Digital News Report – According to a new report from the US Department of Education, over 40 percent of low-income schools received less state and local money to pay for teachers and other personnel than those schools that didn’t receive Title I money from the federal government. This conclusion was determined from 2008-2009 data that was analyzed by officials at the Department of Education.
The federal Title I program was created to supply additional resources for high-poverty schools so they would be better able to teach the at-risk students. Part of the law states that Title I schools must receive “comparability of services” the come from state and local funds. The federal funds are intended to provide supplemental money instead of replacing state and local spending.
The Title I program is designed to provide extra resources to high-poverty schools to help them meet the greater challenges of educating at-risk students. The law includes a requirement that districts ensure that Title I schools receive “comparability of services” from state and local funds, so that federal funds can serve their intended purpose of supplementing equitable state and local funding.
The current legislation is vague in measuring the way the school spends the Title 1 funds. The requirement of “comparability of service” may give schools a way to spend less of state and local funds if they can say that they have met this requirement. The Department of Education said that the requirement does not account for spending shortages from the local and state funds for the schools that receive Title I funds.
The Department of Education analysis of the Title I spending showed that if they would change the comparability provision rules that around 28 percent of the Title I districts would be out of compliance. State and local spending would have to be increased between 1 – 4 percent on average of the total school-level expenditures. This could help the low income schools increase funding for expenditures by 4 percent to 15 percent.
The entire “Comparability of State and Local Expenditures Among Schools Within Districts: A Report From the Study of School-Level Expenditures” and “The Potential Impact of Revising the Title I Comparability Requirement to Focus on School-Level Expenditures” is available at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/opepd/ppss/reports.html#title.
By: Mark Williams