(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser released the Master Facilities Plan (MFP) 2018, a forward-thinking foundational study that provides information, such as a forecast of continued population and public school enrollment growth, to support the District’s current and future school facilities planning.
“As families continue to choose public schools in Washington DC, the information in the Master Facilities Plan provides us insight into how we can continue to meet the needs of our community for years to come,” said Mayor Bowser. “The plan highlights important trends in how our families are accessing and choosing public schools and underscores the importance of continuing to grow responsibly and in the best interest of our students, families, and neighborhoods.”
While previous MFPs focused primarily on DC Public Schools (DCPS) facilities, the MFP 2018 offers the first look into facility data and projections for both DCPS and public charter schools. The MFP 2018 incorporates feedback from parents, community, residents, and school leaders on the MFP priorities, preliminary analysis, and recommendations. More than 600 people collectively participated in the public outreach process that consisted of a series of public workshops and in-person surveys conducted in April, August, and October of 2018. As related to the scope of the study, the main topics emphasized by local communities were: facility maintenance and school modernization; enrollment growth; transportation access; specialized program access; and underutilized and overcrowded schools. The plan includes five- and 10-year planning horizons.
- Total public school enrollment has grown on average 2.8 percent annually since 2008.
- Growth is projected to continue with total public school enrollment potentially reaching 110,000 students in 10 years.
- On average, public schools in the District are 80 percent utilized, with 212 facilities currently used as schools.
- Assuming DCPS and public charter schools realize their aspirational growth plans, enrollment will outpace public school capacity by School Year 2027-28 in all wards except Wards 5 and 6.
- To ensure the District’s growing student population has the tools, support, and educational environment it needs to succeed, the District has continued to invest in its school facilities, with nearly 80 percent of DCPS schools receiving renovations since 2002.
- The District plans to invest $1.6 billion in continued school facility modernizations over the next six years.
- The majority of the District’s public school students can either walk or ride public transit to a school with one or more specialized programs.
Making connections and drawing conclusions from the analysis in the report, the MFP provides a suite of options for District leaders to use to meet public school students’ education facility needs. The recommended options respond collectively to the analysis of the facility conditions and modernizations, transportation, specialized programs, enrollment growth, and facility utilization now and in the future, as well as the insights formulated from the community and stakeholder engagement processes.
“This is a pivotal time to conduct this analysis, as Washington, DC’s population and school enrollments have increased after decades of decline and it is estimated to continue to grow,” said Acting Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn. “With this new data in hand we will work to optimize underutilized District buildings and land for educational uses, to expand collaboration between DC Public Schools and Public Charter Schools, and to expand the number of top quality facilities to support our students. Engaging communities and delivering clear and accurate data like we have done with the Master Facilities Plan will be central to our future facilities planning.”
The Master Facilities Plan 2018 can be found at dme.dc.gov/MFP2018.