Jan 1, 1993
Volume I. Findings and Recommendations
Chapter 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965 is the nation's $6.1 billion program for assisting "disadvantaged" students in primary and secondary schools. This study assesses the current Chapter 1 program and describes a strategy for reformulating the program to encourage fundamental improvements in the quality of education available to low-income students. It concludes that Chapter 1 does not lead to fundamental educational improvements in low-income communities. While the program currently benefits selected groups of children, particularly by providing remedial instruction, it has virtually no effect on overall school quality. This is because Chapter 1, as currently funded, has not kept pace with the needs in either poor inner city or poor rural schools, and because the funds are widely dispersed. The study recommends three basic changes in federal policy: (1) revise the Chapter 1 funds distribution pattern to provide substantially greater aid per low-income child in the districts and schools with the most severe poverty-related problems; (2) reformulate Chapter 1 to encourage comprehensive improvements in low-income schools; and (3) provide fiscal incentives that will encourage states to narrow the gap between the expenditure levels of rich and poor school districts.