Contact: Tawana Jacobs | firstname.lastname@example.org | 301-325-8687
Washington, DC (May 30)—With today’s second and most consequential 2024 fiscal year budget vote, the DC Council passed a budget that falls short of representing on-the-record promises of strengthening our early childhood education sector, ending homelessness, and making our afterschool programs the most robust in the nation.
“While we appreciate Mayor Bowser listening to our Coalitions’ budget asks to expand child care assistance and increase funding for out-of-school time programs, and the DC Council expanding funding for some home visiting programs, it’s disappointing that in an economic slow-down with rising rates of homelessness among young people–and given concerns about youth mental health and youth-involved crime, they chose to go only halfway in adjusting the budget to meet urgent needs, breaking their promise to protect and advance the interests of the District’s children and youth,” stated Kimberly Perry, executive director at DC Action.
Although we are disappointed by the DC Council not passing a stronger budget, we commend Councilmember Janeese Lewis George’s amendment, which passed unanimously, to boost food assistance for DC residents and restore funding for excluded workers is commendable and necessary–especially after Congress’ likely cuts to SNAP. The DC Council’s partial restoration of emergency housing funds (ERAP)--which is only half of what is necessary— and adjustments to the Per Unit Student Funding Formula should also be applauded, along with recovering funds for the critical Baby Bonds program to reduce intergenerational poverty.
The District’s 2024 budget fell short of meeting all the priorities our community advocated for. Still, our advocacy continues this summer with a DC Council-hosted Out-of-School Time Roundtable on Wednesday, June 7, and Early Childhood Pay Equity Fund Roundtable on Tuesday, June 13. After today’s vote, youth and early educators from all around the District will have much to say.