- With the Senate continuing debate of the Every Child Achieves Act, its reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, a few proposed amendments are proving to be particularly controversial.
- One such amendment, proposed by Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), would alter the way Title I funding is determined and disbursed, replacing the four current formulas with one that would multiply the number of poor children by national per-pupil spending for poor students.
- The reasoning behind the amendment is that it would increase funding equality for poor rural states that don't get as much under the existing model, but Democrats and advocacy organizations see it potentially taking millions from a number of states.
Under one example provided by Think Progress, California would see at least a $100 million boost in Title I under the proposed formula change while New York would lose more than $300 million. It's easy to understand why the amendment is seeing opposition in some circles, especially when its passage, as Think Progress suggests, could ultimately derail the Every Child Achieves Act by discouraging votes from senators whose states would lose funding.
Additionally, Education Week reports that the Center for American Progress has estimated that 58% of students would be affected by funding cuts under the amendment. Some have also suggested omitting wealthy districts from the formula all together.
Also likely to cause contention is a proposed amendment from Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) that seeks to halt federal ed funding to "sanctuary cities" friendly to undocumented immigrants. Other amendments up for introduction are a student test data disaggregation proposal from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and a National Education Association-backed effort from Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) aimed at school resource equity.