How much does Federal Title I Funding Affect Fairness in State School Finance Systems?

About this much!

These funding profiles are based on the methodology used in our reports on school funding fairness. The reports can be found here: and the technical appendix can be found here:

This graph is based on an updated model which includes data from 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 (these are linear projections of otherwise messy distributions… hence the fact that some of the lines cross at/around 0% poverty).

The bottom line is that while Federal Title I programs certainly provide much needed funds to many high poverty districts, in the big picture, they are a drop in the bucket. They are now, and have been for some time.

The states in this figure are among the least equitable in the nation. And Title I aid simply isn’t sufficient to fix that. Equitable and adequate financing of local public school districts remains the responsibility of the states, and these states have some work to do!

Published by schoolfinance101

Bruce Baker is an Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. From 1997 to 2008 he was a professor at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS. He is lead author with Preston Green (Penn State University) and Craig Richards (Teachers College, Columbia University) of Financing Education Systems, a graduate level textbook on school finance policy published by Merrill/Prentice-Hall. Professor Baker has written a multitude of peer reviewed research articles on state school finance policy, teacher labor markets, school leadership labor markets and higher education finance and policy. His recent work has focused on measuring cost variations associated with schooling contexts and student population characteristics, including ways to better design state school finance policies and local district allocation formulas (including Weighted Student Funding) for better meeting the needs of students. Baker, along with Preston Green of Penn State University are co-authors of the chapter on Conceptions of Equity in the recently released Handbook of Research Education Finance and Policy, and co-authors of the chapter on the Politics of Education Finance in the Handbook of Education Politics and Policy and co-authors of the chapter on School Finance in the Handbook of Education Policy of the American Educational Research Association. Professor Baker has also consulted for state legislatures, boards of education and other organizations on education policy and school finance issues and has testified in state school finance litigation in Kansas, Missouri and Arizona. He is a member of the Think Tank Review Panel, a group of academic researchers who conduct technical reviews of publicly released think tank reports on education policy issues.

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