ERIC Number: ED498006
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun-29
A Closer Look at Title I: Making Education for the Disadvantaged More Student-Centered. Heritage Special Report. SR-15
Aud, Susan L.
Since its inception in 1965, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, now known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), has directed billions of federal dollars toward low-income students. Title I, Part A of NCLB is designed to equalize educational opportunities and resources for disadvantaged children. This analysis examines whether the current mechanisms for providing federal education funding to disadvantaged children are effective and whether the system works as originally intended. The evidence yields the following major findings: (1) Formulas have become increasingly complex and obscure; (2) Distribution of funds is characterized by seemingly unintended variability; (3) Amounts reserved for administration significantly dilute what reaches the classroom; (4) Title I's Education Finance Incentive Grant encourages states to equalize spending across school districts, despite the fact that this is an unproven education reform strategy; and (5) Rather than delivering effectively on good intentions for helping poor children, congressional action over eight reauthorizations has led to a convoluted, bureaucratic system that is less student-centered, less transparent, and therefore less accountable to the public. The author advocates for three Congressional actions: (1) reformation of the Title I program to return to the intended student-centered goal of compensatory education; (2) streamlining of the funding formula to use a simple per-pupil allocation; and (3) allow state to implement student-centered funding, allowing greater portability and school choice. (Contains 22 footnotes, 3 tables, and 2 charts.)
Descriptors: Federal Legislation, Incentives, Elementary Secondary Education, Educational Change, Disadvantaged Youth, Funding Formulas, Educational Opportunities, Compensatory Education, Educational Finance, Access to Education, Educational Legislation, Equal Education, Educational Resources, Federal Aid, Resource Allocation, Grants, School Districts, Change Strategies, Federal Government, Government Role, Expenditure per Student, School Choice
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Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001