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Advocates Await Bill Changing Title I Funding Formula

Although there haven't been any updates on the Formula Fairness Campaign blog this month, new information released Saturday by the Rural School and Community Trust says a bill addressing the inequities rural advocates see in the federal Title I funding formula has been drafted and will be introduced in Congress in coming weeks.

The Formula Fairness Campaign is a group of organizations interested in changing the number-weighting provision of Title I. They say the formula results in more federal funding for low-income students who attend schools in larger, more-affluent districts than it does for similar students in smaller, poorer districts.

Schools use Title I money to help low-income students improve their academic achievement, and an analysis released last month by the Formula Fairness Campaign showed nearly one out of four school districts with the highest poverty rate nationally would be better off if the formula for distributing that money made no effort to target high-poverty districts.

About 25 state and national groups have signed on to the campaign, which is being spearheaded by the Rural School and Community Trust. The rural education advocacy organization says members of both political parties who represent urban and rural districts are preparing to put forward a proposal in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Rural School and Community Trust didn't give any other specifics in terms of what will be in the bill, but this is one of its top legislative issues, and it is encouraging groups to sign on to the campaign.

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