Special Report

District of Columbia

January 04, 2005 1 min read

The District of Columbia allocates money to its schools through the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula, a foundation formula. The same formula finances charter schools. Dollars are allocated for each student, with a per-pupil base cost of $6,904 in fiscal 2005. That figure is then weighted to provide additional support for different grade levels, alternative education, special education, English-language learners, summer school, and adult education. Since the nation’s capital is a single school district, it does not have such state policies as a required local effort. The local government makes appropriations separate from the foundation formula for categorical programs. Those programs support transportation for special education students, tuition payments for private placements for such students, and other state education agency functions that are not financed through the foundation formula. Washington’s mayor and the District of Columbia Council must review the foundation formula every four years, with input from the city’s regular and charter public schools. As part of that review, the local leaders must study the actual costs of providing education in the district.