At-risk student

Your Rights

  • At-Risk DC students’ schools will receive extra money in order to fun extra educational services and resources for these students.
  • If your family is low-income, your school has the responsibility to provide free lunch to you.


What does it mean to be an at-risk student?

In the DC public school system, you are considered an “at-risk” student if you fall into one or more of the following categories.

  • you qualify for free and reduced lunch
  • are homeless
  • are in the foster care system
  • have been held back a grade.

Around 40 percent of public school students are considered at-risk. Usually, people in these categories have a harder time graduating from high school, and so they are said to be “at-risk” of not graduating or not succeeding in school. This, of course, does not mean that every person who is in any of these categories won’t graduate high school, or will struggle with school, but it does mean that they might need special resources to make school a bit easier.


Things you should know

In 2014, DC decided to give more money to schools for each at-risk student they have. This money follows individual students to their schools. This means that if you are an at-risk student, your school will get extra money for having you enrolled in that school. It does not mean that you have a right to this money for your own purposes. This money is supposed to be spent on services and educational resources to benefit students who are at-risk, and this money is NOT supposed to be spent on things that a school should already have.

If your school is receiving this money, you should make sure that it is being spent on something that is benefiting you and others like you.

Here are more places where you can learn about at-risk student rights and opportunities:

Information about “at-risk” funding


Here’s where you should go, if you are having issues with:

Struggling with School Work

College Resources

After-School Activities


If you want to get involved in our fight for an equal education:

Contact the Mayor and City Council

Contact Education Agencies

Speak Your Mind- share a message with us about your education experience.

Join the movement, by becoming part of our staff, or by helping us.