Since its inception, in 1965, Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act has supported local educational programs serving the needs of Americaís most disadvantaged children. Today, at an appropriations level of more than $8 billion, Title I dominates the federal K-12 education budget and provides supplementary funding to more than 90 percent of school districts across the United States. In this, the programís 35th year, The National School Boards Association is pleased to offer this important and timely publication, Exploring New Directions: Title I in the Year 2000.
With this report, NSBA takes stock of the present Title I program, identifies the most promising approaches to educating the nationís disadvantaged children, and offers sound guidance to policymakers seeking to improve Title Iís effectiveness. Drawing upon literally hundreds of studies, evaluations, and other documents, Exploring New Directions details the evolution of the Title I program over the past 35 years, placing its successes and failures in historical perspective. Most important, this report Ė following a prepublication version distributed to congressional offices in the fall of 1999 provides a renewed vision for the future of the Title I, offering a set of concrete recommendations to guide lawmakers as they embark upon the programís reauthorization. The report also raises a series of critical questions to encourage responsible dialogue at the local level aimed at improving program effectiveness.
Focusing attention on student achievement is a key function of local school boards, and addressing the educational needs of disadvantaged children is a critical part of that broader responsibility. It is our hope that this new report will support school board effectiveness in achieving both of these important objectives by strengthening the Title I programís legislative base and by informing local policymakers seeking to develop and implement more effective programs at the local level.
Anne L. Bryant
Mary Ellen Maxwell
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