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President Biden calls for historic investment in Title I

On Friday, President Biden released a blueprint for next year’s budget that calls on Congress to increase U.S. Department of Education funding by more than 40 percent. Title I funding for high-poverty schools would rise by $20 billion—the biggest year-over-year increase since the program’s inception in 1965—and the annual Pell Grant maximum by $400 with access expanded to Dreamers. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) would also receive significant increases. The upcoming budget is also expected to propose historic increases to Full-Service Community Schools, a significant boost for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funding, and a large investment in school counselors.

“President Joe Biden and his administration are making good on the promise to lift our most vulnerable families out of poverty with a budget that truly prioritizes students. The historic investment in Title I funding is a continued commitment to building a better America for all,” said NEA President Becky Pringle. “We also commend President Biden and his administration for proposing significant investments in special education, full-service community schools, school counselors, affordable housing and healthcare while extending Pell Grants to Dreamers.”

33 responses to “President Biden calls for historic investment in Title I

  1. Until more teachers are hired and class sizes are reduced, we are just throwing away good money after bad. I teach in a Title I district. My school is 88% Hispanic. Most parents are unable to help their children with school work because their level of education is low or they are limited English speakers. Many others are just overwhelmed and don’t take the time to help their child. As a result, everything falls back on the teachers.

    Many of my colleagues are taking early retirement or considering getting out of teaching. Most of them still love the profession, but we are being asked to be miracle workers.

    1. I agree with the posts here. Another layer is that high Title I school principals are not valuing the specialized instructional paraeducators (highly trained, often retired teachers, who are vital in helping children catch up in reading and math). Instead, they are focusing their money on using only paras who spend half their days supervising kids in order to meet Covid safety standards. I have seen highly trained instructional paras, who make a huge difference in learning scores, have their hours cut in half while supervisory paras replace them. Biden needs to wake up and ask his wife to look at the critical difference that instructional support teams make and how the very help Title I kids need is being reduced by principals, because this money is one big slush fund. Why aren’t we focusing on instruction right now?

  2. A lot of people seem to miss the point here. The money goes with the students, and this Pell funding increase also raises the students number of choices in where they will attend, and increases overall accessibility for students with extra challenges.

    Wake up, schools! It’s time to re-evaluate the same old / same old.

  3. I do not appreciate anyone that says “Wake up Teachers!” I’ve been teaching in the same school and district for 22 years and I work my tail off everyday. My school has gone from a Title 1 school of 54% to 92% free/reduced lunch, class sizes from 22-24 to 28-32. Throwing money into having a nice building is NOT what is going to help these students. My district did that, built us a new school 8 years ago and guess what…that didn’t help test scores go up. The only thing that will help is more teachers and smaller class sizes, and parents who will sit with their children for 30 minutes a night and discuss what they learned in school. Children do NOT value education these days and parents don’t want to parent their children. That has been made apparently clear with this pandemic and all the parents who belly-ache because they’ve had to keep their children home instead of sending them to school. WE need more teachers, smaller class sizes, and parents to make time for their children every day.

    1. Yes! And more highly trained instructional paraeducators (perhaps retired teachers?) Who are available to kids who really need help, even after school hours.

  4. Schools are being asked to fill in the gaps that struggling families don’t have the resources (time, energy, money, training) to fill. The schools do need more money as long as schools are being asked to perform so many roles. Families need and deserve jobs with a living wage and flexibility that allows them to spend more time with their kids. Affordable healthcare and housing would help, too.

  5. I suggest that those critical of school budgets and spending might benefit from spending significant time in a variety of schools and studying the issues thoroughly before being so judgmental about how education money is directed.

  6. I’m encouraged by the growing number of Promise/Impact Programs that are not giving students a free education, but offer students an opportunity to EARN tuition and fees. It allows students to be invested in their educational process.

  7. I do have a hard time with people who chose expenive, Ivy League educations, get good jobs & then expect others to forgive their loans. I think Junior College & State Colleges should be free, then expensive Graduate Schools like Medical School should be free.

  8. All schools need help. I moved from a Title 1school to what might be considered a ‘destination’ school with a lower poverty level and higher student performance rate. I was disappointed to find no document readers, no overhead projectors hooked to my computer. No magnetic blackboards. The kids in these type schools deserve the same technology as any other school. The PTO bought document readers and we later received projectors on carts. But the document readers were not the Elmo brand that is easy to handle as PTO couldn’t afford those for such a large school. And our population is changing. We are not Title, but we have the same needs.

  9. Bernie Sanders had an excellent plan for free college education. Too bad it is not being implemented. It may not appeal to those in the Libertarian camp, those who recklessly and without forethought believe in less spending, but in the long run free college education would be one of the best investments our country could make. Do some real research on the issue, then do the math.

  10. Increasing the Pell Grant is fine, however extending it to the “Dreamers” is not right! Many of our kids are “dreaming” about going to different universities but cannot get enough in loans to cover out of state costs or tuition in general!! I’m dreaming for more financial aid or grants for my son but it is not going to happen!!

  11. I was involved in Title 1 for over a decade as a Tutor, working directly with children in small groups, in the classroom, often with a teaching team, and individually. During my last years in that position–which I saw students grow into true readers, with that direct teaching–I saw a movement towards getting rid of the tutors to hire people who would server more as analysts to ‘advise’ the teachers to aid the students with learning disabilities, thus increasing not just the instructors class involvement, but also the paperwork. These specialist, of course, in CEO mentality mode receive higher salaries, unlike the modestly paid tutors. I do hope this pattern would not be followed, but revert to the more individualized tutoring, which I do know worked exceedingly well for all concerned, especially the students–from all levels of society.

  12. I agree with some comments above and as an educator I have worked in Title I schools my entire career and believe me when I say there are different levels of Title I schools. The money needs to go to educators who do not make enough money to repay student loans or to support our families. I worked at one school where they had a laptop cart without wireless internet access so they were useless. A 55″ LCD TV’s purchased for every classroom with no use for them because there was no educational channels and there wasn’t a school news broadcast either they just sat and collected dust. What I am saying is yes the money needs to be spent more wisely. Also, school districts change their reading, math, science, and social studies curriculum every 5 years, which costs millions of dollars and guess what 1+1 is still 2 and reading foundations are the same why do we need to change them every 5 years. The problem I see is not enough educators are involved in the decision making process it is done by politicians and other individuals who have never worked in education.

  13. I have taught at both suburban and urban schools and there are arguments to be made for both sides. However, having switched back to an urban school from a suburban school as my longtime dream of teaching mostly native speaker Spanish classes within my own district, I will say this: After years at a suburban school where what’s falling apart are more the families than the schools, I refused to be a part of that any longer. In my current urban school with 95% Latinos, of which 1/3 are immigrants, I have only to contact a parent for a student to turn in late work and get caught up or stop whatever it is that is blocking their academic success. In the suburban schools, the disruptiveness of the students and their lack of caring about the future went unanswered by parents around 75% of the time, no matter how I tried to contact them. It does not surprise me that that suburban school I used to teach at in a lower-middle class neighborhood does not have one academic distinction and its magnet is not academics but trade based. As a sign of one of the factors affecting many suburban schools, especially where sprawl has created modestly-priced housing in large neighborhoods of blended and single-parent families, once in a Spanish I class at that school the question was: How old are your parents?–and more than half the class of 14 and 15-year olds said their parents were in their mid-30s. So our think about is: where is the money better spent off the bat now? Suburban schools need to rethink how families need to and can better support students, and suburban school parents need to stop seeing in suburban school mediocrity and failure a lack of money spent on their schools as the sole blame rather than also seeing how their own lack of parenting skills contribute to that.

    1. Yes I agree the family dynamics is definitely a big problem, but instead of address parent accountability they put it on us teachers…expecting us to fix everything. Well it takes a village a team to raise children us teachers can’t fix it alone.

    2. I believe that suburban schools have their own set of issues that need addressing. I have taught for 45 years, mainly in suburban scbools~ including 20 of those at an adult school in a unified school district, where. most of my students were the parents of suburban students in our k-12 schools. Many of these parents were limited Eglish proficient themselves, and were struggling to obtain their own GED certificates ( which are offered in Spanish) or, their high school diplomas. ( Many of our adult students had diplomas and advanced degrees from their home countries.) These parents would then go to work, and later back ho.e to help their children, as much as they possibly could, with their homework. These parents are to be admired beyond measure. When teaching primarily third, fourth, and sixth grades in areas of mainly Hispanic students with monolingual Spanish speaking parents, in high poverty areas, In a District where I taught for thirty- five years, I witnessed extreme levels of dedication among my immigrant parents. My students also excelled because of tge support I received as their teacher from their wonderful, hard working parents~ Moreno than from the school’s adminiistratjon itself. A completely different set of circumstances existed in the upper middle class families where I also taught elementary, but to students whose parents had divorced, and often who bounced back and forth during the week between their parents in different households. Many of these students were being raised by their grandparents. I hold several credentials, including a bilingual specialist, counselor, and school psychologist credential. I also became National Board Certified. The most prized skill I have is my ability to speak Spanish fluently. I am thrilled to see our new president proposing to expand funding for the programs and schools that he is. It’s totally about time! I would like to see additional funding proposed for adult education as well. Especially after what teachers across America have endured this past year with COVID, I would like to see additional funding for counselors across the board at ALL schools. Additionally, Family Engagement centers, such as ours at my former district ( I retired last May)~ would be such a wonderful resource to all communities– if those could be funded as well.

  14. Exactly WHAT money is being misspent? You are making generalizations.
    Who is not spending this previously
    budgeted money wisely? Please give three examples.
    Yes “history has shown,” I am sure — but: What are three examples you mean that show **they are not spending ‘wisely’?
    And finally, please explain how to make ‘parental appreciation’ happen, how to know **they ‘appreciate’ and ‘support’ the opportunity education provides’.
    You blame nameless people for vague lack of support and valuing education which somehow translates into the schools should not get more money.
    Heavy on judgment, buzz words, disapproval. Light on understanding what their view of the problems are; on constructive ideas for helping to corrects those problems; and you give a ‘bootstraps’ attitude toward the people doing all the work of a school which demands their aim ought to be to seek your approval for money instead of successfully educate students.

  15. Suburban school districts keep getting left behind. It feels like for the last 30 years the emphasis has been on Title I schools and schools in poor areas, but I firsthand have watched the deterioration of suburban schools because of these policies. My school in an upper middle class area is falling apart!

    1. I agree as I work in the same type of school. Nothing ever seems to get fixed at my school. Despite the pandemic, my school’s A/C doesn’t work well on the upper floors and they wait to turn them on because of money. I open the windows for little to no air flow and there aren’t any screens so I hope bees don’t fly in. I have rust on a cabinet and peeling laminate on my lab tables, one I covered with duct tape for safety. The students desks are original to the school. They are small and the backs of the seats show the head of the screws that holds them together. We put tape over them for girls with long hair so their hair doesn’t get wrapped around it and pulled out when they move. When my custodian is absent, my room doesn’t get cleaned so we clean it ourselves in morning. It’s half of a floor.. No one notifies us, we just notice. Reported all these multiple times to maintenance and administration. Nothing gets fixed unless it’s an emergency.

  16. How will this money be spent to raise education levels? This is not ‘complete dominance’, heads/tails issue. So multifaceted and complex but certainly doable. What is the plan, other than giving more money to institutions, how are they going to be held responsible if/when this works?

  17. Good response Kevin! I agree! I would also like to know what high poverty schools are? How long are we going to bail them out of mismanagement? This takes money from suburban and rural schools who need technology, devices, STEM programs and enrichment programs too. Let’s be fair to all schools and populations. Also, why are we giving so much money to historically black colleges and minority serving institutions?

  18. How exactly do you link Parental Appreciation & Support with Government funding? That is a seemingly ridiculous required expectation. There is already local control of how funding should be prioritized. Elementary schools are in desperate need of full time counselors which are currently non-existent. New money should be linked to upgrading air filtration systems and creating more support positions along with the most necessary reduction of class sizes.

  19. Please help our cafeterias to get enough employees to work without being over worked. And please supply us with the equipment that is needed to prepare a well balanced meal for our students. A lot of our cafeterias need to be renovated, so our kids can see a big difference in their school cafeteria as other schools in their county.

  20. I beleive more money is not the answer, spending what is budgeted wisely and effectively is the answer. More money without better money management is not the answer.

    History has shown that throwing money at a problem does not solve the problem it justs spreads more money to be wasted and then leads to the call for more money.

    Responsibility for and owning your education needs to come with the money.
    Parental appreciation and support for the opportunity education provides needs to come with the money.
    Giving local control for education needs to come with the money.

    1. I’m not sure if you are an educator, but I am really encouraged that title 1 funding will increase by $40 billion so we can reduce class sizes, invest in schools in poor and rural areas, and begin to give equitable education funding across the United States. I am also encouraged that IDEA funding is being increased so we can give our special education students the supports they need in order to build and accomplish their dreams.

      These are two areas that I see investing money will help considering these students education has been underfunded for so long.

      Here in Hawaii it costs prestigious private schools $22,000 or more to educate students that they select. We educate all of our students with $14,000. An additional $7000 per student would definitely help us provide our students a better education and make important investments to our classrooms that support our students.

      I applaud this news!

  21. I am happy President Biden has put into place a significant amount of funds for Title 1 schools. I also noticed he did not state teachers should also receive a pay increase for all the work they have done for students during the pandemic, and what we will face after the pandemic dealing with all the issues surrounding trying to help bring back balance into the classroom and getting students caught up with their education. So will teachers receive a pay increase President Biden?

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