participate in activities before or after the school day or school year begins.
  • Compensatory Education: Administrative premium pay is allowable for teachers for court-ordered compensatory education activities that take place before or after the normal tour of duty.
  • Enrichment/Tutoring: Administrative premium pay is allowable for teachers participating in supplementary educational services, such as a school-sponsored tutoring program that occurs outside of the school day (i.e., either before school, after school, or on weekends).
  • Professional Development: Administrative premium pay is allowable for teachers attending training tied to classroom learning and programs outside of the tour of duty. This includes New Educator Orientation, system-wide offerings held after a duty day in which Professional Learning Units are not offered, and collaborative planning.
  • Scheduling: Administrative premium pay is allowable for teachers assisting with start-of-school scheduling activities outside of their tour of duty.
  • Summer School: Administrative premium pay is allowable for teachers working at the Summer School program, in accordance with the WTU collective bargaining agreement. These teachers may be coded into an additional position to perform their services in the Summer School program if they are at a different school than their regular year school.
  • Teaching and Learning Curriculum Developers: The Office of Teaching and Learning offers administrative premium pay for teachers partnering with content experts to develop and review curriculum for fellow educators. Qualifying curriculum development initiatives may include, but are not limited to, Cornerstones, Common Core Math Corps, and STEM Master Teacher Corps.
  • Teacher and Principal Selection: The Office of School Improvement and Supports frequently engages teachers beyond their normal tour of duty to assist with new teacher and Principal selection activities. Administrative premium pay is allowable for this activity.

Points of Contact

Principals and Finance Professionals should work with their specific Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) Budget Analysts and School Finance Team point of contact to understand appropriate usage and spending of funds as well as balance availability. If a school in unsure of their point of contact, they should email

Helpful Resources

Additional Compensation Procedures


For FY25, eligible schools receive At-Risk funding through the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula (UPSFF) and through the DCPS student-based portion of the school funding model. Schools may qualify for At-Risk funding in four ways. Below is a description of each type of At-Risk funding available to schools, divided into two sections: At-Risk funding provided through the UPSFF and At-Risk funding provided by DCPS through the school funding model using other local dollars.



This allocation can be found on the school budget allocation worksheet as “At-Risk UPSFF.” This is a fully flexible allocation that schools may use to budget for most things needed. DCPS allocates 90% of all At-Risk funding received to schools through a program grant in the form of a per-pupil allocation. The Fair Student Funding Act allows DCPS to retain 10% of At-Risk funding centrally for administrative purposes.

How At-Risk UPSFF Funds Are Allocated

The total amount of At-Risk dollars that a school receives will be based on the projected number of students identified as At-Risk. For FY25, this per-pupil dollar amount is $4,400 per student. This per-pupil amount is 30% of the UPSFF foundation level.

At-Risk Concentration UPSFF

This allocation can be found on the school budget allocation worksheet as “At-Risk Concentration UPSFF” and is a fully flexible allocation. These funds are provided to eligible DCPS schools to support schools with higher proportions of students considered to be At-Risk.

How At-Risk Concentration UPSFF Funds Are Allocated

DCPS allocates 100% of the At-Risk Concentration to schools through a program grant in the form of a per-pupil allocation. These funds are based on the projected number of students identified as At-Risk. Schools with more than 40% of students designated At-Risk receive $1,027 per student over the 40% threshold. Schools with more than 70% At-Risk students receive an additional $1,027 for all the students over the 70% threshold. The per-pupil amount for both the 40% and 70% weights is 7% of the UPSFF foundation level. This is a 2% increase over FY24, consistent with the increased At-Risk Concentration weight allocated by DC Council in Summer 2023.

At-Risk High School Over-Age Supplement

This allocation is provided to schools with grades 9-12 and is included in the “At-Risk UPSFF” on the school budget allocation worksheet. These funds are intended for schools who have students who are behind grade level in high school.

How At-Risk High School Over-Age Supplement Funds Are Allocated

DCPS allocates 90% of the At-Risk High School Over-Age Supplement to schools through a program grant in the form of a per-pupil allocation.

UPSFF Budgeting Guidance

At-Risk funds should be directed toward improving outcomes for students identified as At-Risk: students who are homeless, in foster care, qualify for certain federal assistance programs, or are over-age in high school. While At-Risk UPSFF dollars are level 3 flexible funds that schools may use for either personnel (including administrative premium and overtime) or non-personnel budget items, schools should not use this funding for core programming at the school. These funds are intended to supplement each school’s budget. Schools should use other flexible funding to budget for core programming first, including, but not limited to, grade-level teachers and content teachers to meet base scheduling requirements. Further, At-Risk UPSFF funding should not be used for custodial services or supplies.

Concentration Weight

DCPS provides a local allocation of At-Risk concentration dollars to schools whose At-Risk concentrations are greater than 40%. This is separate from the funding provided through the UPSFF student weights that is required by law. Please see the “How Schools Are Funded” section of the DCPS budget website for more information.

Title I – Schoolwide


Title I funds are used for a variety of services and programs to improve student outcomes. Title I funds are used to supplement the amount of funds that would be made available from non-federal sources and are not to supplant funds from the regular budget. The key objective of Title I funds is to close the achievement gap and serve the most disadvantaged students. The amount of Title I funds a school may receive is determined by its eligibility percentage.

Schools with eligibility percentages of 40% and above will operate as Schoolwide programs. For schools with eligibility percentages of 35 to 39.99%, the Monitoring and Program Support Team will work with each school to determine which Title I program model (Targeted Assistance or Schoolwide) they would like to operate under. Each of these schools must use their Comprehensive School Plan (CSP) as a guide to ensure that the federal requirements of these funds are met.

How Funds Are Allocated

In addition to Title I – Parental & Family Engagement funds, Title I schools receive Title I – Instructional funds and Title II – Professional Development funds.

  • For Title I schools, Title I – Instructional and Title II – Professional Development funds are combined into a flexible allocation called “Title I – Schoolwide Funds.”
    • Title I – Instructional funds are allocated based on schools’ eligibility percentages (the Identified Student Percentage multiplied by 1.6, as determined by the United States Department of Agriculture).
    • Title II – Professional Development funds are allocated to schools on a per-pupil basis. For Title I schools, these funds are combined with Title I – Instructional funds because they are small and because doing so increases the flexibility of these schools to use Title I and II funds.
  • Non-Title I schools receive neither Title I – Parental & Family Engagement funds nor Title I – Instructional funds. They do receive Title II – Professional Development funds, but this allocation is not flexible for these schools and must go towards professional development.

Budgeting Recommendations/Requirements

Title I – Schoolwide funds should be used to provide programs and services geared toward improving student achievement, such as: 

  • Hiring instructors who provide intensive academic intervention to students
  • Emphasizing access to a “well-rounded education” that includes not only Reading and Mathematics but also Music, Art, World Languages, Science, Social Studies, Environmental Education, Computer Science, and Civics
  • Paying administrative premium to teachers who support with before- or after-school tutorial programs
  • Purchasing educational software and equipment to support and enhance classroom instruction
  • Developing Reading and Math intervention programs that target the most academically at-risk students
  • Supporting parental involvement activities included in the Comprehensive School Plan and/or articulated in the School Parental Involvement Policy’s Parent Compact (also known as Parent Partner activities) that complement schools’ Title I – Parent & Family Engagement allocations

Other allowable uses

  • Hiring or contracting personnel to provide student instructional services
  • Paying stipends to parents as volunteer partners in the school
  • Purchasing supplies and materials, equipment, software, and reference materials
  • Paying for approved local and out-of-town travel, hotel accommodations, conference, convention, and registration fees that support research-based strategies
  • Paying for services that serve an educational purpose toward improving student achievement

Non-allowable uses

  • Supporting catering services that are not explicitly and directly tied to its Title I program
  • Funding field trips to amusement or water parks (e.g., Six Flags) and paraphernalia (e.g., t-shirts, iPads, promotional items/swag, etc.)
  • Supplanting funds from the required school budget

Points of Contact

Safety Net Supplement

Schools may receive a safety net supplement to ensure that they can afford a baseline of general education services with their student-based funds. The calculated cost of these baseline services will vary from school to school depending on school type and projected enrollment. If a school’s student-based funds do not generate enough funding to budget for each component of its safety net, it will receive an allocation of safety net supplement dollars. Schools are not required to budget for the specific items listed in the safety net, however, as these dollars are a fully flexible level 3 allocation. For more information about the safety net, please visit the DCPS budget website.


In FY25, stabilization ensures that schools’ initial allocations are no less than 95% of their FY24 submitted budgets (including any additional funding allocated by DC Council, such as the additional At-Risk Concentration funding and Schools First in Budgeting). If a school’s DCPS model formula allocation is less than 95% of its FY24 submitted budget, it receives a fully flexible level 3 allocation of stabilization dollars. This funding is added to their budget to bring their total allocation to the appropriate 95% level.

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