March 27, 2016
excerpts from: WHAT IS TITLE 1 FUNDING?
1. – “ ‘Title I’ is the federal program that provides funding to local school districts to improve the academic achievement of disadvantaged students”
2. – “If a school district qualifies for Title I funding, it is entitled to the money. However, the district must submit to the state education agency a plan for how it will use the funds to improve academic achievement among disadvantaged students.”
3. – “ ‘Disadvantaged’ students are those who come from low-income families, are in foster homes, or are neglected or delinquent, or who live in families receiving temporary assistance from state governments.
4. – “The districts have wide discretion in determining how the money is to be used. About 83% of Title I money is used for programs serving pre-K through 8th grade. These programs must specifically serve students who are failing to meet academic standards or at risk of failing because they are disadvantaged. However, if more than 40% of the students in a school qualify as disadvantaged, the school is allowed to run ‘schoolwide’ programs that serve all students, not just the disadvantaged.”
A FRIEND TOLD ME OF HER YEARS WORKING WITH TITLE 1 FUNDS
I recently visited with a friend who for years had been in charge of deciding how to distribute Title 1 funds in her school district. The process she went through was extremely complicated and I found it most interesting.
Over the years, she witnessed the number and percentage of Title 1 recipients grow rapidly.
MANY PEOPLE AND COMPANIES RELY ON TITLE 1
A huge number of people and companies rely on Title 1 funds from the federal government, for their survival. Title 1 funding is the largest federal source of money for schools in the United States.
The lack of personal responsibility and the lack of regard for others, is becoming more widespread – people are tempted to feel entitled to receive money that other people have earned. This is true of many who benefit financially from Title 1 funds. It would be difficult to make this “give away” program smaller. Even if there was incentive to do so, the uproar would be overwhelming from those who benefit from the federal money.
There is no incentive for schools to help lower the number of students considered Title 1 students. Because of the abundance of “free money” involved, and the loose definitions and loose limits on who can “qualify” to receive the funds, there is the temptation for many to see needs where there really aren’t needs, and to spend Title 1 money for “solutions” to imaginary needs.
Title 1 funding is just one more “government give-away” that causes schools to become reliant on the federal government, and become more controlled by the federal government.
There are still those of us who know that nothing is free. Not only do taxpayers pay for this federal “help,” but as always, along with the “free federal money” comes federal control over who is taught, what is taught, and how it is taught.
Federal programs, including Title 1, are increasing demands on teachers and on most school employees — to collect and share unimaginable amounts of data on every student and on all the people connected with each student. This encroaches on teaching time.
The fedeal govenment requires taht all this data-gathering be uploaded nationally. It is made available (sometimes for a price) to schools, employers, and study groups and others in the public, under the guise of measuring the “growth” of each individual student. Ironically improvements are not actually happening in results from all the costly, time-consuming required efforts. Academic levels in the United States continue to plummet. Could the data gathering be for some other “unknown” reasons?
Percentage of Money for Gifted and Talented – and percentage of Money for Students on the Opposite End of the Academic Spectrum –
The federal government never allows the percent of either group to diminish.
A similar situation can be found with federal money connected to “gifted and talented” students, and federal money connected to students who are at the opposite end of the education spectrum.
(Colorado) Jefferson County school district illustrates the proportion of students in each of these two categories by using a pyramid. Within the top section of the pyramid is represented the percentage of total students who are gifted and talented kids – while in the bottom section of the pyramid is shown the percentage of students in the other end of the academic spectrum.
I saw this pyramid several years ago at the first of a series of weekly evening school district budget meetings. At that time I was one person of a very small group of people from the community allowed to attend these sessions, along with a much larger group of people who financially benefitted directly from the distribution of the school district budget.
Those who had this vested interest in the budget decisions were teachers, counselors, principals, district administrators, people from the IT department, English as a Second Language teachers, social workers, people who provided other services, other employees of the district, and people I did not know, who showed up during the last week of the weekly introductory classes. They were all there to make sure they got “their cut” of a continuation or increase of funds designated for their salaries, programs and products.
Those of us who were from the community were not allowed to sit with each other during the weekly meetings. We were placed at separate tables, and before the next level of the budget process took place, almost all of us were weeded out. I was one of a handful of people from the community who made it to the second level, which took place during one evening. We were distributed into separate rooms studying different parts of the budget and “making recommendations” that were combined with recommendatons of those who were paid from the budget. My recommendation disappeared, becasue only the “consensus” of the group was reported. (a Hegelian tactic designed to end up with a pre-determined outcome)
I learned during the first level of the budget study meetings, that the federal government mandates that the percentage of total students remains the same or increases for both the gifted and talented category. The federal government makes the same demand for the percentage of students in the group on the opposite end of the academic spectrum. In other words, there can never be a shrinkage of percentages in either category of students. That shocked me! Eventually everybody would be in one or the other designation if there was enough growth in either category or both categories.
How much sense does that make? I would hope that the bottom group would shrink, as students improve academically. And to insist on any set percentage in the gifted and talented is ridiculous. Are the students in each category just numbers devoid of any meaning? Are they just dollar signs for the school distict?
This is typical government central planning with some not-so-obvious goals, and unintended consequences.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, ONCE AGAIN, MESSES UP EVERYTHING
Once again, our federal government is wasting our taxes, making school districts dependent on them for support, taking away the voice of parents, teachers, students and school districts — and imposing redistribution of our taxes. Our federal government is stealing from those who have earned money, and giving it to others who have less.
THE GOVERNMENT IS REDISTRIBUTING OUR WEALTH AND PRODUCING NO GOOD RESULTS.
With the strings attached to the federal money, they are forcing compliance to specific ways of teaching, forcing what content is to be used and what morality is to be taught. They are insisting on endless data-gathering, which cheats students of a real education, because teachers are too busy to teach, and the curriculum is inferior.
Teachers can no longer be teachers.
Parents have nothing to say about what their children are taught, or how their children are treated.
Students are stuck in failure and despair, with no privacy.
Ignorance grows and so does poverty.