Letter from Chancellor Wilson – Budget Season

Posted on: November 29th, 2017 by Leslie Pace

FY19 Budget Season is Here

Dear Principals,

I want to thank you for such a strong first term in School Year 2017-2018. I see all of you working tirelessly to ensure the best year possible for our students, and I am grateful for your efforts as well as the efforts of your educators, staff, and school communities. I say this often but I’ll say it again: In DCPS, all means all, which means it takes every single one of us to ensure that every young person in our schools is getting everything she needs to be successful. It also means that we must be thoughtful when planning our school budgets.

First, as we dive into budgeting for Fiscal Year 2019, I want to make sure we are setting clear expectations for our district and our schools. Before we can begin talking about budgets, we have to know our goals, which each of you has already outlined in your school’s Comprehensive School Plan (CSP). I encourage you and your designated school staff to review these goals so that you can keep them at top of mind as budget season goes into full swing. Invest more in what’s proving to get results, stop investing in things that are not.

Second, since creating a budget is just one piece of realizing your vision for your school, I want you to reflect on your school’s CSP and ask yourself the tough but important questions: Will this plan help us reach our goals? Does this plan reflect what my students need? What will this plan require? What will I need in my budget to ensure success for every student?

Third, I want you to engage with your school’s stakeholders. That obviously includes your Local School Advisory Team (LSAT), but it also includes your school’s staff and your broader school community. Make sure your stakeholders feel welcome to participate on the LSAT, and be sure to communicate with these stakeholders regularly to help them understand how you will use your resources to help the students in your school reach success. Encourage your LSAT to join you at the Monthly Community Forums to discuss the budget in December and January. Solicit their ideas as you narrow in on your priorities.

I know that this process can seem overwhelming at times, which is why you will be receiving more information this year throughout budget season. For now, the DCPS Data Center has lots of information about the DCPS budget (including each school’s FY18 initial allocation and submitted budget, as well as previous years) and Comprehensive Staffing Models for each school type. For those new to the budgeting process, the whole FY18 Budget Guide is also available online, including program requirements, position costs, and more.

We look forward to sharing more with you throughout this process, and I thank you in advance for your time and dedication to ensuring all our students have what they need for success.

Antwan Wilson