DC Public School Fiscal Year 2025 Budget


This message was shared with DCPS families and staff on February 16, 2024.

Dear DC Public Schools (DCPS) Community,

Over the last few years, DCPS’ steadfast commitment to equity, excellence in instruction, and educating the whole child has driven thoughtful, strategic investments that have resulted in important progress, including improved graduation rates, enrollment growth, and strong highly effective teacher retention.

This week, schools received their initial budgets for Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25) which covers the 2024-2025 school year. These allocations come at an important juncture for DCPS, the District, and school systems across the country as we all navigate the conclusion of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds. This loss of federal funding, in combination with other economic factors, necessitates that districts nationwide examine their budgets with a critical eye looking for efficiencies where possible, and weighing programmatic and workforce reductions.

During the pandemic, one-time funding streams like ESSER and the Mayor’s Recovery Fund allowed DCPS to expand our workforce by 18% to support students’ needs and the district’s recovery. The same period saw student enrollment increase by only 2%. As we work toward rightsizing, DCPS will prioritize what makes us great—our people and our values.

As we also factor the historic contracts upheld across DCPS’ four unions that ensure our educators and staff are among the highest paid in the nation, schools and school communities will feel budget pressures as we absorb the higher cost of those salaries and benefits, which include inflationary increases. Here is how we are addressing the district’s new resource landscape:

  • Mayor Bowser has announced that the District will significantly increase the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula (UPSFF) by 12.4% to a per-student foundation of $14,668.
  • School leaders will have the autonomy to take lessons learned over the pandemic and prioritize directing resources based on their student and community needs.
  • No school will lose more than five percent of their submitted budget, inclusive of one-time local funds, from one year to the next. This safety net is in place regardless of shifts in enrollment.

DCPS will continue to utilize a budget model that allocates resources based on enrollment, targeted support, and year-over-year stability while recognizing that when there are less resources, it is more important than ever to double down on equity. Initial school allocations include the following:

  • An increase of $707 per pupil to the DCPS student base weight, which in turn provides more flexible funds to schools through the student-based targeted support weights.
  • $20.7 million dedicated towards supplemental federal Title I and Title II funds for continued financing in services and programs that improve student outcomes.
  • $6.9 million for our new five-year Strategic Plan: Capital Commitment 2023-2028 to help ensure students are succeeding academically, feel connected to their school, and are prepared for what’s next.

DCPS’ budget serves as a strategic tool to empower and support our students, educators, families, and communities to achieve the best outcomes. Click the image below to check out our pocket budget guide and visit dcpsbudget.com for a comprehensive budget overview, upcoming next steps, and deadlines. 

Thank you for your continued support.

In partnership,

Lewis D. Ferebee, Ed.D. 

Chancellor, DC Public Schools