D.C. public and public charter schools get an additional $86 million in the FY 2013 budget proposed by Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Friday, much of it to cover projected enrollment increases. That includes a 2 percent increase in the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula, raising the basic allocation from $8,945 to $9,124. There is also $40 million — savings from rollbacks in private special education tuition — to be reinvested in expanding the capacity of neighborhood schools to support disabled kids. The charter school facility allotment stays unchanged at $3,000 per student.
The capital budget provides for two new middle schools in Ward 5 — per the plan worked out with the community — and modernizations for all existing middle schools, a priority of D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown.
One of the more striking line items on the operating side is for private grant funds. They averaged about $21 million between 2010 and 2012, as the Broad, Arnold, Walton and Robertson foundations supported the labor contract negotiated by former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, one that eliminated seniority preferences and established big performance bonuses under IMPACT.
But the Rhee Effect is there in bold relief on Page D-2. With Rhee gone and the three-year foundation commitment up, private largess is considerably more scarce. Grant funds are projected at just $3.8 million for FY 2013, an 82 percent drop. Officials have announced that the cost of the IMPACT bonuses has been passed on to the individual schools.
The city has scheduled a series of community briefings to explain the budget and answer questions:
WARD 8: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Monday, April 2, Savoy Elementary/Thurgood Marshall Gymnasium
WARD 3: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 4, Alice Deal Middle School.
WARD 5: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 10, McKinley Tech High School
WARD 7: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 17, Deanwood Recreation Center.
WARD 2: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Thursday, April 19, Historic Charles Sumner School and Archives
WARD 4: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Monday, April 23, Brightwood Elementary School.
WARD 6: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 25, Eastern Senior High School.
WARD 1: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Monday, April 30, Bell Multicultural High School.