Wednesday, April 03, 2013

A Quick Re-Cap and Our First Take on the FY'14 Budget

As many of you heard at our Member Summit last week, one year ago I officially stepped into the role of Executive Director at DCAYA; and if memory serves correctly; one of the first emails I sent out was a thank you for the warm welcome and a breakdown of the proposed 2013 budget. It seems only fitting to celebrate my one year anniversary in similar style, so here we go:

To all of our members, funders, board members and concerned community members that came to our Member Summit last week, THANK YOU! We deeply value the commitment of over 130 youth serving organizations that rally each and every year to provide the input, feedback and recommendations that fuel our policy and budget advocacy. This year's Member Summit was a great reminder of the power that the commitment and collective voice of so many individuals and organizations can bring, but also of the intense need to harness that power and voice as we begin the FY'14 budget season and as we seek to make the District of Columbia a youth-friendly city.

I would also like to thank outgoing Board Chair Lori Kaplan from the Latin American Youth Center for her years of service to DCAYA as well as Council Members David Catania and David Grosso, WAMU's Kavitha Cardoza and our keynote speaker LucretiaMurphy of the See Forever Foundation/Maya Angelou schools for their contributions to the event. We have a full re-cap of what went on at the Summitup on our website and I encourage those who weren't able to join us to read up on what you missed. But, it’s that time of year and we have to get onto the budget...

As you may have already heard, Mayor Gray’s FY’14 budget includes investments in many long term projects including public school modernization, a rehabilitation of the MLK library and a citywide expansion of affordable housing. At the same time, as DCAYA crunched the numbers, you’ll note there are still areas where the actual investment remains unclear and there are still significant opportunities to repurpose funding to better serve youth. This brief breakdown on the numbers is just the first step of Budget Advocacy. In the week to come, we’ll be circulating talking points and recruiting organizations, parents and youth to participate in council sit downs and budget hearings; so please keep an eye out and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

DC Public Schools
As always, the DCPS budget is a little hard to understand, but our first take on it is here:

Under “Instructional Programs” Alternative Education is set to take a $5,962,000 hit, which zeros out that line item. Vocational Education is set to experience a $6,000,000 bump, however, which about evens out. Evening Credit Recovery is set to get an infusion of about $375,000.
Afterschool Programs are set to take a $268,000 decrease, however the Extended Day Program is set to experience a $2,680,000 increase. Summer School is set to experience a meager increase of about $223,000 with Library and Media Services experiencing a similar increase of about $328,000. The Proving What’s Possible Program line item will experience and increase of $733,00, however that increase is over the “Approved FY’13” number of zero which given what we know about the sheer size of the Proving What’s Possible program seems a little strange.

Under “Instructional Support Services”, Professional Development Programs is set to take about a $900,000 hit and Parental Engagement is set to get a $237,000 bump after getting zeroed out last year.

Under “Student Support Services” The general Student Support Services is supposed to take a $286,000 cut along with a cut to School Social and Psychological Services of $92,000. School Health Services is set to receive an increase of $1,353,000, however, Youth Engagement will experience a cut of $733,000. Parent Resource Centers will experience a cut of $1,492,000 and Student Attendance will be cut $514,000. The Family and Community Engagement budget is set to experience an increase of $1,230,000.

Department of Employment Services
The DOES budget is found inside the Economic Development cluster of the Mayor’s budget. The Office of Youth Programs within DOES has four line items in the budget:

Youth Programs Information which is set to experience a cut of $73,000;

The Year-Round Youth Program which is inclusive of programs like the WIA Youth (in school and out of school), the Pathways for Young Adults (PYAP) and the high-school internship program which is set to experience an increase of $3,120,000 for a total of $11,861,000 in the Mayor’s budget;

The Summer Youth Employment Program which is set to experience an increase of $105,000 for a total of $11,476,000 in local fund provision and; The Mayor’s Youth Leadership Institute is set to experience an increase of $13,000 for a total of $775,000 in local support.

It’s important to remember though that youth and young adults over 18 are barely captured in the Office of Youth Programs budget. While many of the “adult” job training programs in the District are serving the 18-25 year old population, at this point it is impossible to parse out how much of those program’s budgets are being spent on this age group.

Office of the State Superintendent for Education
Adult and Family Education services is set to experience a cut of $734,000 which will put further strain on an already strained area. This part of OSSE funds adult basic education as well as family literacy programs and English language programs in the city.

Career and Technical Education is set to experience a cut of $334,000.
Higher Education Preparation is set to experience an increase of $343,000 in new funding.

These cuts are something we will be coming out hard against. Lastly, due to some recent legislation the funding for the State Board of Education will be coming out from under OSSE and into its own SBOE budget. The transfer amounts to about $590,000.

Department of Human Services
Mayor Gray’s 2014 budget does reflect a modest increase in direct services for low income, homeless or unstably housed residents (6,809,000 across the continuum). 1.5 million of this has been set aside to support homeless youth and young heads of household. Obviously, we’d like to see this allocation grow, and will be looking for areas where a funding allocation could increase this mark.

While the budget mark for CYITC has stayed at 3 million for this year, increasing funding to afterschool and summer programming remains on the Mayor’s short list of priorities for this year. We will still be working with council to grow this investment for FY14 by $2 million; it is important to note that the One City Fund (15 million to be competitively granted through the Community Foundation) represents a new funding stream that could support these types of services. As more information on this funding source is released we’ll keep you updated.

Commission On Arts and Humanities
While not a traditionally large funder of youth programs; the Commission on Arts and Humanities has been a facet of the youth development funding landscape. For FY2014, the Commissions’ youth programming will be reduced by $2,956,000. This is a significant reduction from FY13 which has substantially increased COA funding from FY11 from $195,8000-$5,043,000.

Department of Parks and Recreation
Funding to Seasonal Camps, Early Childhood, Middle Childhood and Teen Programming provided by DPR has increased a modest $266,000 with the biggest increase in funding allocated to early childhood programming (aged 3-5), and the most significant reduction made to seasonal camps.

DC Public Library
Children and young adult services and the Teens of Distinction program are set to experience at $113,000 cut. Literacy resources were cut an additional $77,000 however DCPL and in particular the MLK library are set to experience major renovations with funds in the capital budget.

So there you have it, our first run down of the the Mayor's Propose Budget. We'll be keeping you updated as we hear more information so be sure to check your emails from DCAYA as well as to check in on constantly curing budget season!

This post was written by DCAYA's Executive Director Maggie Riden.

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