US Department of Education Proposes ESSA Spending Rules Stressing “Supplement not Supplant”

Today, the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) released proposed regulations to implement the requirement in Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as recently revised by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), that federal funds must supplement, and may not supplant, state and local funds. The proposal will help ensure that federal funds are additive and do not take the place of state and local funds in low-income schools, in keeping with the longstanding commitment under Title I that the nation’s highest need students receive the additional financial resources necessary to help them succeed. The proposed regulation would mean up to $2 billion in additional state and local funding for high poverty schools.

“For too long, the students who need the most have gotten the least,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “The inequities in state and local funding that we see between schools within districts are inconsistent not only with the words ‘supplement-not-supplant’ but with the civil rights history of that provision and with the changes Congress made to the law last year. No single measure will erase generations of resource inequities, and there is much more work to do across states and districts to address additional resource inequities, but this is a concrete step forward to help level the playing field and ensure compliance with the law.”

Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights said, “Plainly put, our system of funding education is unfair and unwise and this draft rule is an important step toward improving an intolerable status quo. Our states and districts routinely spend less money to educate children facing greater challenges. This rule doesn’t solve this massive problem—no single rule could—but it’s a step in the right direction and brings us closer to a more just education system.”

FACT SHEET: Supplement-not-Supplant under Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act

Some recent articles regarding the proposed rules.

T.H.E. Journal (8/31)

U.S. News & World Report (9/1)

The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (8/31)

National Public Radio (8/31)

Education Week (tiered subscription model) (8/31)

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