Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Follow that Money

Ed Week got into it last week and the NYTimes gets into it this week, but I think one of the most interesting developments to come from all the brew-ha-ha over state NCLB noncompliance is where the money will go. The withheld 10 percent or 25 percent of the state's FY 2006 Title I, Part A administrative funds, a fate befallen 10 states, will be funneled to LEA's in the states. This provided that the states threatened with an immediate loss of funding fail to submit additional data as per ED's requirements within 20 business days of official written notification.

OK, but say 7 or 8 states' Title I, Part A admin funds are indeed docked. Then what? How does that money flow to the localities? Is it doled out evenly? Does it go to localities with high percentages of schools not meeting AYP? There has to be guidance on this somewhere, right?

And, is it just me or does docking administrative funding get ED into a reductio ad absurdum? After all Title I, Part A monies were designed to "develop, implement, and evaluate instructional programs that ensure students identified to receive services in Title I Targeted Assistance schools and all children in Title I school wide Program Schools have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high quality education and reach at a minimum proficiency on challenging state academic achievement standards." ED is taking away monies designed to serve at-risk children in penalty of a law/system designed in large part to better serve at-risk children.

I'm always looking for how NCLB characterizes the contemporary federalism in this country. Circumventing the state by sending federal money to the locality seems like another example of the spoiled grandchild effect. The grandchild acts up (localities shoulder the bulk of proof NCLB requires, standardized testing, but fail to make AYP). The grandparent doesn't like the way the parent has handled the grandchild and blames the parent for the grandchild's failures, (the state has provided poor guidance, inappropriate tests, and unqualified teachers). The grandparent goes around the parent and rewards the grandchild for being a grandchild of a irresponsible parent (federal ED gives money directly to schools, says "you do better work than the state, we trust you").

The stage seems set for some pyrotechnics.


Post a Comment

<< Home

This page has been accessed at least several times since the counter was last reset, or at an average rate of at least several hits per day.