February 15th, 2024 25 Minute Read Issue Brief by Ray Domanico

Title I Is a Clunky, Overbroad Failure. Low-Income Students Deserve Better.


Title I is the largest program of federal support for elementary and secondary education in the United States. Its purpose is to provide low-income children with the opportunity to have a high-quality education and to close educational achievement gaps. To this end, the program distributes over $16 billion annually through state education departments to school districts and schools (both public and private). It was created in 1965 as part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as part of President Johnson’s Great Society and War on Poverty and has been associated with many structural changes in American public education, particularly in program and school accountability through the testing of basic skills.

From the outset, Title I required that states adopt annual measures of educational achievement to measure the effectiveness of the programs that it funded.[1] By the late 1990s, it had become the platform for the national school reform efforts of U.S. presidents. Bill Clinton signed into law the 1994 Improving America’s School Act, which reauthorized ESEA and expanded Title I, tying grants to school-improvement plans;[2] George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 amended ESEA and partially tied Title 1 funding to teacher qualifications and state participation with new academic progress requirements;[3] and Barack Obama’s Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 replaced No Child Left Behind as ESEA reauthorization and shifted more accountability of school performance to the state level.[4]

Each of these reform efforts included increased requirements for states to test all students and to report school results publicly, including any “achievement gaps” among racial and economic groups of students. Over time, Title I has evolved from a program targeted at the needs of a particular group of students—those in high-poverty schools—to a more generalized set of requirements applicable to all schools. Its resources, once limited to funding services for a discrete group of eligible students, are now generally applied to entire schools. Title I is used as both a carrot and a stick to induce compliance with the priorities of the U.S. Department of Education.

It is time to rethink the current structure of Title I, as well as the more general role of the federal government in elementary and secondary education policy. Title I was born at the height of the civil rights era, with noble intentions. But it never really fulfilled those intentions and has morphed into a wedge used by the federal government to pursue its own educational agenda. That strategy seems particularly ill-suited to the partisan educational issues of today, which cry out for local deliberation, innovation, and educational pluralism.

Title I and the Civil Rights Movement

It is unclear that Title I has ever succeeded in its clear and original goal. In a 1965 statement urging Congress to pass ESEA, Johnson described the purpose of the bill as “to improve the education of young Americans.”[5] He asked:

How many young lives have been wasted; how many families now live in misery; how much talent has the Nation lost; because we have failed to give all our people a chance to learn. This bill represents a national determination that this shall no longer be true. Poverty will no longer be a bar to learning, and learning shall offer an escape from poverty. . . . For this truly is the key which can unlock the door to a great society.

From the beginning, Title I was a civil rights program, one of many such programs enacted in the 1960s, following the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling (1954).[6] At the time of that ruling, which declared legally mandated racial segregation of schools unconstitutional, 17 states and the District of Columbia required that white and black students be educated separately, and four other states allowed (but did not require) racial segregation of schools.[7]

Because the Brown ruling partially relied on social science research pointing to the harm suffered by black students under segregation, it invited policymakers to look at the quality of schools. Despite the Court’s follow-up ruling that states dismantle de jure segregation “with all deliberate speed,”[8] progress was slow. Additionally, by the mid-1960s, civil rights advocacy had embraced the notion that the courts should move against “de facto” segregation as well, or segregation that happens in fact, if not in law (in, for instance, local districting policies). It was in this environment, with national attention on school effectiveness and desegregation, that the educational achievements of lower-income children became a priority of Congress and the Johnson administration and that Title I was forged.

Title I was the first federal investment in general K–12 programs in localities across the country. Earlier federal initiatives in K–12 education, including the 1917 Smith-Hughes Act and the 1946 George-Barden Act, were limited to “agricultural, industrial, and home economics training for high school students,” and 1958’s post-Sputnik National Defense Education Act (NDEA) “included support for … the improvement of science, mathematics, and foreign language instruction in elementary and secondary schools,” as summarized by the Department of Education.[9] Title I was a much larger federal investment than these previous measures, and it signaled a fundamental shift in the federal government’s involvement in the nation’s K–12 education system.

To assuage fears of federal control of local schools and curriculum,[10] it was crafted as an entitlement program for a specific group of schools: those with a high percentage of students from lower-income families and with low levels of achievement in reading and mathematics. This entitlement applied to private, religious, and public schools.

Title I Grants and School District Finances: A Snapshot

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of School System Finances provide the most consistent view of financial contributions over time by federal, state, and local sources to school systems.[11] They show the growth in federal funding associated with Title I and other compensatory programs of ESEA.

Prior to the establishment of Title I in 1965 and its full implementation in the years following, federal government contributions to school districts, as a share of all school district revenue, are estimated to range from 1.3% (1957) to 2.3% (1967) (Figure 1). The federal share grew in the 1970s, reaching 8.1% of all school district revenue in 1977. More recently, the federal share was about 9% between 2005 and 2013, and then dipped to about 8% in 2017, before jumping to over 10% in 2021, as a result of an infusion of temporary Covid-19 relief funds.

In dollar terms, appropriations for Title I rose from over $2.7 billion in 1980 to over $16.5 billion in 2021 (Figure 2).[12] Not accounting for inflation, that is a 550% increase over 41 years. In constant 2021 dollars, the increase in those same years was $8.5 billion, or 106%.

Since 1980, Title I grants have consistently accounted for about 20% of the federal government’s investment in elementary and secondary education (Table 1).

Table 1

Title I Share of Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Spending, 1970–2021 ($Billions)

YearTotal Federal SpendingFederal Spending for the Disadvantaged Through Title IShare Spent on Title I
Source: Author calculations from “Annual Survey of School System Finances Tables,” U.S. Census Bureau, Aug. 16, 2022

Subsequent reauthorizations for ESEA expanded the number and type of students who could receive services funded by Title I. The early regulations requiring the targeting of funds to a specific group of students gave way to schoolwide projects, in which all students in eligible schools could receive Title I–funded services. With each expansion, the formulas used to divvy up funds have also changed. These changes in student eligibility were followed by an expansion of evaluation and accountability requirements. Through the Clinton, Bush, and Obama years, the Department of Education also moved to more general requirements for testing and reporting on all students, as well as racial and economic achievement gaps.[13]

Literature Review: Assessing the (In)Effectiveness of Title I

Unfortunately, researchers across the decades have found little evidence of success in attaining the clearly stated goal of the Title I program: to improve academic outcomes for the disadvantaged.

A 1977 review of existing research prepared by the then–U.S. commissioner of education and conducted by the University of Colorado’s Laboratory of Educational Research studied the impact of the most common method of delivering Title I services to students: the “pull-out” method.[14] Under this approach, students were removed from their regular classroom for a certain number of periods per week to be served by a Title I teacher for remedial education. The researchers concluded that “the ‘pull out’ procedure per se has no clear academic or social benefits and may, in fact, be detrimental to pupils’ progress and adjustment to school.”[15] Further, “the ‘pull out’ procedure is used more by schools to satisfy Title I regulations than because it is judged by teachers to be a sensible and beneficial plan.”

This observation from the first 12 years of Title I identified a lesson that would be ignored by policymakers over the following 40 years—that classroom procedures dictated by the political needs of Washington’s decision-makers can often be ill-suited to successful classroom practice.

In 2000, prior to Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act, the Brookings Institution published a summary paper that directed the reader’s attention to President Johnson’s statement that Title I represented “a national determination that ... [p]overty will no longer be a bar to learning, and learning shall offer an escape from poverty.” The paper concluded that these goals remain unmet:

More than thirty years and $118 billion later, ... [t]he skill gap in reading, writing, and mathematics has not been closed between, on the one hand, children from low-income households—often African American or Hispanic and attending central city or rural school systems—and, on the other hand, middle-class children—often Anglo and attending suburban school systems.[16]

The authors went on to observe: “The ineffectiveness of [Title I] occurs for many of the same reasons that cause the more general ineffectiveness of low-income schools and districts. The funding creates a separate bureaucracy within the larger central district bureaucracy, and the education officials do not have the same focus on getting the children reading at grade level as do the teachers in the schools.” Over time, federal regulations expanded the scope for Title I from grades 1–3, where “it is still possible to successfully assist low performers” to include grades 4–12, resulting in only 37% of Title I participants being in the critical early grades.

The paper also notes the capture of teacher training programs by the proponents of the whole-language approach to reading instruction and the absence of phonics-based instruction in many schools. “The low-income schools that have solved” the problem of children entering first grade not at reading level “typically have a strong phonics-based instructional program operating in kindergarten,” the authors wrote.[17] It has taken more than 20 years for the tide to turn on that unfortunate era of American miseducation.

Today, many states and large cities, including the nation’s largest public school system, New York City, are following the findings of modern research and requiring phonics-based instruction in the early grades.[18] Thus, for decades, the federal government was subsidizing a failed strategy for reading instruction through Title I funding. Rather than aggressively supporting research to determine the best approach to reading instruction, the federal government was simply amplifying local practices, without regard for their effectiveness.

In a commentary on the 2000 Brookings paper, noted scholar of education policy Chester Finn stated how lethargic and self-interested Title I had become:

The central problem is that, after three and a half decades, this largest of all federal K–12 education programs is encrusted with vested interests, hoary assumptions, and lots of inertia. The efficacy of the activities that it pays for, and the educational well-being of the disadvantaged youngsters who are its putative focus, seem substantially less important than the maintenance of the program’s vast apparatus and the flow of its dollars.[19]

A 2016 paper from George Mason University’s Sonia Sousa and David Armor synthesized research on Title I’s effectiveness from 1966 through 2011, which they augmented with their own analysis of data from 1990 through 2013. They concluded: “There is no evidence that early Title I programs significantly reduced achievement gaps nationwide.”[20] With a then–$15 billion per year price tag and “modest academic gains attributable to Title I,” the authors conclude: “Title I programs have not been cost effective in closing the achievement gaps.”

They also note that the general approach to school accountability that was woven into the No Child Left Behind Act (and, looking ahead, to the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act) “was a systemic reform that aimed to raise achievement by standardizing curriculum, adopting uniform standards, and publishing results by demographic group, all at the state level. To some extent, this same thinking is behind the most recent attempt at standards reform, which is to adopt a common core of curriculum and standards.”[21] They then correctly predict that Common Core will fail to close educational achievement gaps.

How Title I Funding Is Calculated

Money for Title I is allocated to states using formulas that have been modified in the give-and-take of national policymaking for over a half-century. The resulting calculation is complicated and convoluted, to say the least. In 2022, the Congressional Research Service issued a report summarizing the current formulas in use:

Title I-A grants are calculated by ED [Education Department] at the LEA [Local Education Agency] level. The funds are then provided to SEAs [State Education Agencies], which are required to reserve funds for school improvement activities and may reserve funds for administration and direct student services In calculating Title I-A grant amounts, ED determines grant amounts under four different formulas—Basic, Concentration, Targeted, and Education Finance Incentive Grants (EFIG)—although funds allocated under all of these formulas are combined and used for the same purposes by recipient LEAs.

While the allocation formulas have several distinctive elements, the primary factor used in all four is the estimated number of children aged 5–17 in families in poverty. Other factors included in one or more formulas include a state expenditure factor based on average per pupil expenditures for public elementary and secondary education, weighting schemes designed to increase aid to LEAs with the highest concentrations of poverty, and a factor to increase grants to states with high levels of expenditure equity among their LEAs. Each formula also has an LEA hold harmless provision and a state minimum grant provision.[22]

Johns Hopkins professor Susan Aud captured the mystery of Title I funding more succinctly in 2007. She wrote that “as grants have been added to the program, the complexity of the funding system has increased exponentially. Consequently, it is likely that no more than a handful of experts in the country clearly understand the process from beginning to end. The result is a funding system that is opaque and unaccountable.” Furthermore, the funding formulas have “provisions that render the final results substantially incongruent with the original legislative intention.”[23]

The latest data available from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics document the resulting mishmash of per-pupil allocations (for eligible students) across different types of school districts.[24] While the average allocation was $1,277 per eligible student in 2015, it was $1,466 in large city districts and $1,313 in remote rural districts. The most meager amounts were distributed to “rural, fringe” districts, $1,070, and “town, fringe” districts, $1,088.

Allocation differences across districts of differing poverty levels were more consistent with the original intent of Title I. Those in the highest-poverty quarter were allocated an average of $1,381 per student, while those in the lowest-poverty quarter were allocated an average of $1,023. But the difference between those two extremes, $358 per eligible student, is a small percentage of the average spending per student across the nation’s public schools. In 2015, the same year in which those per-pupil allocations were observed, the average amount spent per enrolled student (of all types) was $13,639; thus, the Title I “premium” was a mere 2.7 percent of average spending.[25]

The money spent on Title I, while large in absolute terms, is but a small percentage of total spending on K–12 education, likely because it is being spread too thin over too many students. This reflects the policy drift that has occurred over the decades as its focus has moved from raising the achievement of students from low-income families to a more general approach of improving all schools through federally mandated requirements for state- and school-level assessment and standards. With the states and school districts hooked on Title I funding, the federal government has been able to influence education policy at the state and local levels with the threat of revoking that funding.

Across presidential administrations, Title I evolved to be the platform for a Washington-forged bipartisan consensus on the need for annual testing and reporting school-level results for the sake of public accountability and school choice; reporting on racial and socioeconomic achievement gaps; and the adoption of “rigorous” state-level standards, dubbed the Common Core. Previously, these were all thought to be the prerogatives of the individual states; but despite the federal share of education funding to be only 9%–10% of total school district revenue,[26] federal priorities were being imposed on the states.

Pulling the Title I Purse Strings

This emphasis on higher standards as the vehicle for whole school improvement certainly had defensible logic behind it. Targeting the funding at individual students, as Title I had originally done, had failed to move the needle on the achievement of lower-income students. School quality, good or bad, proved more powerful than the specific services provided through Title I funding. Thus, Washington’s embrace of whole school reform, in the form of testing, accountability, and higher curricular standards made sense from the central government’s perspective.

However, while state education officials were bought rather cheaply, the public in many states was not enamored of the federally designed solution; many people might also have had different expectations of their local schools. At the peak of the Washington-based consensus, in the second Obama term (2012–15) public push-back at the local level rallied against Washington’s incursion into local control of schools (the Obama administration did not create the Common Core standards but did offer funding to states that adopted them). The standards, which were built in to state-level tests before being fully implemented in curriculum,[27] struck parents of all political stripes as unnecessary. As I wrote in 2019:

On the left, critics pointed to the funding provided by the Gates Foundation as well as from corporations such as ExxonMobil, Microsoft, and others, seeing it as evidence that Common Core was a proxy for privatization of public education. Conservative foes saw nonprofits and voluntary state participation as covers for an Obama-administration attempt to usurp local control of schools. These opponents often referred to the standards as a “national curriculum.”[28]

The “opt-out” movement gained real traction. In New York in 2015, for instance, 20% of students across the state refused to take end-of-year tests, in opposition to what parents perceived as a teach-to-the-test approach to their children’s education.[29] Obama’s education secretary, Arne Duncan, infamously suggested that the opt-out movement was spearheaded by “white suburban moms,” upset that their children weren’t “as brilliant as they thought they were” and their schools not “quite as good as they thought they were.”[30] But the opt-out movement was not only an affluent suburban phenomenon; in New York State, the movement’s center was what later became Trump country—white, working-class districts, where opt-out rates were more than 60%.

The Obama and Biden administrations have also used the leverage of Title I and other federal funding to impose the preferences of the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) on issues related to school discipline and school policies toward nonbinary and other gender-nonconforming students. In 2019, Max Eden wrote a Manhattan Institute report on how this worked in the context of school discipline.[31] As the report documents, then–secretary of education Arne Duncan introduced reforms in January 2014 that were a response to perceived racial discrimination in school discipline. Duncan pointed to “data collected by the Department of Education that showed that black students ‘are more than three times as likely as their white peers to be expelled or suspended.’ This disparity ... ‘is not caused by differences in children,’ ” Duncan claimed. “‘[I]t’s caused by differences in training, professional development, and discipline policies.’ In short: ‘It is adult behavior that needs to change.’ ”

Eden notes how Duncan, through a Dear Colleague letter, used threats to withhold funding as a way of advancing civil rights objectives:

[Duncan] put schools on notice that they could be found guilty of a civil rights violation, and therefore potentially lose federal funding, based on racial disparities in their school discipline statistics. The only way for these investigations to end was for school districts to agree to change their policies. Hence, the federal government directly coerced approximately 400 school districts serving about 10 million students to change their policies, and the threat of investigation prompted hundreds of districts serving millions more students to do the same.[32]

In 2021, Eden reported on how this approach was being applied to other federal objectives as well, an approach that involved “disregard[ing] the law, [and] expanding the definition of rights and enforcing new social norms” in our schools. The Obama administration, Eden wrote:

[u]sed DCLs [Dear Colleague letters] to declare that long-standing law now had an entirely new substantive definition, and then used the apparatus of civil rights enforcement to coerce schools to follow their new dictates under threat of losing federal funding. This sparked many of the most divisive culture-war fights of the past decade. From changing how colleges handled allegations of sexual assault, to how public schools manage disruptive students, to requiring schools to manage bathrooms and locker rooms for students based on gender identity rather than biological sex, the Obama administration effectuated an aggressive policy and cultural shift.[33]

The Obama administration’s Dear Colleague letters, which are administrative acts, not legislative, were rescinded by the Trump administration, but reimposed by the Biden administration.

All these issues are complex, and reasonable people can disagree on policy; but those discussions should be held at the local level, where students and educators live and bear the consequences of policy. The small amount of school funding that the federal government provides should not be the tail that wags the dog of school policy. This is particularly true of a program that was created for a specific purpose: to raise school achievement in high-poverty schools. Title I was never meant to provide the federal government with entrée to all manners of school policy.

Popular Resistance to a Federal Education Agenda

Our nation’s half-century history with Title I presents a classic case of the inertia associated with federal government funding, evidenced by its ongoing evolution of purpose and approach accompanied by scant evidence of success at attaining any of its goals.

Since 2015, Title I has been authorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which is the latest revision of 1965’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It is permanent law, with no statutory expiration date. Thus, funding for Title I is intended to rise, or fall, with the changes in the statutory limits on discretionary spending. Congress can choose to amend and reauthorize ESSA, and Congress has the ability to increase, or decrease, the annual amount apportioned to Title I. Biden came to office promising to triple Title I funding, but recent increases have been of a much smaller scale.[34] On the other side of the aisle, a July 2023 Republican-led subcommittee proposed reducing Title I funding by 80%.[35] This proposal, too, has gone nowhere.

Fundamental change to Title I is justified and necessary for reasons that go beyond the dollars committed to the program. However, it will take an extreme amount of rational and mature thinking to do what is necessary, attributes that seem to have been missing in Washington for some time.

There is a relevant history here. Around the time of the original enactment of EASA and Title I, the main point of argument in education policy was about racial integration of schools—particularly, forced integration, or “busing.” From 1954 to 1974, federal courts tried mightily to undo racial segregation in public schools across the country. They successfully ended de jure segregation and removed those pernicious laws from the books. However, efforts to end all de facto segregation faltered, as the courts could not mandate the preferences or practices of individual families. In 1974, the Supreme Court’s ruling in Milliken v. Bradley ended mandated school integration efforts at the local school district boundary.[36]

The dynamic of federal intervention meeting local opposition played out several times between 1994 and 2015, when Congress and presidential administrations of both major parties attempted to effect significant change in racial and economic achievement gaps through statewide school accountability programs and curricular standards. As already discussed, advocates of more national standards built these programs on the framework of ESSA and its later reauthorizations and used the threat of revoking Title I funding to enforce implementation. Once again, the effort faltered on the shores of persistent parental action to pursue the type and form of education that met their own needs, whatever the wishes of the Washington elite. One does not hear the term “Common Core” much these days, though that was at the center of the 2015 ESSA (though some aspects of this effort remain ensconced in the curriculum guidelines of some states).[37]

The populist opposition to an elite-based education agenda continues today on issues related to the teaching of human sexuality and gender diversity in schools. The insistence by some schools, school districts, and state education departments that minor students should be allowed to transition at school without their parents’ knowledge or consent are the latest front in this ongoing tension between parental rights and educators’ priorities.[38] Despite the long history of failed federal efforts to impose policy, it is likely that the Education Department’s OCR will seek to influence state and district decisions on a minor child’s “right” to transition. The Education Department has already asserted that Title IX protections apply to gender identity;[39] threats to revoke Title I funding will be the main stick used to impose federal preferences on something that cries out for local mediation.

Importantly, the push-back to federal intervention in education policy is not limited to the political Right. The curriculum standards, state testing, and measuring of proficiency that are at the heart of current federal law are anathema to those on the political Left who now decry the very notion of achievement as flawed, and possibly racist.[40]

The Covid-related school closures caused states to suspend annual state testing in 2020, and some states made participation in those tests optional, sought loopholes, or encouraged parents to opt out in 2021.[41] As states emerge from that disruption, and with 2023’s results indicating students’ steep learning losses,[42] some activists and officials are pressuring states to adjust their definitions of “proficiency” to the current reality—by lowering them.[43] On another front in this debate, some progressives are advocating that their cities eliminate the use of standardized tests for admission to selective secondary schools, in favor of other approaches that will result in these selective schools matching the racial demographics of their districts.[44]

This is all to say that the intentions of Title I seem quite irrelevant to the predominant education debates of the day. Further, any attempts by the federal government to proscribe the state and local responses to these issues are likely to fail because combatants in many of the current debates have adopted a winner-take-all mentality. Federal overreach will only exacerbate that destructive tendency, regardless of which party is in power in Washington. Localism and a respect for pluralism are the preferred approaches in education, where relational trust between and among schools, communities, and families is necessary for schools to have any chance of success.

Conclusion: Modernize Title I Funding

The current version of Title I is becoming an anachronism. Its embrace of an inflated federal role in education emerged in a political environment that has expired. Schools face very different challenges today, especially when it comes to families distrusting schools and educators. That problem must be handled locally, not constrained by Washington.

Despite the general ineffectiveness of Title I funding, there will be strong opposition to eliminating it entirely, which would be seen as a diminution of support for education. Congress might consider a phaseout of Title I funding over time, with reductions in funding offset by a commensurate increase in alternative and innovative ways to aid lower-income families.

If the federal government is to continue using Title I as a vessel for education funding, it should be limited to initial intent—helping students in high-poverty schools. This would mean that schools with lower levels of poverty would receive no Title I funding, but neither would they be subject to Title I–related federal oversight.

One modern response to our current educational challenges is education savings accounts (ESAs). States with full-choice ESA programs could serve as a test case for placing Title I funds under the control of eligible families. In states without ESA programs or other robust forms of school choice, states could be allowed to allocate their Title I funds to state-approved uses. States should be free to propose their own approach to improving educational outcomes for students from lower-income families, but one can imagine approaches such as an expansion of career and technical education in high schools, the funding of state-approved tutoring in reading and mathematics, or the funding of distance learning for advanced coursework for lower-income students in rural areas.

The best thing that could happen to Title I is for it to be turned into a national scholarship or tax credit program for lower-income families to use for tuition in the school of their choice. This is not likely to happen, partly because school choice advocates do not appear to want to draw the opposition of those who would fight any cuts to direct Title I grants to schools.

Given the rise of state-level ESAs and scholarship programs at the state level,[45] a diversion of federal Title I money to that much more promising effort could accomplish a lot to increase educational opportunity for the poor and to fulfill the original intention of Title I.

In states that offer full school choice through ESAs, Title I funds for eligible students should be added to the amount transferred to parental control. Given recent Supreme Court rulings—clarifying that a state need not offer school choice but if it does, it cannot exclude religious schools[46]—Title I funds should flow directly to religious schools chosen by the families of eligible students, ending the practice of funding local school districts to provide services to eligible religious-school students.

Additionally, under current regulations, state education departments are allowed to retain 1% of their Title I allotment for their own administrative budget.[47] That’s a $140 million deadweight loss annually. When Title I was first created, state education departments were much smaller than they are today, as schools were largely governed locally. If there is more local control over the funds, there is little rationale for state education departments collecting that share of the allotment.

In the next renewal of Title I, Congress should make it clear that Title I grants and other federal funding streams should not be held hostage to compliance with policy preferences of the U.S. Department of Education or the Office of Civil Rights. Of course, this does not mean that civil rights should not be enforced. In cases of illegal discrimination, OCR should prosecute through the courts and appropriate fines should be levied, but the use of Dear Colleague letters and closed-door negotiations with school districts—with loss of Title I on the table—should not continue. If Title I is limited to a specific group of students who have a clear and high need, they should not be punished for the sins of the school district.

Failing action from Washington, a state that is committed to local control and parent–school partnership might consider whether its Title I allotment is worth the regulation that it brings. If Congress is unable to act, that state might want to press the issue by withdrawing from participation.


Please see Endnotes in PDF

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