Council of the District of Columbia, Mayor, Chancellor
United States of America

Woodrow Wilson Senior High School ("Wilson) is the largest high school in the District of Columbia, expected to serve 1878 students in the coming school year. It serves students from every ward and zip code in the city and closely reflects the diversity of the city with a population that is 46% African American, 25% European American, 17% Hispanic American, 8% Asian American and 4% other. Nearly one-third of its students are considered "at risk" requiring additional support to succeed.

The city proposes to cut per pupil funding for Wilson by nearly $1000 for the coming school year. So with a projected 10% increase in its student body, leaving the school 20% over-capacity, Wilson will experience a 10.5% cut in per-student funding.

The proposed cut will leave Wilson with by far the lowest overall per pupil funding -- $8312 -- of any comprehensive school in the city.

DCPS receives $11,580 in foundation funding -- before additional funding for at risk, special education and English language learners -- for each high school student, but proposes to pass on only approximately $6,000 in such foundation funding per student to Wilson. (Other comprehensive high schools -- Eastern and Columbia Heights Education Campus -- also are slated to receive approximately $6000 per pupil in foundation funding).

The proposed cut will leave Wilson with insufficient staff to manage almost 1,900 District of Columbia teenagers, result in average class size of over 30 students and some classes with as many as 40 students, endanger the school's continued success and jeopardize the school's efforts to bridge the achievement gap.

The proposed cut is in direct conflict with Chancellor Henderson's professed priority to invest in high schools.

The proposed cut will have a devastating impact on a strong, diverse urban high school; 600 at-risk students and parental confidence in DCPS.

The Wilson community strongly supports full funding for all schools and would not want to see cuts at any other schools, but just as other schools must be adequately funded, the city must find a way to provide adequate funding for Wilson.

For more information about the proposed cuts, see the linked letters from the Wilson PTSO and LSAT and Councilmember Mary Cheh to Chancellor Henderson and a recent editorial in the NW Current on the subject.

We, the undersigned, urge our City leaders -- the Chancellor, the Mayor and the City Council -- to restore at least $500 per student to Wilson High School budget.

Such an adjustment would still leave Wilson with a nearly $500 per student cut for next year when compared to the per student funding for the current school year and would leave it with the lowest per pupil funding of any comprehensive school in the District of Columbia.

Such an adjustment would, however, allow Wilson's leadership to deliver a safe, effective school, able to serve its large diverse population and support Chancellor Henderson's priority to invest in high schools.

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The Help Save the Wilson High School Budget petition to Council of the District of Columbia, Mayor, Chancellor was written by Matthew Frumin and is in the category Education at GoPetition.