How the Central Office Budget is Developed
In addition to school budgets, each year, DCPS develops a central services budget. In determining the Central Office budget, DCPS carefully examines the supports Central Office provides to schools. Specifically:
- DCPS conducts public engagement throughout the fall to seek stakeholder input on budget priorities. For example, DCPS hosts an annual Public Budget Hearing and an annual Student Budget Hearing.
- DCPS leaders review DCPS’ Capital Commitment goals and seek alignment with their workstreams.
- Leaders review legal and compliance mandates (e.g. providing human resources supports such as benefits onboarding) related to their offices.
The role of the Central Office at DC Public Schools is to promote equity, set a clear standard for excellence, and support schools in meeting those expectations. DCPS’ Central Office supports schools through different investments, including:
- School Based Services and Personnel: A large share of Central Office investments are fully school-based. Some examples include Athletic Trainers at high schools, Food Service workers, itinerant teachers supporting English Learners at schools, and related service providers for students with disabilities, such as social workers and psychologists.
- School Support: These are centrally budgeted funds that support school functions such as curriculum and instruction, logistics and operations, including transportation contracts.
- Central Administration: These funds support district functions such as human resources, procurement, general counsel, and financial administration.
By budgeting for some personnel, goods and services centrally, DCPS can realize economies of scale, create efficiencies in procurement, support compliance, and meet fluctuating needs as student demographics shift across and within schools.