New Report Follows the Money

May 16, 2008 1 min read

Back in December, I and other bloggers entered an extended dialogue about whether NCLB’s Title I does an adequate job targeting money to schools with low-income students.

In that series of blog posts, Kevin Carey lauded the way NCLB shifted Title I money toward schools in the poorest communities, though he acknowledged that the formula isn’t perfect. Now, he is a co-author of a new report examining school finance across federal, state, and local levels. The “basic flaw” at every level is that “money follows money,” Carey writes in a post I’m sure he didn’t waste half a day writing.

Title I rewards states that are capable of spending extravagantly on schools at the expense of those that can’t, the report says. “The problem with this approach is that interstate differences in per-student spending are primarily a function of differences in wealth, not cost,” Carey writes with Marguerite Roza of the University of Washington.

PROGRAMING NOTE: For parents or educators, spring is the most hectic time of year. The calendar is loaded with plays, concerts, parties, state tests—I could go on. In the midst of last year’s May madness, I promised myself I would burn a week from my considerable vacation bank to survive in 2008. Next week is the week. I’ll be home ferrying my kids to a variety of places and taking care of personal business (anyone want to help me lay insulation in my attic?)

If news develops—and I have a hunch it will—Alyson Klein or someone else from the Education Week staff will update this blog. My regular posts will resume after Memorial Day.

This is as good of a time as any for you to sign up for e-mail updates of this blog. Just enter your e-mail address in the box on the right and click on “Subscribe.”

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