Today, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) director of education policy studies Rick Hess, along with Raegen Miller and Cindy Brown of the Center for American Progress, released recommendations for fixing key provisions of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)--federal funding targeted at our nation’s neediest students.
These three experts, from public policy organizations that span the ideological spectrum, recommend the following changes to Title I:
- Title I should simplify the manner in which states and districts demonstrate that federal Title I dollars supplement, and do not supplant, state and local investment in schools.
- Require districts that receive Title I funds to report annually all school-level expenditures--including all dollars devoted to teacher salaries--to the Department of Education to promote transparency about how those Title I dollars are being used.
- To receive Title I funds, states must be required to disclose per pupil spending at the state-, district-, and school-level alongside the test-based metrics that are commonly used on school report cards.
- School districts should be given increased flexibility to negotiate contracts with external companies that provide supplemental education services such as tutoring.
- Alternative (outside) providers should be allowed to perform duties traditionally performed by state education agencies – such as turning around a struggling school -- if they are better equipped for the task, and willing to commit to meeting higher performance targets. Funding would be contingent on the results.
Frederick (Rick) M. Hess is the director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. He is available for interviews and can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org (202.862.5809).
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