This paper establishes a framework for analyzing the aggregate effects of federal education programs on local school policy. In the past, federal education programs have been evaluated separately, as if they operated in complete isolation from one another. As the number of federal programs has grown, however, it has become clear that they can affect one another by making competing demands on limited local funds and staff resources. Due to such competition, federal programs might, in the aggregate, produce outcomes that none of them intended. The paper identifies ways in which federal programs might interfere with one another or with school districts' normal delivery of classroom instruction. It concludes with an agenda for research that will assess the degree to which federal programs interfere with one another in fact, and identify possible ways of reducing competition among federal programs goals.
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