A new Center on Education Policy analysis of federal Title I spending turns up some interesting results. Though overall Title I funding will rise 3.2% in 2005-06, the analysis says more than two-thirds of districts will see their funding go down in 2005-06. The primary culprit: districts on the bubble of a 5% poverty threshold can lose large sums if their low-income populations dip even a little. This doesn’t affect the big urbans, which are way over the 5% mark, but it does affect scads of smaller districts.
These big shifts raise the key policy question: why not make federal support like this completely student-based, so that poor kids, wherever they reside, get the added funds? While we’re at it, why not base all education funding on some kind of weighted per-pupil system? In the meantime, these numbers are just another squirt of lighter fluid on the flaming politics of NCLB.
— Guestblogger Bryan Hassel, Public Impact