It’s turning out to be a day of wonk-tastic posts at Teacher Beat, but when there are billions of dollars hanging in the balance, details really do matter.
Case in point: The accountability principles in the stimulus bill require districts that receive Title I recovery funds to “report a school-by-school listing of per-pupil educational expenditures from state and local sources.”
Right now, it’s not clear whether these expenditures are going to include actual teacher salaries. Under the current Title I, districts can just submit a district-wide salary average to prove that resources are equitably allocated among high- and low-poverty school districts. But, as groups like the Education Trust and the Center for American Progress have shown, low-income schools frequently hire less-experienced teachers with lower salaries. That means, these groups say, that the so-called “comparability” of resources are anything but.
But I’m hearing that it’s possible the guidance Education Department plans to release next week could require accounting of actual salaries. That would create a big reporting challenge for districts. And it would also likely signal the Obama administration’s longer-term plans for Title I comparability.
You can read David Hoff’s much more detailed story on the comparability issue here.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.