Is Title I Money Going to Neediest Schools?

December 06, 2007 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Over at “Let’s Get it Right,” AFT’s John asks about the contradictions between my reporting on NCLB’s Title I formula and data provided by the National Assessment of Title I. The gist of my story is that the NCLB has changed the way Title I’s $12.8 billion flows to districts. Big cities and counties with large numbers of disadvantaged students have benefited.

Yet, here’s an important quote that John uncovered from the National Assessment of Title I’s final report: “At the district level, Title I targeting has changed little since 1997-98, despite Congress’ efforts to target more funds to high-poverty school districts by allocating an increasing share of the funds through the Targeted Grants and Incentive Grants formulas.”

As I look at the data in the report, I see a pattern that is mentioned in my story. The schools with large numbers of disadvantaged students—but not necessarily large percentages of them—are receiving disproportionate amounts of the Title I increases. As I reported, districts in Fairfax County, Va., and Montgomery County, Md., have seen their Title I grants increase by more than 50 percent over the past six years. (That rate of increase is faster than some of the nation’s largest urban districts.) The Title I grant to Gwinnett County, Ga., has more than doubled since NCLB passed.

These suburban counties have extreme poverty and wealth in their large geographic areas. They qualify for money under the new grant formulas because the formulas reward districts based on either the number or the percentage of Title I students they enroll. The suburban areas benefit at the expense of districts with large percentages of impoverished students, whether the other districts are urban, small suburban, or rural.

These data, I believe, reinforce the position of Mary Kusler of the American Association of School Administrators and Marty Strange of the Rural School and Community Trust. They’re happy that the formula is more targeted than before 2001. But they don’t believe changes have gone far enough.

They say there’s a good reason to have a formula fight during NCLB reauthorization. Will there be? I’ll be watching for it.

P.S. AFT’s John cites a quote from early in the National Assessment report. Later on the report provides evidence of targeting. It says that the districts with the highest poverty (i.e. those in the top quartile in terms of percentages) receive 52 percent of Title I money even though they serve 49 percent of the nation’s children. By contrast, the report says districts with the lowest poverty rates (i.e. those in the lowest quartile) get 6 percent of Title I’s money.

For the purposes of this post, this section is missing two relevant pieces of data. What is the percentage of the nation’s students attending schools in the lowest quartile? And how do all of these numbers compare to before NCLB’s passage?

If anyone has these figures, send them here.

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


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: January 12, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education School Bus Driver Retires After 48 Years Behind Wheel
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick sat behind the wheel for the final time last week, wrapping up a 48-year career for the district.
3 min read
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick poses with one of her farewell signs. Flick has been driving for Charles City School District for 48 years.
Betty Flick quickly fell in love with the job and with the kids, which is what has had her stay in the district for this long.
Courtesy of Abby Koch/Globe Gazette
Education Briefly Stated: December 1, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read