Schools with a lot of poor students have a much harder time educating them than schools with a few poor students. So, after considerable negotiation, Congress decided to target Title I funding for disadvantaged students at districts where at least five percent of students — a very low number — live in poverty. A New York Times story on low-poverty districts losing funds completely missed this point, Alex Russo points out.
What’s going on in Title I funding is not accidental, and not a function of decreasing Title I funding. It’s called targeting — an effort to concentrate limited federal funds where they are most needed rather than spreading them thinly to nearly every district in the nation, and to have poverty funds follow actually follow poor children rather than being held hostage by districts whose poverty rates or numbers are decreasing in comparison to other places.The real news — all but buried — is that 41 of 50 states are getting Title I increases. LAUSD is getting $53 million more next year than this year. Philadelphia is getting $29 million more. Chicago is getting $22 million more.
For once, the poor are getting richer.