A new brief by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) focuses in on the proposals to reauthorize portions of ESEA. The brief is part of a series co-authored by the Center for American Progress (CAP), called “Tightening Up Title I.” This particular brief was written by Frederick M. Hess of AEI and Cynthia G. Brown and Raegen T. Miller of CAP.
Key points of the report:
1. The process for states and districts to demonstrate that they are using Title 1 funds to supplement, rather than supplant, state and local investments in schools should be simplified.
2. Districts receiving Title 1 funds should be required to report annual expenditures at the school level, including teacher salaries, to promote transparency of how Title 1 funds are being used.
3. States must be required to disclose per-pupil spending at all levels, along with the test-based metrics commonly used on school report cards.
4. Districts should have increased flexibility in negotiating contracts with external companies for supplemental education services (i.e., tutoring).
5. Outside providers of educational services should be allowed to perform duties similar to those performed by state education agencies, such as turning around struggling schools, if they are better equipped for the task and willing to commit to meeting higher performance targets. Funding would then be contingent upon the results of their efforts.