DCPS School Funding Model Overview
DCPS strives to be good stewards of the funding we receive through the UPSFF to ensure every student has what they need to succeed. The DCPS School Funding Model combines the strengths of a staff-based funding model and student-based funding model to ensure that all schools have the flexibility needed to provide equitable learning opportunities aligned to their students’ needs.
Any changes to the school funding model in FY24 are rooted in DCPS’ goal to ensure excellence for every student. By shifting our resources to keep students and their needs first, our schools will be able to better align their funds to meet the individual needs of the students they serve.
How Funding Is Allocated
Within enrollment based, targeted support, and stability, funding will be provided to schools in four different categories. This page briefly outlines the four categories below. For a deeper dive, go to “Categories of Funding Allocations” to read more details about the DCPS funding methodology.
Student Based Funds
Student-based funds are based on the projected student enrollment count for the upcoming school year. This count is determined using historical enrollment data and factors that affect enrollment including new housing developments, new schools, and grade level matriculation and feeder patterns. Student-based funds follow the student and provide schools with a base amount for each student and additional student need weights that provide targeted per pupil funding for English learners, students with IEPs and other student categories.
Staffing Ratio Allocations
In addition to student-based dollars, the updated budget model also includes funding allocations based on staff and faculty counts. These staffing ratios ensure that essential services and instruction, such as Special Education and English language instruction, are resourced to schools that need these educators and staff most. Staffing ratio allocations do not include direct allocations of general education teachers as schools receive funding for those teachers through their student-based fund allocation.
Program Grant Allocations
The budget model also includes funding allocations through program grants for schools according to grade-level served at each school, specific programming offered, programming that supports students with greater needs. A key program grant that DCPS schools will receive is at-risk dollars to support student populations who are identified as at-risk.
Stability Funding Allocations
As DC Public Schools continue to experience shifts in enrollment, it is important that our budget model effectively supports schools of all sizes. The DCPS School Funding Model was designed to provide schools with year-over-year stability funds, with safety net checks and stabilization dollars that will protect school budgets from the impact of fluctuating enrollment and ensure that schools can afford a baseline level of general education services with their student-based funds. The Safety Net is a permanent component of the school funding model.
DCPS will continue to stabilize schools at 95% of their previous year submitted budget. Additionally, DCPS is leveraging Mayor’s Recovery Funding to further stabilize schools to their FY23 submitted budgets including one-time funding provided through FY23 Mayor’s Recovery and Hold Harmless funds.