Parents Amplifying Voices in Education (PAVE) celebrated D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s proposed $19.2 million investment in Out of School Time (OST) programs, including $9.6 million in new funding in support of #WeNeed25.
Parent leaders and their coalition partners hosted a celebration for the historic proposal Thursday, March 22 at the John A. Wilson Building in Northwest.
PAVE leaders said the mayor’s proposal to add more than $9 million in new funding shows a commitment to responding to the calls from both students and families who have faced the greatest barriers accessing high-quality enrichment programs.
The new dollars will fund the expansion of before-school, after-school and summer school programs in the District for at-risk youth.
PAVE parent leaders from all eight wards joined coalition partners Education Reform Now DC, DC Alliance of Youth Advocates and OST program providers — including DC SCORES, After-School All-Stars and Global Kids DC — to ask Ward 1 Council member Brianne Nadeau for her continued support in finding the additional funds needed to get to $25 million.
An early champion of OST programming, Nadeau co-wrote the bill to establish the Office of Out of School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes, and this year included the $25 million in her budget request to the mayor.
“You have many champions [for OST funding], but I’d like to consider myself chief among them,” Nadeau said.
After more than 100 parent leaders voted on their issues at the Parent Policy Summit in May, families across the city led an advocacy campaign for increased investment in OST programs for D.C. students.
“The mayor’s proposed $19 million is a strong start, but we know that $25 million is necessary to make sure that the students and communities who need it most have access to a diversity of high-quality, affordable OST programs, in every ward and community in our city,” PAVE leaders said.
Parent leaders were joined in their fight by Ward 7 Council member Vincent Gray; David Grosso, at-large Council member and chair of the council’s education committee; Deputy Mayor for Education Ahnna Smith and Mila Yochum, executive director of the Office for Out of School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes, who all backed the #WeNeed25 movement.
“I came because I am a supporter,” Gray said. “OST programming is hugely important to me, and we have to figure out how to get [the funding] up a little further.”