DCPS invests three million dollars in disenfranchised schools



Talya Lehrich

Former interim DCPS Chancellor Amanda Alexander announced a new funding initiative that will invest three million dollars in schools around the city. The money will bankroll new courses and programs as well as retain previous initiatives, primarily in schools that are located in lower income parts of the city.

DCPS paid non-profits Reign, an organization that aims to empower young women as leaders, and EMOC (Empowering Males of Color) over 400,000 dollars for the 2018-19 school year to start programs at ten different DC public schools. For Reign, this includes grants to start an ethnic studies program at Bancroft Elementary, social emotional learning workshops at Johnson Middle School, and a mentoring program at Cardozo High School.

“As we make the investments necessary to give every student in DCPS a world-class education and the resources and support they need to reach their full potential, Reign is helping us ensure that our young women of color are not left behind,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser, a leading advocate of the two non-profits in a DCPS press release regarding the funding.

Through Empowering Males of Color, grants have been distributed for an SAT preparation course at Eastern High School, a self discipline program at Stanton Elementary, and a holistic mentoring program for students at Columbia Heights Education Campus.

DCPS also received a 2.5 million dollar grant from the US Department of Education to continue programs already in place at schools in wards 7 and 8, specifically Kelly Miller Middle School, Kramer Middle School, and Moten Elementary School. “We are committed to supporting our students not just in our school building, but throughout our entire community,” said Kramer Middle School Principal Roman Smith, in a press release. “The new funding will allow the schools to shift from individual student and family supports, such as educational advising, to supporting the entire school community.” This will include a community leader at each school who will ensure all students have access to the supports in place.

The grants also fund new enrichment programs, such as intensive reading clinics, bringing DCPS closer to its goal of having all students, kindergarten through second grade, reading above grade level.

“These grants are putting more resources exactly where they need to be – directly in our schools,” said Alexander in a press release. “I look forward to continuing to provide our schools with the support they need so that every student feels loved, challenged, and prepared to positively influence society and thrive in life.”