The rich get poorer

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.

About Joanne

Comments

  1. I hope the poor are getting richer…

    In our small district, the Title I kids are obvious, even to the kids. We had a little issue with this — one of my daughters asked my wife why she could not get hot lunches all the time like the kid up the street. How, exactly, do you explain to a kid it was because we make too much money? “Sorry, honey, mommy and daddy have jobs so here’s you peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Maybe you can have a hot lunch next month.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with my tax money going to those in need, but I sure would like a better definition of who is in need. I’m not talking about the kids across the railroad track here. They live four houses up the street from us. They are on WIC as well, so they even eat better at home than we do. It’s amazing that these “poor people” get tax returns that average $5,000 a year and don’t pay a penny in taxes. The Fed and State AMT, alone, cost me nearly $5,000 last year. It’s hell being rich!

    I’d like to see the “poor” family’s income, INCLUDING GOVERNMENT HANDOUTS taken into account when the Title 1 money is passed out. Perhaps then, the truly needy will actually benefit.

  2. Just a test

  3. nailsagainsttheboard says:

    Wow, what a surprise….the Bush Adminstration spending inordinate amounts of public $$ on Title I and other wasteful programs! So much for the Republican party and fiscal responsibility. Domestically, this Adminstration is RINO. Hopefully the GOP will nominate someone who is up to the task of true conservatism–government’s primary role in protecting and defending the citizens of the U.S.A. Other domestic concerns should be up to state and local legislatures.

  4. Is it all that strange? President Lyndon Johnson waged a war on poverty, and title 1 was a part of that. So a Republicans is at fault for not killing it?

    If President Bush had killed title 1, I can imagine the headlines: “Compassionate Conservative President wages war on the poor”

    The politicians that dream up these entitlements know darn well it’s a win-win for them. They look like heroes when it passes and can always get political mileage when the other side tries to eliminate the waste.

    Contrary to popular belief, being Republican does not make one stupid. No career politician in their right mind would fight that battle. Wow, another justification for term limits!

  5. Mike in Texas says:

    Only the Bush administration and its propaganda machine would try to claim a cut to Title I funding is actually good for education.

  6. ragnarok says:

    MiT said:

    “Only the Bush administration and its propaganda machine would try to claim a cut to Title I funding is actually good for education.”

    Hmm, Mike, I must be missing something. The NYT article says Title 1 funding “…is increasing by 3.2 percent, to $12.6 billion.” This is a decrease? Like the the “decrease” in state education budgets that Mike Antonucci highlighted 🙂

    BTW, given the quality of this article, I’m wondering if “Michael Janofsky” is a pseudonym for Jayson Blair?

  7. Mike in Texas says:

    From the opening of the story:

    A new analysis shows that a record number of the nation’s school districts will receive less for low-income students in the coming academic year.

  8. …and from paragraphs two and three in the story:

    For the 2005-2006 school year, spending under the Department of Education’s Title I program, which helps low-achieving children in high-poverty areas, is increasing by 3.2 percent, to $12.6 billion.

    But because of population shifts, growing numbers of poor children, newer census data and complex formulas that determine how the money is divided, more than two-thirds of the districts, or 8,843, will not receive as much financing as before.

    Of course, this being a New York Times article there’s always some unitended humor:

    “The federal government is concentrating more money in fewer districts,” said John F. Jennings, the president and chief executive of the Center on Education Policy. “It means there is lots of anger and lots of tension. They’re asking us to do more and more with less and less.”

    Which would be exactly in opposition to the historical trend, and the preferred direction, of public education wherein less and less is done with more and more.

  9. ragnarok says:

    Really, MiT, I’m quite surprised by your response. Didn’t you realise that the report is a travesty, and that I was (somewhat diplomatically) pointing this out? There’s really no way to defend this rather, shall we say, intellectually-challenged, sloppy, misleading article, you know. As Joanne and Alex Russo point out, it’s all about targeting the aid to the neediest.

    BTW, I’m afraid I can’t remember how many times I’ve asked whether you would explain why the state’s desire to make education available to all kids implies that they should be railroaded into public schools. Still, I haven’t lost hope 🙂

  10. Mike in Texas says:

    Ragnorak,

    B/c there are too many shady businessmen out there who wouldn’t give a damn about your child, only how much money they can make off of them. The “reform” crowd is filled with them. People like Sandy Kress here in Texas who doesn’t like blacks, testifies repeatedly in from of the state legislature about how awful public schools are, and makes millions as a sleazy lobbyist for the companies who want to take over for the public schools.

  11. ragnarok says:

    So, Mike, following your argument, we must assume that the public school system is full of good guys, selfless, devoted to the kids, putting themselves last?

    Doesn’t seem likely, does it? What about the tenured deadwood, the myriad administrators, the wasted money, the knowledge that the system can’t go bankrupt, the teachers who can’t do basic math?

    With private schools, parents have a choice, and the schools can fail. If they do well, they can do very well indeed, whether for-profit or non-profit. This is competition, the backbone of America.

    I doubt that you’d like to give up choice; what would you say if the state forced you to buy a certain car (Yugo?). What we want is the same ability to choose schools.

  12. Mike in Texas says:

    Ragnarok,

    Maybe I’m just lucky then in that I work at a school with devoted, hard working teachers who care about the kids in their charge. NCLB will punish my school just as surely as it will punishes the schools you describe, as AYP will become gradually impossible to attain leading up the year 2014. You are familiar with what NCLB says must happen in the year 2014, aren’t you? If not I’ll be happy to explain it to you.

    As for administration, do I agree with everything they do? Hell no!! My school district’s administration bought into the “schools should be run like a business” bullcrap the minute the snake oil salesmen started selling it.

  13. ragnarok says:

    Mike,

    The original question was, how does the state’s interest in providing an education to every kid translate into forcing them into public schools.

    I believe your answer was, “Because private schools are bad”, and, by inference, public schhols are filled with good people.

    I think both public and private schools can be good or bad, but with private schools one can choose; not so with public schools.

    You may indeed work in a public school that’s really good, but that has nothing to do with the original question. Nor does NCLB.

    FWIW, NCLB came into being because the public school system was widely perceived to have failed.

  14. Mike in Texas says:

    I said no such thing as to private schools being bad.

    Education is paid for by the community and is commmunity centered, unless its here in Texas where the state robs the rich school districts to pay for the poor.

    NCLB came into being because the public school system was widely perceived to have failed.

    The perception was invented by the same sleazeballs who want to get ahold of the money being used to educate our children.

    Perhaps the answer is education needs to be public to ensure its done as well as possible.

    Before you get on your high horse, I realize there are some crummy public schools out there. But if you examine why they are crummy most of the root causes lie outside the school itself (crime ridden neighborhoods, lack of resources, etc.), or lately, idiotic mandates handed down by ignorant politicians.

  15. ragnarok says:

    Mike, I’m well and truly confused. I sure thought you said that kids had to be sent to public schools because private schools were bad. If in fact you believe that private schools can be good, then you should help kids transfer from public schools to those private schools if they want to. Right? After all, it’s self-evident that the money is for the kids’ benefit, not for the public schools per se.

    Doesn’t matter much why those crummy public schools you mention are bad; what’s important is that the kids be allowed to escape from a bad school. Right?

  16. Mike in Texas wrote:

    The perception was invented by the same sleazeballs who want to get ahold of the money being used to educate our children.

    If he cared, I’m sure Senator Ted Kennedy would object to being characterized as a sleazeball being one of the Senate co-sponsors of the NCLB.

    Perhaps the answer is education needs to be public to ensure its done as well as possible.

    Yes, but first we need to pass a law that commands the tide not to come in. First the easy stuff, then the more difficult.

    But if you examine why they are crummy most of the root causes lie outside the school itself (crime ridden neighborhoods, lack of resources, etc.), or lately, idiotic mandates handed down by ignorant politicians.

    Well if that’s all that’s needed to fix the public schools then let’s get too it. Which should we put at the top of the priority list? The ignorant politicians or that “lack of resources” thing?

  17. Mike in Texas says:

    Ragnorak,

    It would be very easy to create a private school better than the public schools. Private schools don’t have to play by the same rules as public schools. For example, the story about the fundamental schools in Tampa that have a myriad of rules, the violation of which gets the student transferred out. The parents also have to follow rules regarding their participation.

    In all this talk about “reform” and giving money to the private schools b/c they are allegedly so much better, no where are there strings saying the private schools will take any student and keep that student no matter what. The “reformers” want to give all this money to the private sector with no such stipulations.

    I’ve seen it here in Texas. Just this past year we had two very troubled 4th graders booted out of local charter schools; it was easier to get rid of them than to help them. The problem is those kids still needed help and still need an education.

  18. Mike in Texas says:

    Allen wrote:

    I’m sure Senator Ted Kennedy would object to being characterized as a sleazeball being one of the Senate co-sponsors of the NCLB.

    Are you actually defending Ted Kennedy???? You do remember that little accident on the bridge a long time ago don’t you? The one where the young lady was left to slowly suffocate in a submerged car? Where good ol’ Ted and his buddy, the former Mass. Attorney General didn’t see fit to call the police or an ambulance and report the accident? The one where his family used their influence to first spririt him out of state and then later the girl’s body (couldn’t have any nosy coroners examing the evidence could we?)

    Gee, you think anyone who woudl do a thing like that might vote for a piece of legislation that would make his fellow rich buddies a boatload of money? Might that have been his only concern?

  19. ragnarok says:

    Mike,

    I’m afraid you’re still evading the original question, which was “why the state’s desire to make education available to all kids implies that they should be railroaded into public schools.”

    If you don’t have an answer, that’s OK. If you feel you can’t defend the assumption, that’s OK. What’s not OK is to keep dodging the question. What I’ve seen so far can hardly be called a direct answer, wouldn’t you agree?

    For the record, I’m asking a serious question, not trying to score debating points. That would be quite easy, and it might even be fun, but I’ve stayed away from it because I’d really like an answer – but I haven’t heard any so far.

    Now, although you haven’t answered my question, I’ll take a crack at one of yours: “In all this talk about “reform” and giving money to the private schools b/c they are allegedly so much better, no where are there strings saying the private schools will take any student and keep that student no matter what. The “reformers” want to give all this money to the private sector with no such stipulations.”

    Public schools can and do expel students – rarely, but they do. However, consider this: public schools almost never go out of business, unlike private schools, so it may be fair to liken them to a state’s assigned-risk insurance pool, whereby they get the kids who can’t get in anywhere else; the private schools will take of those who can get in.

    As long as this is a net benefit to kids, you can’t oppose it on any grounds except job security.

  20. Mike in Texas says:

    I’m afraid you’re still evading the original question

    you’re kidding right? How about this. There are too many sleazeballs in the public sector to entrust the education of our children, and the stewardship of $450 billion, to. Have you forgotten the charter company in Ca. that shut down all its schools 4 weeks before school started, leaving thousands of kids in the limbo?

  21. ragnarok says:

    Mike in Texas said:

    “There are too many sleazeballs in the public sector to entrust the education of our children, and the stewardship of $450 billion, to.”

    Public sector? Game, set and match!

  22. Mike in Texas says:

    My bad ragnorak, I meant private sector. Not the first time I’ve wished for an edit feature here.

  23. Mike in Texas wrote:

    My bad ragnorak, I meant private sector. Not the first time I’ve wished for an edit feature here.

    I wonder. It may be that there’s some shreds of decency and honesty in you struggling to find the light of day.

    Nah.

    Are you actually defending Ted Kennedy????

    Oh, heaven forfend! No, I was just pointing out that a powerful senator who ought to be firmly in the pocket of the NEA seems more interested in measuring the NEA for a pine coffin.

    That’s got to be worrisome.

    Why would Teddy do it? Idealogically, he’s a lot more likely to be near you then me so wence cometh the co-sponsorship of the NCLB and, as if to prove it wasn’t a result of a bit too much expensive scotch, wence cometh the extension of the NCLB to the high schools?

    I confess, I’m mystified.

    Could he have, at this fairly late point in his life have developed a conscience? Seems unlikely. I’m sure he’s buyable but not for mere money, or at least the amount of money the barons of the charter school movement could pony up. Is Teddy losing his mind? I know you’d find that possibility irresistable Mike but the times I’ve seen Teddy on CNN he seemed moderately lucid.

    So, I’m not so much defending Teddy Kennedy as being forced to accept the possibility that he’s pushing the NCLB for his stated reasons: the lack of accountability in the public education system is contributing to its downfall and Teddy wants to save public education. In other words, on principle.

    I’d be far more comfortable with an explanation that made Teddy’s support of the NCLB a crass and self-profitting political move but I just haven’t seen any and can’t think of any. Well?