Education Department Offers Waivers on Title I Set Asides

March 10, 2009 1 min read

The Education Department’s guidance on the stimulus is out, and the section on Title I says the Education Department will consider giving districts a break on reserving money for tutoring and school choice.

The guidance says the department will grant districts’ requests for waivers that would allow them to forego reserving TItle I money to pay for tutoring and choice for students who attend schools that have failed to make AYP for three or more years. For background, see my post from Friday. The guidance doesn’t explain what criteria department officials will use to decide on waiver requests.

In a comment to my Friday post, the Education Industry Association, which represents tutoring companies, has posted a letter urging Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to hold off on the waivers. “We believe that these proposed waivers will send the message to local school leaders that they no longer have to use after-school tutoring as a tool to help improve academic performance, and they may gut the truly revolutionary and reform-minded parental choices that have been offered to Title I families for nearly seven years.”

Over at Swift & Changable, Charlie Barone suggests that the administration is “knuckling under pressure” from public school lobbyists who are trying to keep Title I money for themselves.

We’ll know the answer once we see how many waivers the department issues and its reasons for doing so.

A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.