Results (56)

State of D.C. Schools, 2022-23: Challenges to pandemic recovery in a new normal

Quick links About the D.C. Policy Center  The mission of the D.C. Policy Center is to arm decision makers with fact-based, unbiased, and reliable research and analyses to help create a vibrant local economy that can maximize opportunities for residents, workers, and businesses in the District of Columbia. Through objective and rigorous…

March 8, 2024 | Chelsea Coffin,

The fiscal future of public education in the District of Columbia

Quick Links Executive Summary The fiscal landscape of the District of Columbia has experienced a significant transformation in recent years. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s swift and adverse impact on residents and the economy, the District’s finances initially remained strong, buoyed by a substantial federal fiscal aid package during fiscal years 2020-2024. Federal…

February 13, 2024 | Yesim Sayin,

The first year of Equitable Access: An examination of common lottery outcomes for at-risk students

Quick Links Other reports in this series Executive Summary In school year 2022-23, the District of Columbia introduced an Equitable Access (EA) option at the systems level in the common lottery system for public schools. This allowed District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter schools to prioritize applications from students…

January 31, 2024 | Chelsea Coffin,

2023 State of Business Report: Doing Business Under Fiscal Distress

Executive summary The past three years have been turbulent for many businesses in the District of Columbia. The pandemic shifted regional labor dynamics and economic activity away from urban job centers, in turn weakening the District’s economic competitive position.  As people spend less time in the city and more time in the…

September 28, 2023 | Bailey McConnell,

Programs servicing youth who are experiencing homelessness in the District of Columbia: A public expenditure review

This report examines how providers of housing for youth experiencing homelessness obtain their funding (sources of funds), how they spend this funding (uses of funds), how these vary across providers and program types, and what role D.C. government funds play in the finances of the providers. The report also presents some information on how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the providers and what they see as risks to their financial models in the coming years. This information helps inform the city about housing capacity and funding levels.

June 1, 2023 | Yesim Sayin,

D.C.’s adult public charter schools: Who they serve, how they serve, and what they achieve

In D.C., many adults lack a high school diploma, and most jobs require some postsecondary education. Thus, career and education support for adult learners is incredibly important. While workforce training and postsecondary learning programs are common, D.C. is rare in that it has publicly funded schools at which adult learners can earn a high school degree, gain English language skills, or enroll in workforce programs.  

May 23, 2023 | Chelsea Coffin,

Worker sprawl in the Washington metropolitan area: Is D.C. still the region’s job hub?

How is job activity is shifting, and what does it mean for the District’s competitiveness in the region? Traditional job data do not account for where workers are working. This can obscure where labor market recovery is taking place. Examining a worker-based measure shows that significant portions of job activity have moved to suburbia and exurbia in occupations where employees can work remotely.

May 1, 2023 | Bailey McConnell,

Needs assessment of out-of-school time programs in the District of Columbia

Out-of-school time programs, such as afterschool and summer programs, are important to many families the District of Columbia. This report examines, for school year 2021-22, the subsidized OST seats that exist across the District, including how many are available versus needed, based on four different policy metrics. The greatest OST capacity, in raw numbers, is in wards where most students live and go to school. However, the number of students is still proportionally higher than the number of seats.

April 18, 2023 | Yesim Sayin,

State of D.C. Schools, 2021-22: In-Person Learning, Measuring Outcomes, and Work on Recovery

State of D.C. Schools is an annual systemwide overview of public education in the District of Columbia. In school year 2021-22, all students returned to in-person learning for the first time in almost two years after the COVID-19 pandemic began in spring 2020. This report examines the transition back to in-person learning, measuring outcomes for the first time since the start of the pandemic, and beginning work on recovery.

March 15, 2023 | Chelsea Coffin,

The District of Columbia’s Criminal Justice System under the Revitalization Act: How the system works, how it has changed, and how the changes impact the District of Columbia

The District’s criminal justice system is complex and involves an overlapping system of agencies and organizations that are a mix of federally funded and under federal jurisdiction, federally funded and independently operated, locally funded and under local jurisdiction; and locally funded and independently operated. This unique configuration of entities with disparate leadership—which makes cooperation challenging, and systems change complicated—is the direct result of the federal Revitalization Act of 1997.

March 1, 2023 | Emilia Calma,

The role of school boundaries in the District of Columbia: Facts and findings on boundary participation, student representation, and facility utilization

For only the second time since 1968, D.C. is reviewing school boundary assignments. Based on their home address, these assignments determine the schools where each D.C. student is guaranteed a seat. There is much we can explore about school boundaries: Where in the city are students are more students attending their by-right school? Which by-right schools are most representative of all public school students? How does enrollment compare to capacity at by-right school facilities? And where in the city could changes to student assignment policies impact the largest number of students?

January 25, 2023 | Chelsea Coffin,

Landscape of high-impact tutoring in D.C.’s public schools, 2021-22

Quick Links Access the one-page report summary here. View the launch event, including a recording, here. Introduction In D.C., learning outcomes for public school students had been improving for over two decades.[1] Then, in March of 2020, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic transitioned all students to distance learning and ended school…

October 13, 2022 | Chelsea Coffin,

2022 State of Business Report: Doing Business Under the New Normal

The 2022 State of Business Report builds a better understanding of the post-pandemic city, with a special focus on small businesses: How has the pandemic changed businesses and entrepreneurial activity in DC? What trends are emerging in the labor market and how do they impact business operations? What are the greatest risks and opportunities in the post-pandemic era? And how have businesses’ needs evolved to this new reality?

September 30, 2022 | D.C. Policy Center

Declining births and lower demand: Charting the future of public school enrollment in D.C.

The two main drivers of enrollment growth (births in D.C. and preference of families to live in D.C. and choose public schools) have both been on the decline in recent years. This report analyzes how changing trends will impact future enrollment projections for D.C.’s public schools.

July 13, 2022 | Chelsea Coffin,

Remote work and the future of D.C. (Part 2): What does remote work mean for the District of Columbia’s tax base?

This report is the second in a two-part series focused on building a better understanding of how remote work will impact the District’s future. We estimate how the shift to remote work might impact the city’s tax base and propose next steps to ensuring the District has an upward economic growth trajectory as the city recovers from the pandemic.

July 7, 2022 | Bailey McConnell,

Remote work and the future of D.C. (Part 1): How is remote work changing the geography of work in the District of Columbia?

As remote work is taking hold, it is breaking the relationship between where people live and where they work. Historically, proximity to work has been a key driver of population growth in the District of Columbia. And commuters have been an important source of economic activity, both supporting the local service economy and sustaining the demand for office space. 

May 12, 2022 | Bailey McConnell,

The case for investing in trauma-informed management practices in the workplace: Knowledge, practice, and policy that can improve life outcomes in the District of Columbia

Individuals with trauma responses can face great difficulties in finding and retaining a job. Trauma responses oftentimes make it difficult for workers to handle everyday stressors at work. While many publicly-funded job training programs have adopted a trauma-informed approach, it is rare to find private employers who have adopted trauma-informed management practices as these changes are often considered difficult and outside of the scope of management.

March 30, 2022 | Emilia Calma,

State of D.C. Schools, 2020-21

State of D.C. Schools is an annual systemwide overview of public education in the District of Columbia. The report’s main purpose is to give D.C. residents, parents, caregivers, policymakers, and other stakeholders a snapshot of the overall performance of the District’s public schools. This report captures school year 2020-21 and how it continued to be impacted by COVID-19, with most students learning virtually for the entire school year. It also provides an update on 2021-22, when in-person learning resumed with the Herculean tasks of keeping students and teachers safe while making up for the unfinished learning from previous pandemic years.

March 10, 2022 | Chelsea Coffin,

Measuring early career outcomes in D.C.

Quick links Download this report in the original PDF format here. Access the 1-page report summary here. Access the launch event page and event program here. Chapter 1. The importance of tracking early career outcomes D.C.’s public schools, serving students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, strive to prepare students to succeed as young…

November 17, 2021 | Chelsea Coffin,

Shifting landscape: A brief history of the fiscal relationship between the District of Columbia and the federal government

Executive summary It is a common myth that the District has always been dependent on a steady stream of reliable federal funding. This myth clouds the D.C. statehood debate.  The truth is that, going back to the 1790s, federal fiscal supports to the District are better characterized as erratic, unpredictable, and declining…

October 27, 2021 | D.C. Policy Center

Exit & Voice: Perceptions of the District’s public schools among stayers and leavers

Quick links Download this report in the original PDF format here. Access the 1-page report summary here. Download additional tables prepared with the survey data here in MS Excel format. View the launch event discussion recording here. Executive summary Enrollment in D.C.’s public schools had been steadily increasing since 2009 until the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted this…

October 13, 2021 | Chelsea Coffin,

2021 State of Business Report: Building Back

Photo/Joe Flood (Source) Message from the Chamber One of the nation’s most resilient regions, Washington, DC, like the country itself, experienced unprecedented changes in its economy, workforce, and business community during the COVID-19 pandemic.    The 2021 State of Business Report provides both data and analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on…

October 4, 2021 | D.C. Policy Center

State of D.C. Schools, 2019-20

State of D.C. Schools, 2019-20 is an annual systemwide overview of education in the District of Columbia. Its main purpose is to give D.C. residents, parents, caregivers, and other stakeholders a snapshot of the overall performance of the District’s public schools.

March 16, 2021 | D.C. Policy Center

The District’s tax incentive strategy is unique

The District’s strategy for targeting industries, and the dollar value of incentives offered, is unique when compared to the tax incentive strategies of neighboring Baltimore, Maryland and Virginia Beach, Virginia, as well as other large cities around the country. The District’s incentive-granting strategy relies primarily on local property tax abatements. Since D.C….

January 11, 2021 |

At-risk application patterns in D.C.’s common lottery

The D.C. Council has passed legislation to allow (but not mandate) public charter schools to prioritize at-risk applicants in the common lottery. Charters could do so either by prioritizing an at-risk applicant pool over other student groups in the common lottery, or by reserving a certain share of their seats for at-risk…

November 18, 2020 | Chelsea Coffin

Policy Brief: How would the “Reclaim Rent Control” proposals change the District’s rental housing landscape?

The D.C. Council is now considering at least six separate bills that would amend its rent control law. Among those six,  Bill 23-873, the Rent Stabilization Program Reform and Expansion Amendment Act of 2020, which is based on the various policy proposals from the “Reclaim Rent Control” platform, proposes the most comprehensive…

November 8, 2020 | D.C. Policy Center

2020 State of Business Report: Pivoting from Pandemic to Recovery

The pandemic-induced recession has put an unprecedented pressure on the District’s economy. Precautions taken to slow the spread of COVID-19 have closed businesses and schools, reduced travel and mobility, and put thousands out of work. With the dramatic decline in demand from consumers, and halted business operations, the nation swiftly fell into a recession at the end of February.

October 2, 2020 | D.C. Policy Center

At-risk priority in D.C.’s common lottery: Potential implications for access and diversity

The “At-risk priority in D.C.’s common lottery: Potential implications for access and diversity” report explores the implications of implementing a preference for at-risk students in Washington, D.C.’s common lottery, and what such a preference could mean for public charter schools in the city. Below is the full report. You can also read…

July 21, 2020 | Chelsea Coffin

Transition to college or career for the District’s high school students

“Transition to college or career for the District’s high school students” explores outcomes for D.C.’s students at the close of high school and as they become young adults transitioning into postsecondary or entering jobs. Below is the full report. You can also read the summary – available in both English and Spanish…

June 30, 2020 | Chelsea Coffin,

Appraising the District’s rentals

This report provides a comprehensive picture of the District’s rental housing to evaluate its capacity to create economically inclusive neighborhoods in the District of Columbia. It estimates the number and type of rental units and the buildings that hold them, and the rents that prevail. It also provides extensive data on rental apartment buildings including the rent-controlled stock as well as rental units outside the rental apartment buildings including condominiums, single-family homes, and flats.

April 1, 2020 | Yesim Sayin

Appraising the District’s rentals – Introduction

ONE  | THE ROLE OF DISTRICT’S RENTAL HOUSING IN CREATING AFFORDABILITY AND INCLUSION The high cost of housing in the District of Columbia is a significant challenge. The city’s zoning laws and poorly run regulatory regime, sometimes combined with resistance to growth, restrict the amount, type, and location of housing that can…

April 1, 2020 |

Appraising the District’s rentals – Landscape of Rental Housing

TWO | THE LANDSCAPE OF RENTAL HOUSING IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA The District of Columbia is largely a city of rentals. Of the estimated 322,000 housing units (excluding those owned by the federal government, foreign governments, universities, or charitable or religious organizations),[1] 114,550 are occupied by their owners.[2] The remainder—207,400 units,…

April 1, 2020 |

Appraising the District’s rentals – Rental housing affordability

THREE | HOW AFFORDABLE IS THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA’S RENTAL HOUSING? This chapter compares prevailing rents to the income profiles of District households to examine the extent to which rental housing can meet renter demand at different income levels. This analysis shows that rent-controlled housing offers a significant discount over the uncontrolled…

April 1, 2020 |

Appraising the District’s rentals – Economic inclusion

FOUR | HOW MUCH DOES THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA’S RENTAL HOUSING ADVANCE ECONOMIC DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION? The District of Columbia is an economically segregated city where higher-income households and lower-income households typically live far away from each other. In previous research, the D.C. Policy Center linked the city’s economic segregation to its…

April 1, 2020 |

Appraising the District’s rentals – Inclusionary conversions

FIVE | HOW CAN THE DISTRICT USE ITS EXISTING RENTAL HOUSING TO CREATE INCLUSIVE NEIGHBORHOODS? Up to this point, this report has provided extensive information on the District’s rental housing. It has shown that there are too few rental apartment units to house all renters, and the paucity of units is squeezing…

April 1, 2020 |

Appraising the District’s rentals – Conclusions

SIX | CONCLUSIONS As renter incomes rise in the District, the pressures on rental housing are becoming stronger. As this report has shown, there are not enough rental apartments to serve all renter households. And this pressure comes both from the bottom and from the top: for every household that would need…

April 1, 2020 |

History of rent control in the District of Columbia

APPENDIX I – THE HISTORY OF RENT CONTROL LAWS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA The District of Columbia’s rent control laws date back to 1973, following the end of the federal price controls. That year, the federal government authorized the city to enact rent control policies if, after a series of public…

April 1, 2020 |

Rent control literature review

APPENDIX II – REVIEW OF LITERATURE ON THE IMPACT OF RENT CONTROL ON HOUSING QUALITY AND QUANTITY, DISPLACEMENT, AND INCLUSION Evidence suggests that rent control measures can have various impacts on a city’s housing stock and affordability, which are in turn related to the type and extent of the city’s rent control…

April 1, 2020 |

Appraising District’s rentals – Methodology and data sources

APPENDIX III – METHODOLOGY AND DATA SOURCES The analysis presented in this study relies on a combination of data sources, including administrative data from the District of Columbia government, data from private sources, and other publicly available data from the U.S. Census. The basic information on the rental stock is gleaned from…

April 1, 2020 |

State of D.C. Schools, 2018-19

ABOUT THIS REPORT This State of D.C. Schools report is a systemwide overview of education in D.C. meant to help local residents, and especially parents of current and future D.C. public school children, better understand where D.C.’s traditional public and public charter schools have made progress. The report also addresses where targeted…

January 16, 2020 | Chelsea Coffin

The economic costs of land use regulations

Land is among the most valuable assets in the United States, and its value is a function of how we use land and what we build on it. According to one study, the value of all land in the lower 48 states is estimated at about 1.4 times the nation’s Gross Domestic…

November 22, 2019 | Yesim Sayin

2019 State of Business Report: Building a Competitive City

ABSTRACT The Washington metropolitan area is one of the top regions in the country for economic innovation, entrepreneurship, and high-growth firms. Within the metropolitan area, however, jurisdictions experience different economic outcomes because of the decisions they make that affect the flow of businesses, workers, and residents across their borders. These forces are…

October 4, 2019 | D.C. Policy Center

Applying a racial equity lens to fines and fees in the District of Columbia

In recent years, jurisdictions across the country have increasingly turned to fines and fees[1] both as a policy mechanism and as a way to generate much-needed revenue, especially after the budget crunch from the Great Recession.[2] However, unlike taxes, fines and fees are usually the same for everyone, regardless of their income…

April 22, 2019 | Kathryn Zickuhr

The Funding Landscape of Out-of-School Time Programs in the District of Columbia: Full Report

This report describes the current funding landscape of out-of-school time (OST) programs in the District of Columbia. It explores where funding for OST programs comes from, where funds are distributed, and how these funds are used. The report also explores the potential fiscal needs of expanding OST programs, opportunities that are available to expand and better use existing funds, and bottlenecks that might impair expansion efforts.

March 29, 2019 | Yesim Sayin,

Landscape of Diversity in D.C. Public Schools

New data shows a diversifying Washington region, but diversity is hard to find school by school in the District of Columbia.

December 17, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin

Symposium: Achieving Racial Equity in Housing Outcomes in D.C.

The District of Columbia is becoming increasingly more segregated by race and income in many areas. As outlined in the Urban Institute report The Color of Wealth in the Nation’s Capital, this segregation is built on racist public and private practices, and has amplified disparities and inequities in health, education, and work…

October 18, 2018 | D.C. Policy Center

2018 State of Business Report: Towards a More Inclusive Economy

ABSTRACT Businesses in the District depend on the ability of the District to become a more inclusive city.  In 2003, the District government committed itself to growing its population by 100,000 by attracting more residents, especially families, to strengthen its neighborhoods and reverse years of population loss. This meant significant investments in…

October 10, 2018 | D.C. Policy Center

Will Children of Current Millennials Become Future Public School Students?

This report examines births and public school enrollment by cohort, and estimates that public school enrollment in the District of Columbia may grow by as many as 21,100 students by 2026-27. Half of this growth is likely to occur in middle and high school grades.

September 18, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin

How the D.C. region is responding to the opioid crisis

Naloxone saves lives, but it’s only the first step.   The number of Americans who have died in the ongoing opioid epidemic continues to climb. Between September 2016 and September 2017, more than 45,600 Americans died from overdoses involving opioids. The number of fatal opioid-related overdoses in D.C. more than doubled between…

April 30, 2018 | Matthew Pembleton,

Schools in the Neighborhood: Full Report

This report examines the connections between neighborhood characteristics and boundary school enrollment rates among the District of Columbia’s public school students to identify commonalities across school neighborhoods that draw higher proportions of in-boundary students.

April 17, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin

Taking Stock of the District’s Housing Stock: The Full Report

Quick links Summary of the report and its key findings and conclusions can be found here. PDF of the full report here. Chapter 1. Introduction Housing policies are central to the inclusiveness of a city. Housing defines, in large part, how residents share the wealth created by a city and how they access its assets…

March 27, 2018 | Yesim Sayin

Banning suspensions is a blunt tool to reduce exclusionary discipline [Updated]

Update: The text has been updated with footnotes 2 and 3 to include context on two cited studies. (2/2/2018).  The proposed “Student Fair Access to School Act of 2017” prohibits out-of-school suspensions aside from the most extreme disciplinary incidents. The bill follows a trend of disciplinary policy reform in nearly 27 states and…

January 30, 2018 | Chelsea Coffin,

2017 State of Business in the District of Columbia: Twenty years of change since the Revitalization Act

ABSTRACT Since the Revitalization Act, the District of Columbia has become a more desirable place to live, work, and conduct business. We have solved our fiscal problems and have a stable and strong economic outlook. The next challenge for our city is to empower our residents and businesses across all neighborhoods to…

December 19, 2017 | D.C. Policy Center

Needs Assessment of Out-of-School Time Programs in the District of Columbia (2017)

Abstract This report describes the current landscape of out-of-school time (OST) programs in the District of Columbia. It takes stock of existing OST programs and assesses the extent to which these programs are meeting the needs of children and youth attending D.C. public and public charter schools. The report focuses on “subsidized”…

October 24, 2017 | Yesim Sayin,

Four principles to guide child care policy in D.C.

The District’s child care crunch has been well-documented. Earlier this year, WTOP produced a five-part series on D.C.’s child care crisis, in addition to pieces from the Washington Post and WAMU. Most recently, D.C. made national headlines by requiring that lead teachers at child care centers earn a bachelor’s degree by 2020, the…

May 24, 2017 | Kathryn Zickuhr

How should we measure D.C.’s “child care gap”?

D.C.’s parents are in a bind. While the District offers free pre-K for its three- and four-year-olds, finding high-quality child care from a licensed provider for infants and toddlers is challenging at best. D.C.’s licensed child care capacity for children under age three is limited, and the spots that are available are…

May 9, 2017 | Kathryn Zickuhr