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Title I Targeting Would Increase Under Spending Plan

Title I appears to be the big K-12 winner in the latest plan for fiscal 2008. The program for disadvantaged students would receive a $1.2 billion increase. That's a 9.3 percent increase over the current spending level of $12.8 billion.

Looking back at my previous posts on the targeting of Title I funding (see here and here), Congress continued its seven-year effort to direct money away traditional funding formulas. The two new formulas (the targeted formula and the education finance incentive formula) would receive a $1.3 billion increase. The basic formula (which goes to almost all districts) would decline a bit ($81.5 million, or 1.2 percent); the concentration formula would receive $1.4 billion—the same amount it has received each year since fiscal 2002.

Overall, 42 percent of the money will go to the new formulas in fiscal 2008. That compares to 36 percent in fiscal 2007—and 0 percent in fiscal 2001.

(To see the proposed spending levels for Department of Education programs see this report. You'll need to scroll down to page 350.)

As Michael Dannenberg pointed out at AFT's Let's Get It Right, Congress has chosen to phase in the targeting to the nation's neediest schools. That's done mostly for political reasons. But will a 9 percent increase for fiscal 2008, the targeting is sure to increase by another small increment.

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