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High Poverty Rates or Not, All School Districts in the Texas 28th Congressional District Lose Title I Funds to Number Weighting

If you can stand to read about more injustice dished out by the Feds--with OUR tax dollars--go to the Formula Fairness webiste. For starters, there are descriptions of losses in Springfield, MA and upstate New York. Here's one headline:

How much more does a child count in Houston Independent School District than in Talladega County School District?

A Title I child in urban Houston, Texas (28% poverty) counts 78% more under the EFIG formula than one in Talladega County, Alabama (29% poverty.

Visit the Formula Fairness Campaign How Can I Help? page.

by Marty Strange

High Poverty Rates or Not, All School Districts in the Texas 28th Congressional District Lose Title I Funds to Number Weighting

The 28th Congressional District in Texas spans from the outer suburbs of San Antonio southward to the Mexican Border, covering some of the most sparsely populated areas of the United States. Much of the district's population lives in communities near the Rio Grande River, where student poverty rates are among the highest in the nation -- Hidalgo at 63%, La Joya at 60%, Roma at 53%, Rio Grande City at 50%, Laredo and Zapata at 49%. These are poverty rates, not subsidized meal rates which generally run about 40% higher than poverty rates.

There are 30 school districts that receive Title I funds in the Texas 28th and the average student poverty rate among them is 38%, higher than the school districts in Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Miami, or Washington, D.C. Yet every one of the 30 school districts in the Texas 28th lose money due to the "number weighting" provision in the Title I formula that takes money from smaller districts and sends it to larger ones even if the smaller districts are more highly concentrated with poverty.

Some of the losses are staggering. In the 2008-09 school year, Laredo lost nearly $2.1 million, La Joya, $1.8 million. Overall, school districts in the Texas 28th lost over $7.0 million in 2008-09 to number weighting

Also, because the Title I formula bases a district's funding in part on the average per pupil spending by all schools in its state, and because Texas is a low spending state, the average Title I allocation in the Texas 28th was $1,398 per Title I student. Compare that with Maryland, where the average is $1,866. And, because of the combination of state spending and number weighting factors, Maryland's Prince George's County School District, with a student poverty rate of under 10%, gets $2,060 per Title I student.

— Marty Strange
Formula Fairness Campaign


http://www.formulafairness.com/blog/?p=151 http://www.formulafairness.com/blog/?p=151



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