Diverse Groups Join Alliance to Close Loophole in Title I Comparability Provision

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The League of United Latin American Citizens and the United Methodist Church have joined The Education Trust and nearly two dozen other organizations in a statement of support for the ESEA Fiscal Fairness Act. The bill, introduced by Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.), would close a loophole in Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that allows local school officials to fill district-created funding gaps with federal funds.

The so-called "comparability provisions" of Title I require participating districts to provide all schools with an equal share of state and local resources. Given an equal funding base, schools can use Title I funds to buy the extra supports low-income kids need to achieve at high levels. But the loophole  too often shortchanges high-poverty schools and undercuts the power of Title I to boost achievement of the kids who need help most.

The district-level budgeting practices the comparability loophole allows are well documented in the Ed Trust report, “Close the Hidden Funding Gaps in Our Schools.”

Following are the groups supporting the legislation:

  • Center for American Progress Action Fund
  • Children's Defense Fund
  • Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights
  • Civic Builders
  • ConnCAN
  • Democrats for Education Reform
  • Disciples Justice Action Network
  • Education Equality Project
  • Education Reform Now
  • Forum for Youth Investment
  • Hope Street Group
  • League of Education Voters
  • League of United Latin American Citizens
  • Mass Insight Education and Research Institute
  • National Council of La Raza
  • National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators
  • National Indian Education Association
  • National Urban League
  • The Mind Trust
  • The New Teacher Project
  • Oklahoma Business & Education Coalition
  • The Schott Foundation for Public Education
  • United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society

  • United Negro College Fund

Fattah called the bill “a long-overdue correction” and said he hopes it will jumpstart the national dialogue on achieving educational equity as Congress turns its attention to reauthorizing ESEA. The Center for American Progress and the New America Foundation have posted briefs on their Web sites.