If you've been paying any attention to DCAYA (or really District politics in general) for the last week or so, you are probably already well versed on the pros and cons of Mayor Gray's FY'12 Budget that dropped last Friday. Mayor Gray's Budget included a number features that came as somewhat of a surprise to Councilmembers and DC's advocate community alike, but also included a number of cuts to the human services and education clusters that unfortunately did not come as a surprise.
Key youth programs that will have substantially less funding in FY'12 than FY'11 include:
Education Cluster- DCPS
-DCPS Office of OST- 1 million in proposed cuts
-DCPS Summer School-9 million in proposed cuts
-DCPS Wrap-Around Services Provision-9.5 million in proposed cuts
-Office of Youth Engagement-3.7 million in proposed cuts
Youth Workforce Development (DOES)
-Year Round Programs for In- and Out-of School Youth faces a cut of $611,000 (federal funds)
-Summer Youth Employment Program took 4.1 million in proposed cuts
-The Homeless Services Continuum and Permanent Supportive Housing has a total proposed cut of $224,000
-Strong Families funding has a proposed cut of $353,000
Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation (CYTIC)
Has received a proposed cut of $1,000,000 from the FY’11 level of $4.6 million
General Proposed Human Service Cluster Cuts
-DHS Teen Pregnancy Services remains unfunded
-$500,000 cut from Office of Youth Empowerment
Human services programs only account for 26% of the locally funded budget, yet this cluster sustained a whopping 58% reduction via the proposed budget cuts. Youth programming and more specifically programming for vulnerable youth populations fared especially badly in this year's budget and these cuts come at a time when DC's children and youth need services and programs the most.
While there is still plenty of budget season left to advocate on behalf of sustained funding, now that the Mayor's Budget is out it will be up to the Council to ensure that the programs that mean the most to the city are the ones that remain intact. As we move forward, DCAYA will be keeping you up to date and informed on every opportunity for you and the children, youth and families you serve to have your voices heard.