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Mayor Bowser Announces 3.6% Increase to FY22 Universal Per Student Funding Formula, $386 Million in Federal Relief Funds for Schools

Thursday, April 8, 2021
Mayor Expects Public Schools to Open Five Days a Week This Fall

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser met with public school leaders and shared updates to the uniform per student funding formula (UPSFF) as well as her vision for the upcoming school year. The Mayor announced that her Fiscal Year 2022 budget proposal will include a 3.6% increase to the UPSFF foundation level, for a total of more than $2 billion to serve an estimated 98,528 students in DC’s traditional public schools and public charter schools. Additionally, the Mayor shared that in the fall of 2021, she expects all public schools in Washington, DC to fully open for in-person learning, five days a week, with all educators back in the classroom.

“We have stuck together through this pandemic – now, we need a strong citywide commitment to reopening this fall so that we can meet the social, emotional, and academic needs of all our students,” said Mayor Bowser. “We also know that funding is an essential part of recovery. The FY 22 UPSFF is a commitment to delivering the funding and resources schools need, with a focus on enhancing equity and supporting our most vulnerable students. We are proud to make this historic investment in our public schools as we work together to reopen and recover.”

Mayor Bowser shared her vision for the fall reopening with school leaders today so that school communities have as much time as possible to identify challenges and plan accordingly to make five days of in-person learning for every student a reality. In the weeks and months to come, the District will work with school communities to ensure they have staff, space, and other resources they need to safely accommodate all students. Schools will share robust plans with the city and their communities and have strong health protocols in place.

The UPSFF is the primary funding source for DC’s public schools and allocates funds to each student in DC based on their individual needs, regardless of the school they attend. The FY 22 funding formula includes several updates to better target additional funds for students that have consistently shown the greatest needs over time. Updates include:

  • Increase to at-risk weight from 0.2256 to 0.24, a $12 million net increase over FY21.
  • Creation of new supplemental at-risk weight for students who are over-age in high school, a $3 million investment for a student group that is furthest behind. This is supplemental funding on top of the existing at-risk weight, which over-age high school students will continue to receive.
  • Creation of a new weight for English Language Learner (ELL) students in secondary grades, at 0.75, a $11 million net increase in ELL funding over FY21. This reflects the finding of the 2020 UPSFF Study that gaps for ELL students in secondary grades are higher than gaps for ELL students in elementary grades.

In addition to this local investment, Mayor Bowser announced that the District will receive from the American Rescue Plan a third round of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds totaling over $386 million.

  • Of these funds, the Office of the State Superintendent Education (OSSE) will retain $38.6 million to administer a variety of provisions targeting the recovery and acceleration of learning as well as supporting students’ and families’ needs.
  • Preliminary allocations provided by (OSSE) indicate that DC Public Schools (DCPS) will receive approximately $191 million, and approximately over $156 million will be allocated to District Public Charter schools. The funds are allocated to each LEA based on a federal formula.