NCLB’s maintenance of effort mandates require states to keep their own spending to a certain level in order to tap federal funds. And federal money can’t replace state and local dollars. In general Title I funds have to be targeted to low-income kids.
The House bill would repeal maintenance of effort, which calls for states and districts to keep up their own spending at a certain level in order to tap federal funds. But it would keep the “supplement-not-supplant” rule, which essentially says that federal funds can’t replace state and local dollars. And any school that gets Title I money could use it to run a program that benefits all children, even if fewer than 40% of the students are in poverty.
The Senate bill calls for sweeping changes in the way Title I funding is distributed. There is less of an emphasis on population, and more on poverty. The changes wouldn’t kick in until the Title I program, currently funded at more than $14 billion, reaches $17 billion. Unlike the House measure, the bill would keep in place “maintenance of effort,” which requires states to keep up their own funding at in order to tap federal Title I funds. But it would give states and school districts more flexibility in how they meet their required level of funding. And, under the legislation, schools would still be required to target Title I funds to low-income students, unless 40% of their students are in poverty.