Hello, Thank you for your time this evening. My name is Tim Abdella. I’m a Parent of 2 Capitol Hill Montessori DCPS students, Gabriella Abdella, age 13 in the 8th grade and Lauren Abdella, age 10 in the 5th grade. Both girls started at Capitol Hill Montessori, Gabriella was born in September, she started at the age 2. They have been at the school their entire lives, and we have been fighting for them the entire time; we are exhausted of the fight for basic, safe education of our children; yet here we are again.
We live across the street from the school, in Ward 6 for the last 22 years. My wife Betsy and I participate on the PTSO, Chair committees, we are room parents, LSAT members, SIT members, PIT members, advocates, cheerleaders, soccer moms and when needed activists.
You have heard from some of my fellow parents at Capitol Hill Montessori, we are grossly underfunded and have been for years – THIS MUST BE CORRECTED.
As part of my testimony, I submitted the “Capitol Hill Montessori School 2023” budget as evidence. It is publicly available on the DCPS website: https://dcpsbudget.com/datasets/capitol-hill-montessori-submitted-budget-2023/
Using the numbers in this budget document, I will walk us through the simple math that all schools should conduct. This math will provide all of us, with a year-over-year, per student funding value, and in the case of Capitol Hill Montessori, it will show a Million Dollar shortfall.
The only other number needed, which is not included on the budget document, is the FY23 certified enrollment count – Capitol Hill Montessori’s 2023 official enrollment count is 423 students.
The Total FY22 budget was $5,590,417. The FY22 project enrollment was 355. Total Budget $5,590,417 divided by the 355 Enrollment equals $15,747.65 as an average per student funding amount in FY22.
(FY22 Formula: 5,590.417 / 355 = 15,747.65)
We do the same for FY23, with a $5,659,997 budget. Our official FY23 enrollment is 423. Same formula, Total Budget $5,659,997 divided by 423 Enrollment equals $13,380.61 as the average per student funding amount in FY23.
(FY23 Formula: 5,659,997 / 423 = 13,380.61)
13,380.61 is significantly less than 15,747.65. $2,367.04 per student – to be exact.
If Capitol Hill Montessori was funded at the same level per student this year, as last year, (which I argue is still underfunded, and does not account for inflation) the Capitol Hill Montessori budget should be $6,661,256.
(CHML Should be Budget Formula: 15,747.65 * 423 = 6,661,255.95)
Our actual budget for FY23 is $5,659,997. This is a $1,001,259 Year-Over-Year shortfall.
(Shortfall Formula: 6,661,256 – 5,659,997 = 1,001,259)
A Million Dollar shortfall is simply not equitable for Gabriella, Lauren and all of their classmates. The school is short 8-12 staff members depending on how the funding is allocated.
Capitol Hill Montessori is grossly underfunded, has been for years – THIS MUST BE CORRECTED NOW.