President Obama has created a $1 billion policy that will divert funds from more affluent schools to schools with large numbers of low-income students. The proposal was first formulated in September and now has just days to be approved by Congress before the new Trump administration takes over.
Robbing Peter to pay Paul?
Some 14,000 school districts will be affected by the new policy if it is passed by Congress. According to The Department of Education, the increase in money for low-income schools will come from “diverting money — a total of $800 million nationwide — from more-affluent schools, or by spending an additional $2.2 billion in state and local funds.”
Republicans and many school administrators are opposed to the idea. It may seem like robbing Peter to pay Paul, but the policy would benefit students at low-income schools through improved achievement. Scott Sargrad, a former Education Department official, explains, “This is the federal government explicitly saying poor students need to have at least the same resources as their higher-income counterparts.”
Improving education for low income students
Supporters of the new regulation believe it is a way of improving education for low-income students by requiring school districts spend the same amount of state and local dollars on low-income schools as they do on higher-income schools. According to The Department of Education, 3.3 million of the nation’s 50 million public-school students attend low-income schools that receive less money per pupil than higher-income schools in the same district.
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