News & Press

Contact: Victoria Fosdal, victoria@dfer.org

(Washington, D.C.) March 3, 2023 — Democrats for Education Reform D.C. (DFER D.C.) Executive Director Jessica Giles released the following statement after President Biden’s announcement that he will sign the GOP-led disapproval resolution of the D.C. criminal code revision. If enacted, it will be the first time a disapproval resolution has nullified a local D.C. law in three decades.

“Regardless of where one stands on this legislation, this is a deeply disappointing development for Democracy, D.C. home rule, and D.C. residents’ longstanding fight for equality and self-governance,” Giles said. “It is especially disappointing that our fellow Democrats have turned their back on D.C. statehood.” Giles continued, “Voters of the District of Columbia deserve to have their voices heard without federal representatives — who have no affiliation with Washington, D.C. — inserting themselves into local affairs.” “I urge President Biden and federal lawmakers to realize that this paternalistic, anti-democratic Republican-led opposition is anti-American and to oppose any efforts to force Congress’ views upon D.C. residents. Let local politics be handled locally.”

About DFER D.C.
DFER D.C. is dedicated to eliminating racial inequity and discrimination in the D.C. public education system by supporting leaders who champion student-centered policies. More information can be found on our website at www.dferdc.org

DFER DC Applauds Mayor Bowser’s on Proposed FY2024 Per Pupil Funding Increase

News & Press


Contact: Victoria Fosdal, victoria@dfer.org

(Washington, D.C.) February 16, 2023 – In response to Mayor Bowser’s announcement proposing a 5.05 % increase in per pupil funding in the fiscal year 2024, Jessica Giles, Executive Director of Democrats for Education Reform D.C. (DFER D.C.), released the following statement: 


“We applaud the Mayor for increasing the per-student funding formula to 5% and providing additional funds to support increases in salaries for educators in D.C. Public Schools and public charter schools,” Giles said. 


Giles continued, “In the coming weeks, we encourage the Mayor and D.C. Council to pass a budget that invests in equitable resources for all schools; ensures all educators receive high-quality preparation and support; offers affordable and high-quality postsecondary education opportunities; and provides safe, stable, and positive learning environments for all students.”


Read DFER D.C.’s complete 2023 policy priorities here


About DFER D.C.

DFER D.C. is dedicated to eliminating racial inequity and discrimination in the D.C. public education system by supporting leaders who champion student-centered policies. More information can be found on our website at www.dferdc.org.



2023 Policy Priorities

DFER Testimony

Democrats For Education Reform DC fights for a just and equitable public education system for all students, particularly students of color and low-income students. 

For more information visit dferdc.org or contact dferdc@dfer.org.

Resource Equity
  • All students deserve a high-quality education. Increase the uniform per student funding formula (UPSFF) base by at least the inflation rate, with greater resources for students who need more support.
  • Support the well-being of our students. Faithfully implement & fully invest in school-based behavioral health, Out of School Time, safe passage, restorative justice, & high-impact tutoring programming.
  • Provide high-quality, safe, & educationally appropriate buildings. Maintain the public charter facilities allotment funding.
Teacher Quality & Preparation
  • Only 32% of fourth-grade students performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level in reading. Require all K-5 educators to receive free & accessible structured literacy training with incentives to strengthen how educators teach reading.
  • All educators deserve fair & competitive compensation. Provide public charter school educators with a raise in compensation by giving them an equivalent payment to the back pay DCPS teachers received & ensure that future salary increases are sent to all schools through the UPSFF.
  • Students with disabilities are our most marginalized students. 58% were chronically absent. 42% did not graduate in four years. 69% did not enroll in college. 0% exit from special education. Implement a set of recommendations for reforming our special education system.
  • Many families do not receive their students’ test scores, & are not provided with actionable guidance to support their learners. Require sharing of student assessments with families in a way that is accessible & comprehensible for all families.
Higher Education Quality & Affordability
  • 14 students out of 100 completed a postsecondary degree within 6 years. Improve college access & completion by expanding dual enrollment opportunities for students furthest from opportunity.
  • Four D.C. universities give a birthright advantage to family members of alumni, which takes away seats from first-generation college students. Ban the legacy preference in college admissions in D.C.
High-Quality Public School Choice
  • Our education system is complex. Create one website where families can find answers to all their questions and helpful resources to navigate care, education, and early career offerings for children and young adults 24 years old and younger.
  • D.C. will review boundary assignments to determine which schools DCPS students are entitled by-right to attend based on their residential address. Ensure the DCPS Boundary study prioritizes equity & the voices of marginalized communities.