FY25 DCPS Budget Guide
Dear DC Public Schools (DCPS) Community,
Over the last few years, DCPS’ steadfast commitment to equity, excellence in instruction, and educating the whole child has driven thoughtful, strategic investments that have resulted in important progress, including improved graduation rates, enrollment growth, and strong highly effective teacher retention.
Today, schools are receiving their initial budgets for Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25) which covers the 2024-2025 school year. These allocations come at an important juncture for DCPS, the District, and school systems across the country as we all navigate the conclusion of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds. This loss of federal funding, in combination with other economic factors, necessitates that districts nationwide examine their budgets with a critical eye looking for efficiencies where possible, and weighing programmatic and workforce reductions.
During the pandemic, one-time funding streams like ESSER and the Mayor’s Recovery Fund allowed DCPS to expand our workforce by 18% to support students’ needs and the district’s recovery. The same period saw student enrollment increase by only 2%. As we work toward rightsizing, DCPS will prioritize what makes us great—our people and our values.
As we also factor the historic contracts upheld across DCPS’ four unions that ensure our educators and staff are among the highest paid in the nation, schools and school communities will feel budget pressures as we absorb the higher cost of those salaries and benefits, which include inflationary increases. Here is how we are addressing the district’s new resource landscape:
- Mayor Bowser has announced that the District will significantly increase the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula (UPSFF) by 12.4% to a per-student foundation of $14,668.
- School leaders will have the autonomy to take lessons learned over the pandemic and prioritize directing resources based on their student and community needs.
- No school will lose more than five percent of their submitted budget, inclusive of one-time local funds, from one year to the next. This safety net is in place regardless of shifts in enrollment.
DCPS will continue to utilize a budget model that allocates resources based on enrollment, targeted support, and year-over-year stability while recognizing that when there are less resources, it is more important than ever to double down on equity. Initial school allocations include the following:
- An increase of $707 per pupil to the DCPS student base weight, which in turn provides more flexible funds to schools through the student-based targeted support weights.
- $20.7 million dedicated towards supplemental federal Title I and Title II funds for continued financing in services and programs that improve student outcomes.
- $6.9 million for our new five-year Strategic Plan: Capital Commitment 2023-2028 to help ensure students are succeeding academically, feel connected to their school, and are prepared for what’s next.
DCPS’ budget serves as a strategic tool to empower and support our students, educators, families, and communities to achieve the best outcomes. Continue reading for a comprehensive budget overview, upcoming next steps, and deadlines.
Thank you for your continued support.
Lewis D. Ferebee, Ed.D.
Chancellor, DC Public Schools
FY25 Guiding Principles for Navigating Budget Pressures
Over the past three years, we have worked incredibly hard to support students academically, socially, and emotionally as we return from the pandemic. This work has paid off – we have seen steady gains in proficiency in ELA and math, and the percentage of students feeling loved is higher than ever. And we know we still have more work to do.
We have also seen our enrollment grow by 1,800 students. We are the only district in the region that saw enrollment growth during this period – this is a huge testament to the work of you and your teams, and the fact that families are choosing DCPS.
But we know the reality is that FY25 is going to be a hard budget year. The city is still recovering from the effects of the pandemic, ESSER is ending, and inflation is driving fixed costs up. We are going to need to sustain our progress, and continue our recovery efforts, with less buying power.
With this in mind, we are sharing some guiding principles to help you with making budget decisions.
We remain committed to acceleration and supporting the whole child. Our vision for this work is outlined in our strategic plan and our three key priorities: Succeed Academically, Connected to Schools, Prepared for What’s Next.
In conjunction with required (level 1) budget positions, we ask schools to prioritize the following:
Positions that focus predominately on classroom instruction
Examples: classroom teacher, special education teacher, multi-lingual learner teacher, inner core teacher, librarian, aide, interventionist
Class sizes must remain in alignment with FY25 budget guide allocations.
Instructional leadership positions
Focus predominately on coaching teachers
Examples: principal, assistant principal, instructional coaches, TLIs
At least one leader focused on ELA and one on math (this could be a principal, AP, IC, TLI, etc.).
Up to 15% of your total budget can go toward instructional leadership FTEs.
Student support positions
Focus predominately on providing direct services to students
Examples: social worker, school counselor, school psychologist
Must be budgeted in alignment with FY25 budget guidance.
Positions that focus predominately on smooth operations, fiscal, and facilities management
Examples: MSL, DSL, attendance counselor, business manager
Each school should have at least one operations support position.
Up to 8% of your total budget can go toward operations support FTEs.
School climate support
Positions that focus predominately on supporting school climate and culture
Examples: dean, ISS coordinator, RJ coordinator
These positions can be budgeted with flexible funds.
Up to 7% of your total budget can go toward school climate support FTEs.
The School Finance Team will provide historical data to inform schools leaders around their administrative premium spending. Please remember that the recent CBAs for WTU and CSO have increased administrative premium to $60/hour and have now made ET Officers eligible. It is recommended that schools budget at least 90% of their historical spending. Budgets will not be approved for submission unless 60% of the pre-budgeted amount is budgeted.
The School Finance Team will provide historical data to inform schools leaders around custodial overtime. It is recommended that schools budget at least 90% of their historical spending. Budgets will not be approved for submission unless 50% of the pre-budgeted amount is budgeted.
Budgets will not be approved for submission unless 50% of the minimum recommended amount is budgeted.
Cost of Supplies
Under 300 students
$7,000 - $9,000
$8,000 - $14,000
$11,000 - $18,000
$15,000 - $30,000
Instructional leadership positions
Coordinator – Global Studies
Coordinator – International Baccalaureate
Coordinator – NAF Academy
Coordinator – Special Education
Director – Career Academy
Director – Early College Academy
Director – NAF Academy
Director – Specialized Instruction
Director of Redesign
Manager – High Impact Tutoring
Manager – NAF Academy
Manager – Specialized Instruction
TLI Teacher Leader
Aide – Administrative
Aide – Computer Lab
Aide – Library/Technology
Assistant, Coordinator, Director, Manager – Strategy & Logistics
Coordinator – Athletic & Activities
Coordinator – College & Career
Coordinator – Computer Lab/Technology
Coordinator – Parent
Coordinator – Pathways
Coordinator – Program
Manager – School Administrative & Operational Support
Recreation Specialist (Aquatics)
Specialist – Transition
Student Health Services Coordinator
Technical Support Specialist
School climate support
Coordinator – In-School Suspension
Coordinator – Student Resource
Dean of Students
Manager – Connected Schools
Redesign Student Experience Coach
Restorative Justice Coordinator
This section provides a high-level overview of what is new or has changed in the DCPS school funding model and the Budget Development Guide from Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) to Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25).
New Sections & Name Changes
The following sections have been added for FY25:
- FY25 Guiding Principles for Navigating Budget Pressures (Section: Introduction): This section summarizes overarching priorities to support decision-making during budget development.
- College & Career Coordinator Initiative (Section: Additional Programming): This section highlights College & Career Coordinators, which are transitioning from the Central Services budget to school budgets.
- High Impact Tutoring (Section: Additional Programming): This section focuses on High Impact Tutoring (HIT) Managers, which are transitioning from the Central Services budget to school budgets.
- Connected Schools (Section: Additional Programming): This section provides an overview of Connected Schools, which is the DCPS model for full-service community schools.
- Redesign (Section: Additional Programming): This section provides guidance to Redesign schools on budgeting for a Student Experience Coach.
- School Health Services & Centers (Section: Additional Programming): This section details budgeting recommendations related to student health for all schools, along with specific guidance for schools with School-Based Health Centers.
- Budgeting & Procurement Responsibilities Chart (Section: Additional Information): This chart features programs that may divide budgeting and procurement responsibilities between schools and Central Services.
Additionally, please note the updated naming conventions for FY25.
- “Multilingual learner” is an updated name for “English learner.” This is reflected in all associated allocations. Additionally, position titles that previously included the acronym “EL” will instead include the acronyms “ML” or “ESOL” (English for Speakers of Other Languages).
- Urban Teachers has been renamed to City Teaching Alliance, however the budget catalog item for resident positions is still named “Urban Teacher Residency.” The process for requesting and budgeting a resident teacher is also the same as in FY24.
Centrally-Funded Goods and Services (including OTL-Funded Resources)
Each year, Central Services funds some goods and services directly for schools. Decisions about what is funded centrally are made based on strategic priorities, feedback from schools, and available funding. With this in mind, select positions and programmatic expenses are moving from the Central Services budget to school budgets. A Central Services-wide document and OTL-specific document can be found on DCPS Way.
Changes to School Partnerships
Several programs, such as City Year, Literacy Lab, and Reading Partners, are shifting prices or changing financial procedures in FY25. Please refer to the School Partnerships and Budgeting & Procurement Responsibilities Chart sections for more information on these partnerships.
Safe & Positive Schools
Schools that received the Safe & Positive Schools allocation in FY24 will receive 75% of that allocation in FY25 as DCPS begins to step down the program.
Impact of Updated Collective Bargaining Agreements
Schools will see higher position costs in FY25, primarily in WTU and CSO positions, to account for increases in salaries and additional compensation, respectively.
Administrative Premium Increase to $60/Hour
In alignment with the collective bargaining agreement between the WTU and DCPS, administrative premium has increased from $40/hour to $60/hour. Starting in FY25, schools are responsible for budgeting the entire $60/hour. Pre-budgeted administrative premium targets reflect this.
Afterschool Paraprofessional Tour of Duty
Due to changes to the AFSCME collective bargaining agreement, the tour of duty for Afterschool Paraprofessionals is shifting from 2.5 hours per day to 1.5 hours per day in FY25. Paraprofessionals will now assist OSTP afterschool programming that is in line with their DCPS position description from 3:30-4:30p.m. as the final activity of their school day and are paid school day wages for that hour. They are eligible for afterschool pay from 4:30-6:00p.m. There will be some instances of external hires that are not daytime DCPS employees or individuals with adjusted tours of duty that will be eligible for 2.5 hours of afterschool pay per day. More information can be found in the Afterschool Programming section, and questions about this change can be directed to email@example.com.
Proper Account String for SWAG
Beginning in FY24, promotional and branded items (i.e., SWAG) can no longer be purchased with “Professional Services” funds. Instead, they must be budgeted in the appropriate Quickbase budget line according to each item’s use. For example, sweatshirts with insignia would be purchased out of “Clothing and Uniforms,” and agenda books may be purchased using the “Educational Supplies” or “General Supplies” accounts. School leaders can hover over the information “i” in the Quickbase budget application to read detailed descriptions of budget line items.