The UPDATE | June 27 | Wages, Rents, and Words of Wisdom

The UPDATE | June 27 | Wages, Rents, and Words of Wisdom

Minimum Wage Is Rising in the District, So Is the Rent

The District of Columbia is one of the country’s most expensive places to live. So it’s welcome news that the minimum wage will increase to $17 per hour on July 1. The pay boost represents a critical step toward enabling working families to earn the money they need to provide for their households. At the same time, much more must be done to ensure everyone who works in the District can afford to live here. Unfortunately, that’s unlikely to be the case until the District addresses the high and often out-of-reach cost of housing, and passes a living wage–or provides additional family supports, such as guaranteed basic income. The first of the month is typically when rent is due. The National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates that, to afford a one-bedroom rental home at fair market rent in the District, a worker making minimum wage would need to work for 73 hours each week, even after the July 1 increase.  



OSSE Pay Equity Fund Formula Keeps Money out of Educators’ Hands

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s (OSSE) recent release of the Pay Equity Fund funding formula for child development facilities – which describes how OSSE will fund child development facilities to increase the pay of early childhood educators in FY 2024 and beyond – includes an alarming deviation from the goals of the Birth-to-Three for All DC Act and the formula recommended by the Early Educator Equitable Compensation Task Force. Specifically, while the OSSE formula will fund programs to pay educators based on their role and credential, it completely omits public dollars to support programs to pay early educators for their experience, as the Birth-to-Three Act requires. Instead, OSSE will only pay programs just enough to meet educator salary minimums, excluding years of experience in the field as a factor. Educators will lose between $3,900 and $6,700, on average, annually, partially continuing the legacy the program was intended to cast away: underpaying early childhood educators relative to their peers and the value of their work. 


Words of Wisdom from Renaissance Awards Honorees

We are grateful to everyone who shared in our recent celebration of those who bring to life our collective vision of making the District of Columbia a place where all children and young people grow up safe, resilient, powerful, and heard. More than 100 individuals came out to the beautiful rooftop terrace of Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Library on May 23 for our Renaissance Awards. We honored Community Enrichment Project Intern Hannah Wilson with our Shooting Star Award, Mary’s Center’s Betania Pineda as Home Visitor of the Year, Roosevelt STAY Opportunity Academy’s Tiescheka Stuart as Youth Champion of the Year,  First Rock Baptist Child Development Center Director Patricia Bodrick as Center-Based Early Educator of the Year, and Ms. P's Day Care Owner Angelique Marshall as Home-Based Early Educator of the Year. We were honored to  present the inaugural Legacy Award to the DC Early Learning Collaborative. 


We invite you to watch this video of highlights from the evening, including words of wisdom from our honorees.


How Did Children and Youth Fare in the District’s 2024 Budget?


The District of Columbia’s season of broken budget promises came to a relatively quiet end earlier this month with the DC Council’s unanimous vote to approve the Budget Support Act. Although this step in the budget process appeals little to most of the public–who essentially tuned out after the May 30 passage of the Local Budget Act (LBA)--DC Action remained actively engaged, pushing the Council to consider all of its options to address pressing community and equity needs not met by the LBA, which funds District government agencies and programs. 

Despite the District’s 2024 budget falling short of meeting our priorities, two major advancements were made to improve the outlook for DC’s children and youth.


About DC Action

DC Action is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, multi-issue advocacy organization making the District of Columbia a place where all kids grow up safe, resilient, powerful and heard. DC Action uses research, data, and a racial equity lens to break down barriers that stand in the way of all kids reaching their full potential. We are home to DC Kids CountUnder 3 DCDC Out-of-School Time Coalition, Youth Voices Youth Power Project, the DC Home Visiting Council and the Youth Economic Justice and Housing Coalition. Our collaborative advocacy campaigns bring the power of young people and all residents to raise their voices to create change.

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