Ed Dept releases 'supplement not supplant' rules
- The U.S. Department of Education has released draft regulations for how school districts nationwide must prove they are using federal Title I dollars to supplement state and local funding rather than replace it, and the criticism from some educators and lawmakers was fierce.
- The Washington Post reports the rules would require districts to adopt a funding formula that either sends more money to high-poverty schools, demonstrates these schools are getting an equal amount as measured by personnel costs and other per-pupil expenditures, or meets an alternative test.
- While civil rights leaders applauded the proposal, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, called it an unfunded mandate, and Chris Minnich, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, said it runs counter to the Every Student Succeeds Act by limiting districts’ flexibility.
The Department of Education’s data shows about 90% of local education agencies allocate their state and local dollars in line with the “supplement not supplant” rules that govern use of Title I funding. But the 10% that is left over represents hundreds of schools across the country. This rule has been in place since 1970, after a report from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense and Education Fund revealed striking examples of misuse of those funds.
Before the Every Student Succeeds Act, there was no clear standard by which schools would have to prove their compliance, and the Department of Education has taken the bill as an opportunity to be more specific. Some schools worry the new regulations will force districts to shuffle teachers around and disrupt classrooms to achieve parity but Education Secretary John B. King Jr. insists it is a concrete step toward leveling the playing field.
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