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A Statement From The Board

DUKE ELLINGTON is the only DC public high school to offer a curriculum that encompasses both professional arts training and a college preparatory academic program. For 44 years, the school has inspired a passion for the arts and learning in talented students of all backgrounds, from every neighborhood across the city, who might not otherwise have the financial resources to develop their artistic skills. Thanks to the school’s rigorous programs, high standards and top-notch faculty, Duke Ellington and its students and graduates have achieved nationally recognized success. In turn, they have helped enrich Washington, DC’s cultural life and established our reputation as a premier city for education in the arts and humanities.

The success of Duke Ellington’s students is shown in the achievements of its graduating seniors. The class of 2018 had a graduation rate of 100% and a college acceptance rate of 98%. Of Duke Ellington’s 2018 graduating class, 103 students received over $9.5 million in college scholarships and are attending top-tier universities, conservatories and arts schools across the country.

The entire metropolitan DC community owes a debt of gratitude to Duke Ellington and its supporters. We are stewards of this remarkable cultural institution, so we share a responsibility to provide the resources necessary for it to continue to succeed.

There is currently a significant gap between the level of funding that the DC Government, through DC Public Schools, provides to support Duke Ellington and the cost of operating the school. DCPS currently provides only about 75% of Duke Ellington’s funding needs, and that funding gap has widened every year since 2010.  Because of the lack of DC Government funding, Duke Ellington has not been able to pay its teachers the salaries they would receive if they taught at non-dual curriculum DC Public Schools, and has also been challenged in covering the cost of other aspects of its unique program.  This DC Government funding gap makes private financial support of Duke Ellington critical to the short-term and long-term success of Duke Ellington.

Your support is needed today, more than ever.

– The Ellington Fund Board of Directors, 10/24/18