Education

Where Has All the RF Money Gone?

October 31, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A few years ago, I queried a few states looking for itemized budgets for Reading First. I was curious to learn what similarities and differences were in the kinds of things individual states were spending their millions in federal grant monies on.

Of course, much of the money was spent in very visible ways—well-attended and well-organized professional-development sessions, new instructional materials, reading coaches in every school—but there were also rumors that some of the money was being spent hastily on nonessentials simply because there was so much cash on hand, or to meet spending deadlines.

Alas, there were no such reports available, or at least I couldn’t figure out what to ask for or how to get my hands on them.

I fully expected, however, that the U.S. Department of Education would ask for annual line-item reports from states to make sure the money was being spent properly. You may recall that the department had been very demanding of states in getting the fine details of how they would carry out the strict requirements of Reading First. (I also fully expected, naively it seems, that the federal studies of Reading First would actually give us some definitive information on how well the $1 billion-a-year program was working.)

But as far as I can tell this didn’t happen.

Until now, that is. Yesterday, the Ed Dept. issued a Notice of Proposed Information Collection related to Reading First expenditures.

Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t really see the point now that the program is essentially being phased out. If the money was spent unwisely at any point, or even if it was used efficiently, isn’t it too late to use that information? (There were some data collected in the 2004-05 school year, ED officials tell me, as part of an analysis on the targeting and use of funds across federal education programs, but that report hasn’t been released yet.)

In any event, the notice asks for public comment on the following questions:

"(1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this
information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.

Events

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.
Sponsor
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