Welcome and Introduction

Chancellor Letter

Dear DC Public Schools Community, 

Upholding a strong investment in our schools is critical to the work that each of you does in supporting our students on the pathway to success. Today, schools are receiving their initial budget allocations for Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24). These allocations are reflective of our commitment to continue to meet all students’ needs and fund initiatives that address the academic, social, and emotional learning impacts of COVID-19. 

Initial school allocations for FY24, which covers the 2023-2024 School Year, include: 

  • An increase of $500 per pupil to the DCPS student base weight, which in turn provides even more flexible funds to schools through the student-based targeted support weights, too.
  • 7.5% more on a per pupil basis for schools’ non-personnel resources, accounting for higher than usual inflationary pressures. 
  • While school funding cannot be infinite, no school is losing more than five percent of their submitted budget, inclusive of one-time local funds, from one year to the next, regardless of shifts in enrollment.
  • An additional $10.4 million in stabilization funding from Mayor Bowser provides stability to schools so they can maximize their buying power as inflation costs and pandemic enrollment shifts remain a concern. 
  • $7 million in federal funds for continued acceleration efforts that address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on student learning. 

Budget allocation worksheets for each school in DC Public Schools are now available online at dcpsbudget.com. There, you can also explore the FY24 DCPS Budget Pocket Guide, a mobile-friendly resource to learn more about how school budgets are developed.   

How Funding is Allocated to Schools   

The school budget model that DCPS uses allocates funding to provide equitable resources so every student can excel. Updated last year, the DCPS budget model is based on three factors: enrollment, targeted support and year-over-year stability. Schools will receive funding aligned to their student enrollment and level of need. Schools will also receive additional funds to support students with greater needs.   

Next Steps on School Budgets  

School principals and their Local School Advisory Teams (LSATs) will now build a FY24 budget that covers required positions and make recommendations on flexible spending areas. This month, LSATs will continue their work to guide key budget decisions based on school-level priorities. Then, school principals will submit their school budget to DCPS central office by March 1, so Mayor Bowser’s entire District budget can go to the DC Council for approval this spring.  

As we prepare for the next school year with this important step in our budgeting process, I want to reflect on the hard work, dedication and creativity that is on display every day in our schools. Thank you again for all you do.   


Lewis D. Ferebee, Ed.D.   


FY24 Budget Guide Updates

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 2023 (FY23) to Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24).

At-risk Funding

In FY23, eligible schools received regular at-risk and over-age at-risk funds through the UPSFF and at-risk concentration funds through the DCPS student-based funding portion of the updated school budget model. In Spring 2022, the DC council allocated additional at-risk concentration funds to eligible DCPS schools to support schools with higher percentages of students considered at-risk. These funds were added to the FY23 budget totals after budgets were submitted by school principals.

In FY24, eligible schools will receive the additional at-risk concentration added by Council as an allocation through the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula (UPSFF) as part of initial school budget allocations. Through this provision, schools with 40% of students designated at-risk receive $652 per student for each student over the 40% threshold. Schools with greater than 70% at-risk students receive an additional $652 per student for each student over the 70% threshold. This per pupil amount is 5% of the UPSFF base amount.

Eligible schools will also continue to receive at-risk concentration funds through the DCPS student-based funding portion of the updated school budget model.  Through the DCPS at-risk concentration funds schools will receive $1,295 per student.

Mayor’s Recovery Funding (Implementation Year 2)

Many schools received additional one-time funding in FY23 known as Hold Harmless Funds and Mayor’s Recovery Funds. These funds provided stability to schools that were experiencing a significant decrease in budget or loss of purchasing power after being stabilized to their FY22 submitted budgets.

Stability is one of the key pillars of the DCPS School Funding Model. Therefore, DCPS will allocate Mayor’s Recovery Funds that will stabilize schools to 95% of schools’ FY23 submitted budgets inclusive of local one-time funds received by the school.

For example, if a school’s FY23 Updated Budget Model total was $5,000,000, but the FY23 submitted budget total including one-time funds was $5,500,000, then this school would be stabilized to 95% of the $5,500,000 level, not the $5,000,000 level. Thus, this school would receive $225,000 in Mayor’s Recovery Funding in FY 24, bringing their FY24 initial allocation to $5,225,000, which is 95% of $5,500,000.

Budget Assistance

DCPS is re-establishing the Budget Assistance process for FY24 and will make available a limited amount of funds for school leaders who identify extenuating circumstances that are unmet by their initial school budget allocation. Budget assistance allocations are one-time, single-year allocations and will not be carried forward into the following budget year.

Principals should work with their superintendents to complete the FY24 Budget Assistance Form.

Start of FY24 P-Card Load (Window 1) as Part of Budget Submission

As part of the FY24 school budget submission, principals will be required to indicate the amount of a non-personnel budget line they want loaded to the P-Card to ensure expedient loading of P-Cards at the start of the fiscal year on October 1, 2023. This will replace the “Window 1” start of year load that typically occurs in November/December and means schools will have earlier access and ability to spend funds loaded to the P-Card.

Since these funds are part of an October 1, 2023 load, they will not be eligible to be advanced nor reprogrammed over the summer. Principals are strongly encouraged to think through how much of a non-personnel line they wish to advance as part of this P-Card start of fiscal year load since anything loaded to the P-Card as part of a school’s budget submission will not be available to advance.

Updated CSO and WTU Contracts

The updated CSO and WTU contracts require that the respective members of these collective bargaining agreements be paid higher administrative premiums and additional compensation rates. Schools are not required to budget for the additional rates but should carefully consider the number of hours needed in admin premium and budget at that level, applying the old rate. DCPS will set aside funding centrally to cover the higher rates that resulted from the updated collective bargaining agreements.

Mitigating the Impact of Inflation

For FY24, DCPS increased the base amount of the “Custodial Supply” and “Total NPS allocation” lines to all schools by 7.5%. For the NPS allocation, this was applied as a 7.5% increase at the established per-pupil amount, based on inflationary trends this school year. The Custodial Supply allocation is a level 2 flexibility and the Total NPS allocation is a level 3 – fully flexible allocation.  Please note that the Total NPS allocation reflected on initial school allocations is the remaining amount after the library MOU contribution for public library services and identified administrative premium and overtime amounts are pre-budgeted.

Urban Teaching and Relay Resident Protocol

Schools must reach out to the teacher pipeline team at teach.dcps@k12.dc.gov prior to budgeting for a resident to confirm availability of a resident. For FY24, the two positions are also the same average cost, which should alleviate the budgeting ramifications should a school need to reprogram the position. As the responsibilities of Urban Teacher Residents differ from traditional educational aides, those positions have been reclassified to a higher grade to reflect their increased responsibilities; however, these positions will not cost more on schools’ budgets.

Virtual Twilight Programming

In FY24, schools with Twilight programming are receiving fewer grant dollars for their Twilight programming as there will be a centrally run virtual twilight academy that supports students across all schools.

Back To Budget Guide Homepage

Page sections