In the News

Bill’s Aim Is Equal School Funding

Raegen T. Miller discusses a new bill to improve Title I funding in the Corpus Christi Caller.

I wonder what President Lyndon B. Johnson would have thought of The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, commonly known as NCLB. The law, after all, is the most recent iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, a flagship part of his administration’s war on poverty. My guess is that LBJ would take a dim view of one part of NCLB: a funding scheme in the law’s largest program, Title I, that pits small and medium-sized school districts against large ones.

The Department of Education’s recent release of 2011-12 Title I allocations to school districts provides ready examples of the problem. Two large South Texas districts, Corpus Christi and McAllen ISDs, are due to receive a little more than $1,200 for each low-income child. But two smaller districts, Goliad and Refugio, can expect a little more than $1,000. Based on the U.S. Census Bureau data used to reckon Title I allocations — as opposed to using tallies of students eligible for subsidized meals — these four districts have relatively similar child poverty rates of 20 percent to 34 percent. And the districts share the state-level characteristics that figure into Title I funding.

The above excerpt was originally published in Corpus Christi Caller. Click here to view the full article.

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Raegen Miller

Associate Director, Education Policy