Background on Federal Funding

Board members posing for photo next to a budget poster

Montgomery County Public Schools/Bill Mills:

From Sequestration Cuts to Full Funding

NSBA supports increasing federal funding for existing education programs with proven results, before considering funding new programs that have not been fully tested. NSBA supports restoring federal investments in education to their pre-sequestration levels, especially for key programs such as Title I and IDEA.

Title I: Assistance for Disadvantaged Children

As part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), Title I Part A grants were created to ensure equal access to quality education for disadvantaged children and to establish achievement standards and accountability. Title I funding is allocated based on the number of disadvantaged children residing in their respective jurisdictions.

Unfortunately, Title I grants and related programs have been underfunded by tens of billions of dollars for decades. Local school districts need support for curriculum development, course materials and other changes to meet federally sponsored standards and assessments.

The FY2014 appropriations bill restores most of the Title I grant funding to $14.4 billion, which is $96 million less than the pre-sequester level in FY2012. NSBA advocacy efforts are aimed at full funding for Title I.

IDEA: Services for Students with Special Needs

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), first enacted in 1975, provides the primary source of federal funding to help school districts fund educational services to students with special needs. Despite Congress's promised funding of IDEA at 40 percent of the average per-pupil cost, special education funding has declined in recent years down to less than 16 percent in FY 2013.

The proposed FY2014 funding level for IDEA is still $82 million short of pre-sequester funding. NSBA's goal is for full restoration to pre-sequester levels and a sustainable plan to fully fund the federal promise of providing the 40 percent share.

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