for educational personnel, that budget covered all DCPS instructional and non-instructional costs, including facilities maintenance, legal services, and other functions now performed or subsidized by other city agencies.
“State-level services” such as special education tuition and transportation for whichcharter schools were not responsible were excepted and funded separately, but sinceFY 2009 are no longer in the DCPS budget. However, all functions for which charter schools are responsible have to be included in their budgets.
Public health and safety services, such as school nurses, police protection, socialservices and crossing guards, were never included in the DCPS budget or UPSFF.They are city-wide services delivered at schools because that is where the childrenare. The DC Code requires that they be provided on “an equal basis,” but the bases used by DOH, MPD, DMH, and DDOT are not yet sufficiently known to beevaluated.
The total amount of extra non-uniform local operating funds that DCPS receives and public charter schools do not ranges from $72-$127 million annually. Specific disparitiesarise from varying year-to-year circumstances, but they are persistent and large.
Funding for UPSFF functions provided only to DCPS via extra appropriations andcoverage of overspending ranges from $12 million to $72 million annually
Subsidies and free in-kind services, particularly facilities maintenance and legal costs, provided to DCPS for UPSFF functions by other city agencies totals $40 million to$60 million annually.
Non-uniform pupil counts in the UPSFF itself, notably the use of projected rather than actual enrollment to determine DCPS appropriations, results in $4 million to $45million higher annual funding for DCPS.
While the above examples of non-uniform funding favor DCPS over charters, oneexample does not. Special education funding based solely on October 5 enrollment is problematic, since their number increases significantly by December, and federal lawmandates provision of prescribed services. The UPSFF recognizes the problem onlyfor charter schools. The above disparities contravene the DC School Reform Act. If the DC governmentfunds only DCPS or only the charter schools outside the UPSFF, via mid-year allocationsor budgeting funds for some DCPS functions in other city agencies, uniformity ismeaningless.
The DCPS and charter school systems differ in some respects, but most are difficult or impossible to quantify.
The biggest differences potentially relevant to funding are DCPS’ obligation to provide reasonably accessible neighborhood schools throughout the city and to