DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation

Public Briefing on Revised FY11 Budget November 30, 2010 Good afternoon Chairman Gray. I am Ellen London, President and CEO of the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation. I appreciate the opportunity to testify on the proposed budget gap closing measures proposed for this current fiscal year. The proposed reductions result in an allocation of $4,625,000 for the Trust, a 56% reduction from FY10 funding for school year out-of-school time youth development programs, year-round parent center programs and summer programs for children and youth. This is a very severe reduction, added to budget pressures the Trust faces by funds still owed to the Trust from District agencies and offices for granting and work completed in FY10. The Office of the City Administrator has yet to address $400,000 returned in error for a grant awarded last October for targeted youth violence prevention programming. The signed MOU is not at issue, but we have not yet received the funds committed to us to reimburse the Trust for the grant awarded last year. Also, we are awaiting payment from DOES for a number of initiatives that supported the Summer Youth Employment Program. In this current year, the Trust has awarded $3,975,000 in grants to youth development parent center programs based on the allocation in the FY11 budget approved by Council. Additionally, we awarded $423,000 in grants using FY09 unexpended grant dollars. Grantees have already felt the affect of reduced funding, with several long time grantees not receiving funding, and with smaller grants made to others. If we reduce the awards to current grantees, it will result in lower quality programs through reduced staff/participant ratios, program content, etc. Given the proposed reduction to the Trust, the result will be no funds available for summer programs or youth violence programs, per the Budget Support Act.
DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation Testimony on Revised FY11 Budget November 30, 2010 Page 1

Each year we are unable to meet the demand for funds to support youth development programs in the District. Last year, we received almost $30,000,000 in requests. (OST $16M/Summer $5M/SYEP $1.7/Parent Centers $6M). Reducing the allocation to the Trust to $4.625M means there will be no programs, no safe havens, no new opportunities for thousands and thousands of young people in the District. Youth Development programs are a very real solution to so many of the challenges our young people face. Youth Development programs support: o Academic achievement  Just rolling out new training on DCPS Core Standards for CBOs o Job readiness and employability o Reduced youth violence and risky behaviors o Fitness/Obesity/Nutrition o Prevention of summer learning loss (particularly a problem for lowincome students) Young people must have a place to go when they’re not in school, they must be engaged, or they will find something else to do with their time. And parents need safe, supervised programs for their children after school and during the summer, to allow the parents to stay employed. We can’t slip backwards. The quality of programs is rising in the District, capacity of CBOs is improving. The Trust requires and supports evaluation and high-quality program design, increasing the ‘fundability’ of programs that have relied solely on the Trust or other District dollars. But private funders are challenged now too, and they cannot cover this gap. Towards that end, the Trust has worked diligently to build strong partnerships with District agencies to help coordinate funding and support some of our operating costs. The partnerships help to cover administrative and indirect costs, reducing the pressure on annual allocation to afford program officers, adequate finance and accounting staff, development efforts, etc. We are doing everything
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we can to reduce operating costs, such as eliminating the position of HR manager, and are out-sourcing those functions and looking at reduced or free rent. Otherwise the rest of our budget is bare-bones (no professional development, travel funded only by Wallace carry-over), and we will provide trainings and covenings only when and where we can raise the funds to cover the expenses. The Trust is eager to work with the Council and agencies to find ways to reduce this proposed reduction to our budget. Perhaps we can coordinate any out-ofschool time granting dollars in other agencies through the Trust to help continue the quality monitoring and support provided by the Trust. We can promote the tax-check-off program available to all residents and business, directing contributions to the Trust and the granting pool. And we would like to look at our commitment as a city to invest in young people ‘on the front end’, and give them safe, nurturing environments in their out-of-school time hours. The proposed cut to the Trust is $2.5M and the proposed cut to DYRS is $20,000. Surely we want to PREVENT young people from needing the services of DYRS, not just for the costs savings but to keep or youth safe and let them grow up as we all want them to. We make ourselves available to participate in these conversations, and to find ways to reverse this proposed reduction to the Trust in FY11.

DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation Testimony on Revised FY11 Budget November 30, 2010 Page 3

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