March 9, 2020
The Limited Impact of Tripling Title I Education Funding
Both former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders have proposed tripling federal funding for high-poverty school districts through Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Increasing federal spending would boost student performance, they argue. But new research from AAF’s Data Analyst Tom Lee finds that, absent more fundamental reforms, such spending would only marginally affect students’ test scores.
His central points:
- If the federal government were to triple Title I spending, raising it to $45 billion per year, instructional expenditures per pupil would increase by only $619; and
- Prior research has found that increasing instructional spending alone — i.e. teacher pay and money for classroom supplies — boosts student performance, but only marginally: Raising instructional expenditures per student by $1,000 raises test scores by a meager 0.84 points (on a 100-point scale).