Welcome and Introduction

Chancellor’s Letter

Dear DCPS Staff, 

Today, Mayor Bowser announced DC’s public school local funding allocation for Fiscal Year 2023, the fiscal year that covers the upcoming 2022-2023 School Year. DCPS is proud to be a national leader in the amount of funds that go to support each student, and the Mayor’s investment continues the trend that has powered DCPS to be the fastest progressing urban school district in the country. 

This investment reflects the critical work that each of you does in supporting our students on the pathway to success. You can now go to dcpsbudget.com to see your school’s initial budget allocation for next year. There, you can also explore the FY23 DCPS Budget Pocket Guide, a mobile-friendly resource to learn more about how school budgets are developed.  

The Mayor announced that the new budget will ensure that no DCPS school receives less than their budget submitted by the Mayor to the Council last year. Additionally, a new Recovery Fund has been created to help provide stability to DCPS and charter schools during the pandemic. In a time when we know that our students need more, the Mayor’s Recovery Funds will provide additional funding to ensure schools can maximize their buying power for FY23. 

How Funding is Allocated to Schools  

This year, individual school budgets were determined using DCPS’ updated model for allocating funding per school. With school and community input, DCPS reviewed our budgeting process and made adjustments that reflect our commitment to a model that is transparent, ensures equity, and provides financial sustainability. 

The updated 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 Team (LSAT) will now build a FY23 budget that covers required positions and make recommendations on flexible spending areas. Over the next few weeks, your school’s LSAT 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, so the Mayor’s entire district budget can go to the DC Council for approval this Spring. 

LSAT meetings are open to anyone interested in attending in an observer capacity. Contact your school principal or LSAT chairperson to learn about upcoming meetings at your school. 

As we begin to prepare for the next school year with this first step in our budget 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.  



FY23 Budget Guide Updates

In FY23, DCPS has an updated funding model. This section provides a high-level overview of what has changed in the budget development guide from Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) to Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23). It will include some, but not all, of the model updates.


DCPS is allocating 90% of all at-risk funding received to schools through a program grant in the form of a per-pupil allocation. This allocation can be found on the initial allocation worksheet “At-Risk UPSFF” as a flexible allocation.

Dual Language

In FY23, dual language schools are receiving a program grant allocation based on dual language programming type, program size, and student make-up. This allocation is a level 2 and should be used to support dual language programming at the school. Based on the allocation amount, schools can budget for personnel or non-personnel items.

One-Time FY23 Stability Funding

To provide additional stability during the pandemic, some schools will also receive local, one-time funds called Hold Harmless Funds and Mayor’s Recovery funds ensuring that no school receives less than their initial allocation last year and schools have buying power for similar levels of staff and programming from FY22.

Safe & Positive Schools Allocation

Schools that were approved and received the Safe & Positive Schools security re-allocation in FY22 will receive the same Safe & Positive dollar amount as a program grant allocation in FY23. Schools are required to apply this funding in support of a safe and positive school environment.


Security funds are not part of the FY23 total budget allocation. The funds will be held centrally and are not part of the school’s stabilization calculation in FY23. Security funding is excluded from both FY22 and FY23 budget totals on the initial budget allocation worksheet.

Student Based Budgeting (SBB) Funds

The SBB component of the updated budget model provides dollars via a per pupil dollar amount based on student enrollment and demographics. To learn more about Student-Based Funds, review information on the “How Schools Are Funded” tab on the website.

Updated Flexibility Levels

The Updated Budget Model allowed an opportunity to align allocation flexibility levels to be more specific and transparent to community and school leaders. In FY23, several items are now Level 2 that were Level 1 in FY22. This reflects a “within program flexibility” of these allocations that was also present in FY22. Changes from Level 1 to Level 2 alone do not represent a change in an allocation’s requirements. Level 1 allocations on the other hand, are fully locked and cannot be shifted even within the program. See the updated definitions below:

  • Level 1: Required – Locked – These allocations are unable to be changed. This means that even a within program, change cannot occur. This may be determined by fund source requirements and allowability, such as grants and MOUs, legal requirements, and other core operational considerations.
  • Level 2: Required – Rarely flexible – Any shift in the allocation will maintain the intended purpose of the original allocation. Principals must demonstrate how they will meet related programmatic requirements.
  • Level 3: Flexible – These allocations are provided to schools to budget for staff and programming.

Changes in Levels from FY22 to FY23:

From L1 to L2 (reflecting the change in flexibility definitions)

  • Teacher – CTE
  • Teacher & Aide – English Learner
  • Teacher – Inclusion Resource
  • Coordinator – BCBA
  • Aide – Special Education
  • Behavior Tech
  • Teacher, Paraprofessional, Site Leader – Afterschool
  • Teacher & Aide – Early Childhood Education
  • Credit Recovery Funding – Opportunity Academies
  • Psychologist
  • Social Worker

From L2 to L1:

  • School Librarian

No Longer Allocated (Schools budget for these programs from using discretionary dollars)

  • General Education & Related Arts Teachers
  • Kindergarten Aides
  • Assistant Principals
  • Instructional Coaches
  • Pathways Coordinator
  • Bilingual Counselor (some pre-budgeted using EL weight funds at schools with more than 100 EL students projected)
  • Teacher – Schoolwide Enrichment Model
  • Athletics Coordinator
  • Attendance Counselor

Changes to Scheduling Requirements

World Language at Middle Schools: All middle schools are required to have world language programming, but not all middle school students are required to take world language as part of their class schedule.

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