Last Updated: May 26, 2010
Some school districts get a lot more federal support through Title I to educate very low-income students than other districts do. The Rural Trust’s Formula Fairness Campaign is leading the national effort to fix this inequity. This month the Campaign conducted two new analyses of Title I funding that demonstrate how and why some districts get more federal support than other districts for educating very low-income students.
In State Spending Averages Skew Title I Allocations to Poor Districts we show how districts located in states that spend a lot on education get more federal support through Title I. Poor rural districts are concentrated in poorer states that invest less in education. Students in these districts suffer from low state spending and from low federal spending through Title I.
Fixing Title I is essential, but not all fixes will make things better. In Options for Fixing Title I Inequity: Tying Allocations to Average Salaries Makes Matters Worse, we take a look at one alternative that would link Title I allocations to average salaries of college-educated workers in the district’s geographic region. Some researchers suggest that average salary levels reflect what workers demand and therefore relate to the costs of providing education, but this analysis demonstrates real problems with this approach for rural districts.
These articles appeared in the May 2010 Rural Policy Matters.