The DC Schools Landscape: By the Numbers

About the Author

Vanessa Gonzalez

Washington, DC has a rich set of school options for families. Today, there are over 87,000 students enrolled in public schools. Families can choose from schools with varied programming, including language immersion, Montessori, project-­based learning, and International Baccalaureate programs. These students can enroll in one of two sectors:

All students in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade have a right to attend their in­boundary, or neighborhood, DCPS school. In addition, families can apply to attend a charter school or a DCPS school outside of their neighborhood. In total, over 70% of public school students attend a school outside of their neighborhood.

Student Demographics

DC’s diverse school options are mirrored by a diverse student population The following provides a snapshot of the students enrolled in DC schools:

By race:

  • Black: 71%
  • Hispanic: 17%
  • White: 9%
  • Asian: 2%
  • Multiracial: 2%

By need:

Education Funding

DC schools receive a high level of funding as compared to other cities and states, funding is designed to be distributed equitably, on a student level, based on student need. Currently, schools receive a base of $9,682 per student in local government funding. In addition, the local government provides additional funding to support special education, English language learner, and at-­risk students.

For even more information about DC’s schools, we recommend the following resources: