YOUR ACTION IS NEEDED! SUPPORT DESA’S BUDGET REQUEST!

Dear Ellington Parents, Family, Friends, and Students:

The school’s proposed budget for the coming school year is grossly inadequate. We need all of you to send public comments about this to the DC Committee on Education by calling 202.430.5720 and leaving a three-minute voicemail or by emailing astrange@dccouncil.us by 5pm on June 15, 2020. Please also call your DC Council Member and the Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn.  Contact info for all Council members and Kihn can be found at the end of this message.

Below you will find prepared text for social media and talking points for your public comments. Please share this widely and encourage your students to call and post as well! 

Ellington needs and deserves better!

Facebook:

Friends and Family: If you care about excellence in DC education, please ask the DC City Council to significantly increase next year’s funding for the Duke Ellington School for the Arts, the only dual curriculum arts high school in D.C. The current allocated amount of $8.7 million is not only a decrease from the 19-20 school year, but woefully short of what Ellington needs to function appropriately, which is closer to $11.6 million. Despite being grossly underfunded, Ellington remains in the top 14% of schools nationally and consistently graduates 96-100% of its students, with 94% going onto institutions of higher education. But these achievements will not be sustainable if funding is not increased. Ellington is also one of very few DC schools to significantly narrow the equity gap. It is a shining light that nurtures kids from every Ward, leading them to do great things in both the arts and academics. Please send a message to the Committee on Education by calling 202.430.5720 and leaving a three-minute voicemail or by emailing astrange@dccouncil.us by 5pm on June 15, 2020. Please also call your DC Council Member and the Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn. #DukeEllingtonDC #ArtSavesLives 

Twitter:

Ask City Council to increase funds for the Duke Ellington School for the Arts. A shortfall puts its rare achievement of narrowing the equity gap at risk. Call 202.430.5720 or email astrange@dccouncil.us by June 15. #DukeEllingtonDC @DCPSChancellor @cmdgrosso @mayorbowser

Instagram:

Include any image from DESA you want to share.

Ask the DC City Council to significantly increase funding for the Duke Ellington School for the Arts for the 20-21 school year. A funding shortfall is putting its many achievements at risk, including its success in narrowing the equity gap. Call 202.430.5720 or email astrange@dccouncil.us by June 15. Please also call your DC Council Member and the Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn. #DukeEllingtonDC @DCPSChancellor @cmdgrosso @mayorbowser #dukeellingtonschoolofthearts @desa.shade

Phone Talking Points:

Call 202.430.5720 or email astrange@dccouncil.us by June 15. Please also call your DC Council Member and the Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn. See Council member and deputy mayor contact info at the end of this post.

• Hi. I am a parent/friend/family member of a Duke Ellington student. Thank you for taking my testimony about the proposed DCPS budget.

• I am deeply concerned about the ongoing budget shortfall for Ellington and request that the City Council engage with the DCPS Chancellor to urge that DC significantly increase funding for the school. 

• This arts high school is one of the few DC schools to successfully narrow the equity gap. It also has consistently had a 96%-100% graduation rate, is ranked #5 among high schools in the DC by U.S. News & World Report, and is in the top 14% nationally.

• The grossly inadequate budget puts all of this at risk. 

• The current allocated amount of $8.7 million is not only a decrease from the 19-20 school year, but woefully short of what Ellington needs to function appropriately, which is closer to $11.6 million.

• The DESA Fund Board has been fundraising to help bridge this gap, but this is not a sustainable model for any public school and the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly hampered the Board’s fundraising ability. 

• The funding gap means the school will have to cut or stretch administrative and academic positions. It also restricts the school’s ability to hire highly qualified teachers and sometimes means art departments cannot get the supplies they need. Because of the dual curriculum, Ellington teachers make 35% less than other District teachers, on average. This is a glaring injustice. 

•The proposed budget again fails to recognize the unique needs of the school, which has a dual curriculum and an extended day and awards both art and academic diplomas to every student. Unlike other specialized high schools, such as Banneker and Eastern, Ellington receives no additional funding for its additional curriculum and diploma.

• The Duke Ellington School for the Arts is a highly successful model of academic and artistic education. Its students come from every Ward, with half attending from Wards 7 & 8. 

• Please do not undercut the school’s tremendous achievements. Increase funding to the school for the 2020-2021 school year by at least $800,000 and make plans to address the entire DCPS funding gap in the very near future. 

• Thank you for your time. Together, we can ensure that Ellington remains a shining light for public education in the District. 

Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn
Email: dme@dc.gov
Phone: (202) 727-3636

DC City Council Members

CHAIRMAN
Chairman Phil Mendelson
(202) 724-8032 | pmendelson@dccouncil.us
Up for re-election: 2022

AT-LARGE
Elissa Silverman
(202) 724-7772 | esilverman@dccouncil.us
Up for re-election: 2022

Anita Bonds
(202) 724-8064 | abonds@dccouncil.us
Up for re-election: 2022

David Grosso
(202) 724-8105 | dgrosso@dccouncil.us
Up for re-election: 2022

Robert C. White, Jr.
(202) 724-8174 | rwhite@dccouncil.us
Up for re-election: 2022

WARD COUNCILMEMBERS

Ward 1 – Brianne K. Nadeau
(202) 724-8181 | bnadeau@dccouncil.us
Up for re-election: 2022

Ward 2 – Vacant

Ward 3 – Mary M. Cheh
(202) 724-8062 | mcheh@dccouncil.us
Up for re-election: 2022

Ward 4 – Brandon T. Todd
(202) 724-8052 | btodd@dccouncil.us

Ward 5 – Kenyan McDuffie
(202) 724-8028 | kmcduffie@dccouncil.us
Up for re-election: 2020

Ward 6 – Charles Allen
(202) 724-8072 | callen@dccouncil.us

Ward 7 – Vincent C. Gray
(202) 724-8068 | vgray@dccouncil.us

Ward 8 – Trayon White, Sr.
(202) 724-8045 | twhite@dccouncil.us
Up for re-election: 2020

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