Title I Funding, Lifeline to Poor Schools, Up in FY 2016

Title I Funding, Lifeline to Poor Schools, Up in FY 2016

Funding for Title I, the largest elementary and secondary education support program for children in high-poverty schools, rose 3.5% in fiscal year 2016, ended Sept. 30 2016, to $14.91 billion, up from $14.41 billion in fiscal year 2015. 

Title I finances academic support and learning opportunities for disadvantaged students. The program mainly funds educator salaries but is also of interest to educational publishers, since schools spend Title I funds on professional development, educational materials, after-school programs, and specialized instruction. Educational technology companies, particularly those offering literacy and intervention solutions, cite the importance of federal funding, such as Title I and IDEA, to customers. 

One-Fifth of Title I Funding Allocated to 50 Districts

The fifty school districts on the Title I list that are allocated the most funding will receive $3.83 billion of the grants allocated to local education agencies for fiscal year 2016, more than one-fifth of total funding, and up 5.2% from the $3.64 billion allocated to the 50 largest recipient districts in fiscal 2015. The Department of Education released 2016 Title I allocation information in summer 2017, which provides the latest information.

The top three recipients on the Title 1 schools list in fiscal 2016 - NY, LA, CHI - will receive $1.38 billion, 9.2% of total funding for fiscal 2016. Among the fifty districts receiving the largest Title I funding, eight are in Flordia, seven in texas, and five in California. 

Title I funding is paid to states and territories that distribute it to indivdual districts, and have two years to spend funds, which have ranged from $14.38 billion to $14.91 billion from 2009 to 2016, with the exception of funds for sequester year 2013, which dipped to $13.76 billion.

Find more information on K-12 education funding and policy, as well as company profiles and market segment sizes, in Simba Information’s new report, Publishing for the PreK-12 Market Report 2017-2018.

Broader Federal Funding

Total discretionary spending for the Department of Education has steadily risen from $17.1 billion in fiscal year 1989 to $68.2 billion in 2017.

However, President Trump proposed a budget for fiscal year 2018 in May that would cut Department of Education discretionary appropriations to $59 billion, a 13.5% decrease from the $68.2 billion in discretionary funding provided under the Education Appropriations Act, 2017,  which would divert $1 billion in Title funding to a grant program focused on school choice.

The proposal would direct $1 billion of 2018 Title I funding to new Furthering Options for Children to Unlock Success (FOCUS) grants. The grants would be supplemental awards to school districts that adopt weighted student funding combined with open enrollment systems that allow federal, state, and local funds to follow students to the public school of their choice.

It's unlikely that congress will pass Trump's 2018 as is, but diversion of Title I funding away from traditional allocation formulas could negatively impact some school districts' spending. 

For ongoing coverage of the educational publishing industry, visit Simba Information's biweekly newsletters, Educational Marketer  and Electronic Education Report.