DC Action Statement on Passage of FY25 Budget

Press Statement
For Immediate Release: June 12th, 2024

WASHINGTON, DC June 12, 2024—Today, the DC Council voted to approve a budget for FY25 that is in much better shape than the proposal they received from Mayor Bowser.  After the public outcry in response to Bowser’s proposed cuts and elimination of critical programs for children, youth, and families, we appreciate the DC Council for listening to educators, youth, and other residents–during numerous hearings, town halls, rallies, and community office hours–about the critical unmet needs in early education, out-of-school time, and home visiting. While the Council’s willingness to protect and restore funds for these important programs is appreciated, the necessary work is not finished. For example, this budget does not meet the increasing costs of organizations providing services to youth experiencing homelessness or provide additional mental health services that young people need and have clearly asked for.

“We sincerely thank Chairman Mendelson and the DC Council for greatly improving this budget from what the mayor originally proposed, but much more must be done for the District to become a place that genuinely meets the needs of children and families of color,” said DC Action Executive Director Kimberly Perry. “When we develop the budget priorities we present to lawmakers, it is with the vision of a better future for all of our children and youth, and always through a racial equity lens. We seek transformation. This budget offers band-aids. Yes, we are glad that many essential programs are funded, but year after year, funding is fractured and unpredictable. We still need a long-term, holistic, viable plan for children, youth, and families in the District. No one in our government is proposing one. Health, education, public safety, housing stability, financial well-being, and employment are all inextricably related. Collectively, we must look at the big picture to understand and address how our budgeting will effectively combat racial discrimination and poverty, and craft a plan to accomplish those goals.”

The FY25 budget includes: 

  • $27 million for out-of-school-time (OST) programs, which includes an increase of $13.5 million in local funding to replace federal funds. However, there remains a $3 million gap in the DCPS budget to cover afterschool security costs.
  • $70 million for the Early Educator Pay Equity Fund, instead of the $87 million needed. This means early educators will likely receive pay cuts and there will be a waitlist for new enrollment in HealthCare4ChildCare. 
  • $3 million for home visiting programs in FY25 and $4.5 million across the financial plan to implement the Home Visiting Services Reimbursement Act of 2023 for nurse-home visiting programs.
  • Flat funding for youth homelessness providers, and zero dollars allocated for increases to youth homelessness provider contracts to account for inflation and the rising number of youth experiencing homelessness who need services, zero dollars allocated for mobile mental health care for young people experiencing homelessness, and zero dollars allocated for a comprehensive plan to end youth homelessness. No additional investment in youth homelessness services has been made despite a 50% increase in youth homelessness since 2017. 
  • Steady funding for Medicaid, DC Healthy Families, the Alliance, and the Immigrant Children’s Program which all provide critical health insurance and services for children, youth and families.
  • Zero dollars to fund the Nonprofit Fair Compensation Act, passed in 2021 to guarantee that nonprofit organizations receiving contracts and grants are fully paid for their overhead and indirect costs. 

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About DC Action

DC Action is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization making the District of Columbia a place where all kids grow up safe, resilient, powerful and heard. DC Action uses research, data, and a racial equity lens to break down barriers that stand in the way of all kids reaching their full potential. Our collaborative advocacy campaigns bring the power of young people and all residents to raise their voices to create change.