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Study of Title IV of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which represents the first major consolidation of federal education programs. Describes how Title IV operates in states and school districts; assesses it as an example of a consolidated program strategy; and uses it as a basis for understanding the role of the states in implementing federal education policy. Finds that: Title IV is a popular, well-run program that is praised for its flexibility and ease of administration; it did not result in a consolidated management of former categorical programs; state and local school districts vary in substance, management, and quality of their IV-B and IV-C activities; small IV-B and IV-C grants can induce substantial improvement in local practices; and Title IV participation of eligible nonpublic school students is much greater for IV-B than for IV-C, where it is both less extensive and less constant than it is for public school students.

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