Problems of Implementing Multiple Categorical Education Programs

by Jackie Kimbrough, Paul T. Hill

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Supplements research initially described in R-2638 on the six types of interference and four types of cross-subsidy encountered by school districts and schools in implementing multiple categorical programs. A telephone survey revealed both problems in all types of school districts; site studies in 20 schools disclosed at least two types of interference and one type of cross-subsidy in each school. The authors recommend assigning disadvantaged children to regular classrooms rather than to separate categories dictated by the structure of federal grants and requirements. They urge federal and state policymakers to find a way to provide localities with the grant funds that categorical services require, to provide verifiable standards to ensure that these funds are used for the disadvantaged, and to avoid the problems documented in this report. A brief appendix notes some successes.

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