Formula Fairness Campaign Update

Last Updated: October 27, 2011

This article appeared in the October 2011 Rural Policy Matters.

The All Children Are Equal Act received an important boost this month when the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) listed "Funding Equity Among Schools, Districts, and States" as a CDF priority for the re-authorization of ESEA.

ESEA is the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which, through its Title I program, provides school districts with federal funding to boost educational opportunity for very low-income children. 

CDF notes: "ESEA reauthorization must include a revised Title I formula to eliminate current inequities caused by the use of number weighting and state average per pupil expenditure factors." CDF also prioritizes a "comparability" provision to ensure that school districts equalize state and local expenditures in Title I and non-Title I schools.    

Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committeed passed a bill re-authorizing ESEA. The bill does not address the Title I formulas and faces an uncertain future in the Senate. 

The Children's Defense Fund is a leading child welfare, civil rights, and anti-poverty organization and has long supported the need to eliminate number-weighting in the Title I funding formulas. 

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