Federal Federal File

Lawmakers Worry Struggling Schools Lack NCLB Money

By David J. Hoff — March 28, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Includes updates and/or revisions.

Two senators with their hands on the K-12 purse strings want to make sure that the share of federal Title I money allotted to help struggling schools is spent well.

Citing a new report from the Government Accountability Office, Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Arlen Specter, R-Pa., say they will be watching closely to make sure the Department of Education is monitoring how states spend the school improvement dollars available under the No Child Left Behind Act.

“It is critically important that the millions of dollars in federal funds going to school improvement be used as effectively as possible to ensure that our students, teachers, and communities continue to meet state academic goals,” Sen. Harkin said in a statement on the report, which the GAO released this week.

“Senator Harkin and I will continue to work with the Department of Education to ensure that No Child Left Behind’s monitoring process is effective and school improvement funds get to schools most in need of assistance,” Sen. Specter said in the same statement.

Sen. Harkin is the chairman of the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee. Sen. Specter is the panel’s senior Republican. The GAO conducted the research at their request.

See Also

For more stories on this topic see No Child Left Behind and our Federal News page.

The 6-year-old NCLB law requires states to reserve 4 percent of their grants from the law’s Title I program for disadvantaged students to help poor-performing schools under the NCLB law. In the 2008-09 school year, the money set aside would be $556 million. But states are prohibited from setting that money aside if it would result in districts’ losing money.

Because of that condition, 22 states were unable to spend 4 percent of their Title I grant helping turn around struggling schools, the GAO found in its review of state spending since 2002.

The researchers said the Education Department needs to review states’ spending when it monitors their implementation of Title I programs. Not all states followed the rules, they noted. Department officials said they would do so.


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.
Teaching Profession Webinar
Professional Wellness Strategies to Enhance Student Learning and Live Your Best Life
Reduce educator burnout with research-affirmed daily routines and strategies that enhance achievement of educators and students alike. 
Content provided by Solution Tree
English-Language Learners Webinar The Science of Reading and Multilingual Learners: What Educators Need to Know
Join experts in reading science and multilingual literacy to discuss what the latest research means for multilingual learners in classrooms adopting a science of reading-based approach.
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Get a Strong Start to the New School Year
Get insights and actions from Education Week journalists and expert guests on how to start the new school year on strong footing.

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

Federal Use Your 'Teacher Voice,' Jill Biden Urges in a Push for Political Activism
Voting in the midterms is a critical step educators can take to bolster democracy, the first lady and other labor leaders told teachers.
5 min read
First Lady Jill Biden speaks during the American Federation of Teachers convention, Friday, July 15, 2022, in Boston.
First lady Jill Biden speaks during the American Federation of Teachers convention in Boston.
Michael Dwyer/AP
Federal Federal Initiative Leverages COVID Aid to Expand After-School, Summer Learning
The Education Department's Engage Every Student effort includes partnerships with civic organizations and professional groups.
3 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks at an event on June 2, 2022, at the Department of Education in Washington.
U.S. Secretary of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks at an event at the Department of Education in Washington in June. The department has announced a push for expanded access to after-school and summer learning programs.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Federal Restraint and Seclusion, and Disability Rights: Ed. Department Has Work to Do, Audit Finds
The Government Accountability Office releases a checklist of how the U.S. Department of Education is performing on a list of priorities.
4 min read
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the Education Department in Washington on Aug. 9, 2017.
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education. The Government Accountability Office has released recommended priorities for the Education Department that target special education rights.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Federal Biden Administration Boosts Grants for Community Schools, Sharpens Funding Priorities
The Education Department will award $68 million through its Full-Service Community Schools program.
2 min read
First-graders Rhiannon Hanson, left, and Holden Ashbrook make fruit skewers in class at Lincoln Elementary School in Dubuque, Iowa, on Jan. 20, 2022. Project Rooted has partnered with Dubuque Community Schools for a pilot program in which it provides monthly boxes containing local foods and a project to first-grade classrooms.
First-graders Rhiannon Hanson, left, and Holden Ashbrook make fruit skewers at Lincoln Elementary School in Dubuque, Iowa. The U.S. Department of Education is providing grants to high-quality community schools that provide wraparound services like the nutrition programs at Lincoln Elementary.
Jessica Reilly/Telegraph Herald via AP