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Mayor Bowser Announces Additional COVID-19 Recovery Investments for DC Public Schools

Thursday, April 29, 2021
$14 million in American Rescue Plan Act’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds Will Ensure All School Budgets Remain Fully Funded for FY22

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced an additional $14 million in recovery funding for DC Public Schools’(DCPS) school budgets for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22), the fiscal year that covers the upcoming 2021-2022 School Year. These additional recovery funds, supported through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund, will ensure that no DCPS school will experience a reduction in their FY22 budget, and that all schools will have a FY22 budget that at least matches FY21 funding levels.

“The safe reopening of our schools for all students, every day is a critical step on our community’s road to healing and recovery. With planning underway for next school year, we are committed to using every resource available to support our students, educators, and school communities to ensure they have the resources necessary for a full recovery and safe reopening,” said Mayor Bowser. “We thank President Biden and congressional leaders for making the investments necessary to safely reopen schools so that we can better support the academic, social, and emotional well-being of our students.”

“DCPS is committed to securing a strong foundation for our road to recovery, even as student enrollment – a primary driver of a school’s funding – decreased this school year,” said DCPS Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee. “These additional investments will hold schools harmless from the impact of year-over-year enrollment shifts and fulfill all outstanding budget assistance requests from school communities. This is directly aligned to our collective commitment to welcome all students to in-person learning with their teachers and classmates every day next school year.”

School leaders will consult with Local School Advisory Teams (LSATs) to confirm how best to use these flexible funds as schools prepare to welcome back all students and staff to in-person learning in the fall. These funds are being allocated to schools where need has already been identified through the FY22 budget planning process.

In February, DCPS announced a $15 million local fund increase to DCPS school budgets compared to last year as part of the Mayor’s commitment to current and future students. DCPS’ FY22 budget also targets federal stimulus dollars to fund district-wide initiatives that address the academic and social emotional learning impacts of COVID-19. This includes $33 million in student learning acceleration and social emotional supports that will begin this summer, and $27 million in student and educator technology, including a device for every educator. The Mayor’s budget also has $10 million in sustained supports and core services for schools, students, and families, plus $9 million to initiate in-person learning innovations, such as outdoor learning.

ARP ESSER federal relief funds for states and school districts are designed to help schools safely reopen, sustain the safe operation of in-person learning, and address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students. More funding will be made available through the ARP ESSER Fund to DCPS beyond this initial $14 million allocation. An overview of how DCPS uses federal stimulus funds received since March 2020 to support COVID-19 recovery is available at this link.

Visit dcpsbudget.com to view FY22 allocations for every school and swipe through the updated DCPS Pocket Budget Guide, as well as learn about the school budget process and how schools are funded through the Comprehensive Staffing Model (CSM).