Funded: State Policy Analysis

A Detailed Look at Each State's Funding Policies

Below, see summaries of the state’s education funding policy in each issue area. Click the Expand icon next to any summary to see more detail, if available, about that state’s policy regarding that issue area. Click the Citation icon
next to any summary to see the sources of the information regarding that issue area.
District of Columbia
Funding Basics
Formula Type

The District of Columbia has a primarily student-based funding formula. It assigns a cost to the education of a student with no special needs or services, called a base amount. It then accounts for the additional cost of educating specific categories of students by applying multipliers to that amount to generate supplemental funding for those students.

The categories of students generating supplemental funding in the District of Columbia are students in certain grade levels, English-language learners, low-income students, homeless and foster youth, and students with disabilities. Services for students enrolled in career and technical education programs are funded through program-specific allocations.

References:
CTE Certification Program,” Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 2018, accessed June 18, 2020,
“DC Career Academy Network (DC CAN) Continuation Application,” Office of the State Superintendent of Education, Division of Postsecondary Career and Education, June 18, 2018, accessed June 18, 2020,
Office of the State Superintendent of Education, OSSE USPFF Policy Document, (Washington, DC: Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 2019),
Base Amount

The District of Columbia has a fixed base funding amount per student. For FY2020, the per-student base amount was $10,980.

This means that an average student with no special needs or disadvantages would be funded at that level.

References:
D.C. Code § 38-2903
Local Revenue
Expected Local Share

The District of Columbia comprises a single taxing jurisdiction. Education revenue is collected by the District of Columbia and appropriated to District of Columbia Public Schools for distribution to individual schools.

References:
Property Tax Floors and Ceilings

The District of Columbia comprises a single ta¬xing jurisdiction. District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) cannot independently levy any taxes, including property taxes. Education revenue is collected by the District of Columbia and appropriated to DCPS for distribution to individual schools.

References:
D.C. Code § 38-171 and 38-173
Other Local Taxes for Education

The District of Columbia comprises a single taxing jurisdiction. District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) cannot independently levy any taxes, including property taxes. Education revenue is collected by the District of Columbia and appropriated to DCPS for distribution to individual schools.

References:
D.C. Code § 38-171 and 38-173
Student Characteristics
Grade Level

The District of Columbia provides different levels of funding for students in different grade levels. It does so by applying multipliers to the base per-pupil amount for students in three different grade spans.

For FY2020, the base amount was multiplied by 1.3 for students in kindergarten; by 1.08 in grades 6-8; and by 1.22 for students in grades 9-12. Students in grades 1-5 were funded at the base amount.

In FY2020, the state also applied two additional weights for prekindergarten students: 1.33 for three-year-old students and 1.3 for four-year-old students.

References:
D.C. Code § 38-2904
English-Language Learner

The District of Columbia provides increased funding for English-language learners (ELLs). It does so by applying a multiplier to the base per-pupil amount for these students. In FY2020, this multiplier was 1.49.

Students are eligible to receive this supplemental funding if they are identified as ELLs through a process involving a home language survey an approved screening assessment. The District also provides additional weighted funding, equal to 0.668 times the base amount in FY2020, to support the after-hours needs of ELLs in residential schools.

References:
D.C. Code § 38-2905(c)
Office of the State Superintendent of Education, Delivering Services to English Learners, (Washington, DC: Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 2020),
Office of the State Superintendent of Education, OSSE USPFF Policy Document, (Washington, DC: Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 2019),
Poverty

The District of Columbia provides increased funding for students from low-income households. It does so by applying a multiplier to the base per-pupil amount for these students. In FY2020, this multiplier was 1.225.

Students are eligible for this supplemental funding if they qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and/or are homeless, are in foster care, or are high school students at least one year older than the expected age for their grade level.

References:
D.C. Code § 38-2905(c)
Office of the State Superintendent of Education, OSSE USPFF Policy Document, (Washington, DC: Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 2019),
Special Education

The District of Columbia funds special education using a multiple student weights system, providing different levels of funding for different categories of students. Students are assigned to four different categories based on the amount of specialized services they require.

Students are assigned to one of four support levels, ranging from students receiving less than 8 hours per school week of specialized services to those receiving more than 24 hours per week of specialized services. Different multipliers are applied to the per-student base amount for students at the different levels. In FY2020, these multipliers ranged from 1.97 to 4.49. A separate multiplier of 1.17 was applied to the base amount for students enrolled in designated special education schools.

The District also provides weighted funding for special-education students in extended year programs and residential schools, with multipliers differentiated based on students’ support levels. Additional weighted funding is provided for all students with disabilities to support special education compliance efforts and attorney’s fees. Local Education Agencies that opt out of receiving federal grants under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act are not eligible to receive any weighted state funding for students with disabilities. Separate from the weighted formula calculation, funding is provided for the transportation of students with disabilities.

References:
D.C. Code § 38-2901(11B, 11D)
D.C. Code § 38-2904
D.C. Code § 38-2905
D.C. Code § 38-2907
 Office of the State Superintendent of Education, OSSE USPFF Policy Document, (Washington, DC: Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 2019),
Gifted

The District of Columbia does not provide increased funding for gifted and talented students.

Career and Technical Education

The District of Columbia provides increased funding for Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. It does so through two grant programs.

The District provides funding for new and continuing career academies through the DC Career Academy Network (DC CAN) program, and for students’ CTE certification exam fees through the CTE Certification Program. In FY2020, the District provided $180,000 for a new career academy, $900,000 for existing career academies, and $138,000 for certification exam fees.

References:
“CTE Certification Program,” Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 2018, accessed June 18, 2020,
“DC Career Academy Network (DC CAN) Notice of Funding Availability,” Office of the State Superintendent of Education, June 1, 2018, accessed June 18, 2020,
Division of Postsecondary Career and Education, DC Career Academy Network (DC CAN) Continuation Application (Washington, DC: Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 2018),
Personal communication, Simone García, Director of Career Education Development, Division of Postsecondary & Career Education, Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), April 12, 2020
District Characteristics
Concentrated Poverty

The District of Columbia does not provide increased funding for schools based on the concentrations of students from low-income households that they serve. However, the District does provide funding for individual students from low-income households. For more information, see “Poverty.”

Sparsity and/or Small Size

The District of Columbia does not provide increased funding for sparse areas or small schools.

Charter Funding

Funding for charter schools in the District of Columbia is calculated based on a formula similar to the one used to calculate funding for traditional public schools.

Like traditional public schools, charter schools are funded through a student-based funding formula that considers the characteristics of students they educate. This includes any additional funding generated by students in special programs and need categories. They receive funding directly from the government of the District of Columbia.

References:
Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 2019-20 USPFF Payment Letter, (Washington, DC: Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 2019),
Office of the State Superintendent of Education, OSSE USPFF Policy Document, (Washington, DC: Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 2019),

Click here to visit our charter funding site for more details.