September provokes thoughts of many different things, but here at the District’s Dime as the days count down to the end of the month our thoughts turn to anticipation of another revenue forecast from DC’s Chief Financial Officer. It comes out just four times a year, and depending on whether it goes up, goes down, or stays the same, our elected officials might have choices to make. If the District sees an uptick in revenue, DCFPI recommends the mayor and DC Council use a portion of these additional dollars to address resource issues highlighted in a soon-to-be-released study on public education funding.
The DC education adequacy study is examining how much the District spends on public education and whether or not the amount is sufficient to meet the needs of our students. The results of the year-long study are expected to be released by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education in the next month, and may make the case that the certain categories of students should get additional funding through the school funding formula due to greater levels of need.
The Council is currently considering legislation that aims to increase funding for low-income students. The bill adds new weights for these groups to the per-pupil-funding formula that is used to fund DCPS and each charter school. However, the bill doesn’t address how much weight to give each of these factors, which is an issue the adequacy study will help crystalize.
If the DC revenue forecast comes out with good news, there will be a lot of ideas about how to use the unanticipated funds. Improving DC public and public charter schools remains on top of our city’s agenda, and it should be high on the list for use of additional dollars. The impact could be felt for many Septembers.