D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson (Courtesy photo)
**FILE** D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson (Courtesy photo)

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson complimented his council colleagues for passing the fiscal 2023 budget proposal with what he viewed as key priorities.

The council voted for the 2023 local budget and took its first vote Tuesday on the Budget Support Act (BSA), which includes statutory changes that are necessary to implement the budget, such as the legal authority for specific revenue changes.

The next vote on the BSA will take place on June 7.

Mendelson said the new budget “changes the game for funding schools.”

“With this budget, we’ll finally start getting funding to schools with the greatest need to support their at-risk students,” the chairman said. “Coupled with Schools First in Budgeting Act — which I plan to move in the coming months — our schools will not only be stabilized but also will be able to grow.”

Mendelson said the new budget adds $41.6 million for new funding in the uniform per-student funding formula for schools in the District’s public and charter systems whose populations comprise at-risk pupils at greater than 40%. Plus, there are more funds for schools whose at-risk student populations are greater than 70%.

He said the University of the District of Columbia has received more funding by increasing the institution’s fundraising match by $500,000. The university’s Higher Education Incentive (HEI) Fund Scholarship program increased by more than $1.7 million.

The chairman said the UDC budget includes a $51 million increase over the next five years of the Capital Improvement Plan.

He said the budget has an additional $11.6 million for the Access to Justice Initiative for a total of $31.7 million to help low-and-middle-income residents with legal assistance. Plus, more than 400 affordable housing vouchers were added to help families avoid eviction.

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