Vincent Gray announces $116 million in additional school funding for 2015

– In his state of the District address last night, Mayor Gray announced this his FY 2015 budget proposal will include an increase of over $100 million in school funding, to be divided between DCPS and public charter schools. (WaPo, 3/11)

The boost would allow the system to plow more money into [Chancellor Kaya] Henderson’s priorities: strengthening middle schools, bolstering literacy instruction at struggling elementary schools and improving students’ satisfaction with their schools, officials said.


Overall, officials said, they expect to spend an additional $17 million on middle schools. “We’re going to work to make sure that every middle-grades school . . . offers every student in every part of the city a full and enriching experience,” Henderson said.

The new investment also includes $77 million specifically to serve charter and traditional school students in a newly defined “at risk” category. “These additional funds represent the next phase of school reform in the District,” Gray said in prepared remarks.

“We must take another giant step forward to tackle the unacceptable achievement gap” between the city’s poor and affluent students, he added.

– With regard to that last point: D.C. school system’s gaping achievement gaps — in seven graphs (WaPo, 3/12)

– Part of that proposed $116 million would go to extending the school day by up to an hour at 40 low-performing D.C. public schools. (WAMU, 3/11)

Most DC schools aren’t serving special needs kids the way they’re supposed to (GGE, 3/12)

– Montgomery County public school officials seem to still be at a loss as to why so many high school students fail their math finals. (WaPo, 3/11)

HOMELESSNESS | The recent surge in family homelessness was another big topic in Gray’s address last night. During his speech, he announced a campaign called “500 families, 100 days” which will aim to place that many families in rapid rehousing or permanent supportive housing by reaching out to landlords. (CP, 3/11)

FOOD | Our upcoming Brightest Minds program with Michael Twitty is going to change the way you think about food. In today’s Daily, Tamara writes about Twitty’s message that connects food, culture, and history to community empowerment and social justice. (Daily, 3/12)

WRAG’s Brightest Minds programs are open to the public. We hope you’ll join us on April 1 at Busboys & Poets’ 14th & V location. More information and registration here.

PHILANTHROPY | A growing number of family foundations are fully spending down their endowments in order to effect major change during the current generation’s lifetime. (WSJ, 3/10 – subscription)

Related: Yesterday, we announced the 2014 Family Philanthropy Affinity Group luncheon series for trustees and staff of family foundations. The first event is coming up on April 29. More information here.

HEALTH | Say ‘Aaaaa’: Mobile dentist office takes care of kids one cleaning at a time (WTOP, 3/12)

CHILDREN & YOUTH | Study: Boys Report PTSD When Moved Out Of Poverty (NPR, 3/12)

ARTS | Backstage: Keegan faces real legal drama over zoning for its Dupont Circle building (WaPo, 3/12)

If you took about a minute to skim today’s edition of the (Almost) Daily WRAG, here’s what happened around the world in the course of that minute.

– Rebekah