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Legislative Information


More Than 40% of Low-Income Schools Don't Get a Fair Share of State and Local Funds, Department of Education Research Finds(posted 12/8/11)

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education documents that schools serving low-income students are being shortchanged because school districts across the country are inequitably distributing their state and local funds. [Read more]


NABSE Plays lead Role in BiPartisan Congressional Legislation Designed to Curb Title 1 Funding in Equities (ACE) Act (posted 7/26/11)

In 2000, in anticipation of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965, the National Alliance of Black School Educators issued a position on funding for Title 1. (See The Unfinished Agenda: Full Funding for Title 1.)

NABSE argued that the formulas used for targeting Title 1 funding to local school districts was unfair to small cities, to rural districts, and to small suburban/urban districts with high percentages of poverty. In some cases it included all of the districts in a single Congressman's Congressional district, e.g. Representative Clyburn from North Carolina.

NABSE argued that by statue, Title 1 was designed to compensate for the disadvantages associated with children's economic status and deficiencies in learning impacted by their home, school, or community experience. It further argued that weighting based on the number of poor children should be eliminated as a methodology for targeting dollars but rather that school district allocation should be based on their percentage of poverty. Thus, all districts at the same percentage of poverty will receive the same amount per student.

Equity in Title 1 Funding has been the number one priority on NABSE's legislative agenda and its number one priority in the reauthorization of ESEA. (See legislative proposal: The Best For Our Children.) A year and a half ago, NABSE became a cosponsor of The Rural School and Communities Trust's Campaign for Formula Fairness and has worked tirelessly to both educate and find supporters for congressional legislation to address the disparities that currently exist in the Title 1 Funding construct.

On July 12th, Representative "G.T" Thompson (Rep. P.A) and Representative G.K Butterfield (Dem. N.C) and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) introduced the All Children Are Equal (ACE) Act. The ACE Act reforms the Title 1 so that over a period of four years, two of the four funding formulas will be based on a more fair methodology.

NABSE's legislative committee, chaired by Dr. LaRuth Gray is mounting a continuous sustained campaign to make certain that the bill becomes one of the key components of Title 1 in the reauthorization of ESEA. NABSE's other legislative committee members include Gerri Bohanan, Constance Collins, Sheila Harrison-Williams, Lois Hopson-Reeder, Betty Howell Gray, Keith Greer, Betty Goyens, Lynda Jackson, Dr. Zona W. Jefferson,Walter Milton, Earl Rickman, Mable W. Robertson, Dr.Gregory Thornton, Horace Williams, Lloyd Sain, Jr., Ed.D and Dr. LucianYates III.

Read "Softening the Blow: Toward a Fairer Allocation of Title I Funds"


NABSE CO SPONSORS FORMULA FAIRNESS CAMPAIGN (posted 4/2/10)

www.mannernews.com The largest expenditure of federal education dollars are those dollars found in the programs authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965. The largest percentage of those dollars is located in Title I of the Act. The funds are distributed to states and school districts according to a complex and outdated formula.

As a result the current formula hurt more school districts and rural school districts with high concentrations of children in poverty and disproportionately favors small states and large school districts. Since the reauthorition of ESEA in 2000, the National Alliance of Black School Educators has argued that the real intent of Title I should be reclaimed.

The statue reads (PL,section 20189-10)... in recognition of the special educational needs of children of low-income families and the impact that c concentration of low-income families have on the ability of local educationalagenciest o support adequate educational p rograms,the Congress hereby declares it to be the policy of the United States to provide financial assistance. To local educational agencies serving areas with concentrations of children from low-income families to expand and improve their educational programs.

In March 2010 NABSE agreed to become one of the co-sponsors of the Rural School and Community Trust' Formula Fairness Campaign.

The Formula Fairness Campaign has two main objectives. One is to mitigate the damage done to rural and small schools, especially small, high poverty schools, by the "number weighting" system that is built into the Title I formula.

The second objective is to change how the federal government determines the amount of money per Title I student that goes to schools in a given state. Currently, that amount is based on how much, on average, each state spends per pupil on K-12 education, no matter how wealthy or poor the state is. States that can afford to spend a lot without imposing high taxes get more Title I money per student. Those that strain their tax base with high taxes but still can't afford high levels of spending, get less Title I money.

The Children's Defense Fund, the American Association of School Administrators and the Center for American Progress have also issued strong advocacy statements to address inequities found in the current formula findings.

For more information, click here.


Duncan wants to increase Title I baseline in 2010

In testimony on June 3 (2009) about the Education Department's $58.5 billion FY 2010 budget request, Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the House and Senate Appropriations committees to increase the baseline funding level for Title I in the FY 2011 budget submission.

ED has said that it cut the FY 2010 Title I, Part A Basic Grants request by $1.5 billion for two reasons — because it wanted a "laser-like focus" on improving struggling schools, and because of a $10 billion infusion for Title I in FY 2009 and FY 2010 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

But Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee's Labor-HHS-Education panel, signaled that congressional appropriators may indeed plus-up some or all of the $1.5 billion in basic grants cut by ED in the FY 2010 request. But Duncan said ED will try to increase Title I funding levels above the FY 2010 level in next year's request.

Title I Allocations

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) allocates 13 billion for Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Ed plans to release 50% of each state's Title I allocation by the end of March 2009, and states are encouraged to award funds to their local school districts as quickly as possible. Districts must obligate 85% of their FY 2009 Title I funding by September 30, 2010, and any remaining funds will be available for obligation until September 30, 2011. Of the $13 Billion, $5 billion will be allocated through Title I, targeted grant formula; and another $5 billion will be granted through the Title I education finance Incentive grant formula. Both formulas provide higher allocations based on increasing numbers and percentages of low-income children. The remaining $3 billion under Title I will be provided to states for school improvement grants to help fund state and local district effort targeted towards schools identified as "In Need of Improvement" under NCLB. District receiving these funds must report to its state Agency (SEA), a School-by-school listing of per-pupil expenditures during the 2008-09 school years no later than Dec 1, 2009.

States must reserve 4% of their Title I funding for school improvement activities authorized under ESEA, and of this amount, 95% must be allocated directly to districts for school improvement activities. Districts may use their Title I funding for any activities authorized under ESEA, including:

  • Establishing a system for identifying and training highly effective teachers to serve as instructional leaders in Title I schools and modifying the school schedule to allow for collaboration among the instructional staff;

  • Establishing intensive, year-long teacher training for all teachers and the principal in a Title I elementary school in corrective action or restructuring status in order to train teachers to use a new reading curriculum that aggressively works on improving students' oral language skills and vocabulary or, in some other way, build teachers' capacity to address academic achievement problems;

  • Strengthen and expand early childhood education by providing resources to align a district-wide Title I pre-K program with state early learning standards and state content standards for grades K-3 and, if there is a plan for sustainability beyond 2010-11, expanding high-quality Title I pre-K programs to a larger numbers of young children;

  • Providing new opportunities for Title I school wide programs for secondary school students to use high-quality, online courseware as supplemental learning materials for meeting mathematics and science requirements;

  • Using longitudinal data systems to drive continuous improvement efforts focused on improving achievement in Title I schools;

  • Providing professional development to teachers in Title I targeted assistance programs on the use of data to inform and improve instruction for Title 1-eligible students;

  • Using reading or mathematics coaches to provide professional development to teachers in Title I targeted assistance programs; and

  • Establishing or expanding fiscally sustainable extended learning opportunities for Title I targeted assistance programs, including activities provided before school, after school, during summer, or an extended school year.
ED will release additional guidance in the coming weeks that explains how the Title I funds should be used, and the reporting requirements for states, districts, and schools.

IDEA

The ARRA allocates 11.3 billion for IDEA, Part B Grants to States. ED plans to award 50% of the IDEA funding to states by the end of March 2009, and the other 50% will be awarded by October 1, 2009. Districts must receive funding from states by the end of April 2009 and should obligate the majority of these funds during school years 2008-09 and 2009-10.

Districts must use funds only for the excess costs of providing special education and related services to children with disabilities. Generally, the funds should be used for short-term investments that have been expended. Examples include:

  • Obtaining state-of-the-art assistive technology devises to enhance access to the general education curriculum for students with disabilities;

  • Providing intensive district-wide professional development for special education and regular education teachers that focuses on innovative evidence-based school wide strategies in reading, math, writing and science, and positive behavioral supports to improve outcomes for students with disabilities;

  • Developing and expanding the capacity to collect and use data to improve teaching and learning; and

  • Hiring transition coordinates to work with employers in the community to develop job placements for youths with disabilities.

State Fiscal Stabilization Fund

The ARRA allocates 53.6 billion for a new one-time appropriation for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) program. Sixty-one percent of a state's allocation will be on the basis of their relative population of individuals aged 5-24, and 39% will be based on their relative share of the general population. In order to receive the initial allocation, a state must submit an application to ED demonstrating that it is committed to advancing education reform in the following areas:

  • Developing rigorous college- and career-readiness standards and high-quality assessments that are valid and reliable for all students, including English Language learners and students with disabilities;

  • Establishing pre-K to college and career data systems that track progress and foster continuous improvement;

  • Improving teacher effectiveness and the equitable distribution of qualified teachers for all students, particularly students who are most in need; and

  • Providing intensive support and effective interventions a for the lowest-performance schools.

States will receive 67% of their SFSF allocation within two weeks after their application has bee approved, and ED anticipates the second phase of funding will be awarded beginning July 1, 2009, on a rolling basis. States must use their allocations to help restore FY 2009, 2010, and 2011 support for public education. Districts may use their share of funds for general support any, activity authorized under the Carl D. Perkins Career and technical Education Act, the Adult Educational and Family Literacy Act, ESEA, or IDEA.

For school modernization, renovation and repair of public school Facilities (including Charter Schools) which ay include Modernization, renovation and repairs consistent with a recognized green building rating system.

Fiscal Issues

  • Maintenance of effort; With prior approval from the secretary of education, a state or LEA may count expenditures of SFSF used for elementary or secondary education as non-federal funds for purposes of determining whether the state or LEA has met the Title I, Part A maintenance of effort requirement. This may reduce the incidence of LEAs failing to maintain fiscal effort and the need to seek a waiver from the Department.

  • Supplement, not supplant: the Department may not waive the Title I, Part A "supplement, not supplant' requirement. Note, however, that in certain circumstances, including cases of severe budget shortfalls, an LEA may be able to establish compliance with the "supplement, not supplant" requirement, even if it uses Title I, Part A funds to pay for allowable costs that were previously paid for with state or local funds. (For additional information, see Title I Fiscal Issues Non-Regulatory Guidance available at: http://www.ed.gov/programs/titleiparta/fiscalguid.pdf.)

  • Comparability: the department may not waive the Title I, Part A comparability requirement.
ALL CHILDREN ARE EQUAL ACT (ACE)

THE AMERICAN JOBS ACT(AJA)AND EDUCATION IMPLICATIONS

THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT

APPROPRIATIONS AND BUDGET

CHARTER SCHOOLS

EVERY STUDENT SUCCEEDS ACT (ESSA)

COMMON CORE STANDARDS

CONGRESSIONAL BILLS

REAUTHORIZATION OF THE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ACT OF 1965

TITLE I

VOUCHERS