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DC Board of Education Press Release on
Mayor’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2002 Budget for Schools
March 13, 2001




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Mayor’s proposed FY2002 budget on Mayor’s web site Mayor’s proposed FY2002 budget transmittal and summary
Parents United for the DC Public Schools testimony on school budget, March 15, 2001


825 North Capitol Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 442-4289 Office (202) 442-5l98 Fax

For Immediate Release March 13, 2001
Contact: Elena Temple (202) 442-4289

Washington, D.C. - The District of Columbia Board of Education announced today that the District of Columbia Public Schools' budget will be submitted directly to the DC City Council for consideration. Typically, the Mayor submits a combined budget to the Council, which reflects a consensus between the Board, Superintendent and the Mayor's office.

The school system's budget supports $61 million in technical adjustments and initiatives identified by Dr. Vance and the Board as critical to funding the basics of a successful school system. However, the Mayor's budget provides only $658 million, a $17 million increase (2.7%) over DCPS' FY 2001 Budget, a percentage increase lower than the rate of inflation (3.1%).

The school system's budget directs funds towards small class sizes in the early grades, provides provisions for basic supplies and books, helps to make teachers' salaries competitive and supports high-quality professional development for teachers. The budget also targets funds towards creating significant changes in key areas: increasing equipment for technology, science and music classrooms; expanding high quality learning opportunities for all students through expanding "marque programs".

"We have a mandate for change in this city and that mandate cost money," said Board President, Peggy Cooper Cafritz. "We have to stop saying education is important unless we are willing to make the financial commitment necessary to do the real work," she continued.

Board Vice President, William Lockridge described Mayor Williams' reliance upon reserve funding to supplement education expenses as shaky at best. "We need to build the confidence of parents in this Board; and parents want to see tangible changes sooner rather than later. Our children cannot afford to wait on reserve funds that may never materialize," he said.

"This Board recognizes the fiscal state of the District and the Mayor's desire to be conservative. The District has made great strides in many other areas -- lowering the crime rate, improving road quality, and overall effectiveness -- now it is time to put our emphasis on improving schools for our children" said Board Member, Julie Mikuta. "We know that educating our children requires additional funding and we are confident that the Superintendent will spend the funds wisely. It is the Board's charge to put into place accountability measures and ensure that our students benefit greatly from these programs." she concluded.

A comparison of budget numbers in the Mayor's and the Board of Education's press releases.

The District of Columbia Public School's FY2001 budget is $641,388,000. $12 million of this money was "held-back" in reserve. The District needed to achieve a budget surplus before reserve funds were released. The District has achieved the required budget surplus and DCPS is now operating with its full allotment of $64l,388,000. The Mayor's FY 2002 budget provides an increase of $17,236,000 over DCPS' full FY200l budget. This is an increase of 2.6% (lower than the CPA of 3.1%).

Mayors Press Release

FY 2001 DCPS Budget (does not include reserve funds) $ 629,309,000
Mayor's FY 2002 Proposed budget $658,624,000
Increase $ 29,315,000
Percent Increase 4.66%

Board of Education Press Release

FY 2001 DCPS Budget (includes $12 million reserve) $ 641,388,000
Mayors FY 2002 Proposed Budget $ 658,624,000
Increase $ 17,236,000
Percent Increase 2.69%

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