Download CAPE’s Title V issue paper (PDF)
To restore funding for Title V, Part A, of the No Child Left Behind Act to its fiscal 2004 level of $296 million.
Title V is an important and widely used program that serves students in private and public schools. It provides materials, equipment, and services to meet student needs, as those needs are identified by local administrators. In one school the program might provide remediation in reading and math; in another it might be used to purchase library books, and in another, to train teachers to use instructional technology. The bulk of the benefits go to public schools, but as much as 11 percent of funds are available for services to children in private schools, a reflection of their portion of the school-age population.
The innovative programs funded under Title V, while determined at the local level, are required to be part of an overall reform strategy tied to promoting academic achievement standards and to improving student performance (20 USC 7215(b)). Numerous accountability provisions are built into the program and are reflected in the application that local educational agencies must submit to states.
To determine the effectiveness and value of Title V, CAPE invited private schools to participate in a survey based on the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART), which was developed by the Office of Management and Budget and is used by the Department of Education to determine program effectiveness and allocations. The survey report provides overwhelming evidence that Title V funds are targeted in an efficient and effective way to address specific needs. Moreover, projects funded by Title V have performance measures that focus on outcomes, and regularly meet their performance goals.
Within the private school community, Title V is the most popular of all federal education programs, and it enjoys a long history of support, in part because it provides for the equitable participation of private school students based on their share of a district’s enrollment. The program’s origins go back to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), when it was known as Title II. In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the program in Mitchell v. Helms, a landmark case in church-state jurisprudence.
But despite Title V’s popularity and its long and distinguished history as a staple of federal education law, Congress last year cut funding by one-third from $296 million to $200 million. (Fortunately, an energetic and extensive grassroots campaign by various public school and private school organizations helped reverse the decision by Senate and House appropriators to eliminate the program entirely.) For fiscal 2006, President Bush has proposed to cut the program further to $100 million. In a program that provides local educators with much-needed flexibility, a cut of this magnitude would adversely affect the quality of education that students are provided. It is essential that Congress restore funding for Title V to fiscal 2004 levels in order to repair the damage done by last year’s cuts
Approved by CAPE’s Board of Directors: June 2005