BIDEN ADMINISTRATION PROPOSES HUGE INCREASE IN TITLE I FUNDING AIMED AT MOTIVATING EQUITY REFORMS IN STATE EDUCATION FINANCE SYSTEMS
The Biden administration’s recently-submitted budget proposals for Fiscal Year 2022 propose to more than double current year Title I appropriations by providing $20 billion for a new “Title I Equity Grant” program.
The program would provide additional funding to states and Title I -eligible school districts to help address funding disparities between high need and wealthier school districts by 1) providing incentives to examine and address inequalities in school funding; 2) promoting salary increases for teachers at Title I schools; 3) increasing access for students in under-resourced districts to rigorous coursework; and 4) expanding access to high quality preschool for underserved children.
To obtain these formula grants, states would be required to submit plans describing how they will carry out key activities including the setting of goals, interim targets and timelines for improving the equity and adequacy of their school finance systems and closing gaps in funding between high and low-poverty school districts and schools. The proposal also encourages all states, through a $50 million allocation, to establish voluntary State School Funding Equity Commissions to identify funding and educational opportunity gaps and develop detailed action plans to rectify them through extensive community engagement.
The proposal now has to be considered and voted upon by the Congress.