(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced an additional $22 million to support COVID-19 mitigation efforts in DC Public Schools (DCPS). The funding will allow DCPS to strengthen its layered mitigation strategy over the school year and hire an additional staff person for every school to support COVID-19 response operations. The District will also make available over $17 million to further support COVID-19 response at public charter LEAs, including providing funding sufficient for an additional staff person for every charter school, floating supervisory nurses, and stipends for school-based staff supporting the COVID-19 response.
“We know that the best place for our students to learn and thrive is in the classroom, which is why we’ve made significant investments in safely opening all of our schools,” said Mayor Bowser. “After a strong reopening, we are focused on supporting our school communities as they continue to implement robust mitigation strategies. In addition to these critical investments, we need every eligible resident to get vaccinated to protect themselves, our students, and our families.”
DCPS will also double the size of its COVID-19 response team. The funding builds on the Mayor’s significant investment of more than $300 million for COVID-19 recovery and health and safety operations in DCPS schools. In addition to positions supporting the COVID-19 mitigation efforts, funding will also be allocated to expand the substitute teacher pool.
“We appreciate the tireless work of our students and staff to learn new routines and take the necessary steps to keep each other safe,” said Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee. “This additional funding will allow us to enhance critical operations throughout the school year and provides critical support directly to our school staff.”
DCPS has a robust mitigation strategy based on three key areas: prevent, screen and inform. DCPS is focused on preventing the spread of COVID-19 with universal masking, physical distancing, enhanced air filtration and cleaning, and a robust campaign for our community to get the COVID-19 vaccine alongside a vaccination requirement for staff. DCPS screens for COVID-19 symptoms with daily health assessments for students and staff, and conducts regular asymptomatic testing for students. DCPS is also committed to keeping families informed if there is a COVID-19 case within their school.