Why Are Funds Important for Title I Schools? (by Michelle Newton)

To whom it may concern:

I am writing to you today with my concern for the Title 1 Schools in the Portland Metro area. My concern is that the amount of Teachers jobs that were cut is affecting the students who really need those teachers who provide the education in those programs. We want our children to grow and learn. Our children are our future. If the money is not there to fund the special programs, then we are setting each student up for failure.

Greenwood Elementary School in Beaverton Oregon was acknowledged as one of the schools in the United States that overcame the educational needs of lower-income students. This should be a sign of the importance of how Title 1 funding to our schools is beneficial.

Thank you for considering the importance of Title 1 funding to our schools.

Sincerely,

Michelle Newton

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The Research Question: Why are funds important for Title I schools?

What are Title 1 schools? Almost all teachers, parents and community members have heard the term Title 1 School thrown passively around, but what is it? Title 1 is the nation’s oldest and largest federally funded program, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Every year, it provides over $14 billion to school systems across the country for students who are at risk of failure and living at or near the poverty level. Over the course of the 2009-2010 school year, federal funding through this program was used by over 56,000 public schools nationwide in order for struggling students to meet state standards in all subject areas.

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Hammond, Betsy. “Portland School Leaders Grapple with $6 Million Drop in Anti-poverty Money.” The Oregonian. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2012. <http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2012/03/portland_school_leaders_grappl.html&gt;.

Summary: In the article, the author talks about how Portland Schools who receive state funding to help in Title 1 schools has dropped 30% from the year before. The concern is for the leaders to figure out how to deal with a lower budget for the money to go around and fit the needs of the lower income households. The money that the Portland Public Schools get goes towards lower-income students to provide free full-day kindergarten at certain schools instead of the half-day kindergarten that the state actually pays for. It also funds  small programs around the areas that help low income students, and after school and summer programs. Some of the main areas that are of concern contain:
Limit federal anti-poverty money to fewer schools; Reduce the per-student amount that schools receive; Reduce or eliminate special programs such as summer school; literacy coaches; and special “wrap around” mentoring and support for Jefferson High students. The school district leaders need to come up with a plan and figure out what areas are best for the title 1 funding.

Commentary: This article gives the reader a more in depth look at what goes on behind the scenes and what is of concern of our schools who [participate in the Title 1 funding. There are teachers and board members out there who truly feel that education is a very important part in every child’s life.

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“Greenway Elementary Earns Title I Distinguished School Honor.” Portland Tribune and Community Newspapers. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2012. <http://portlandtribune.com/bvt/15-news/123551-greenway-elementary-earns- title-i-distinguished-school-honor>.

Summary: The Beaverton Valley Times acknowledged that Greenwood Elementary School (and John Muir School in Ashland) was nationally recognized under the federal Title I Distinguished Schools Program. This program has honored schools across the United States for their help in low-income students to achieve academics at higher levels of education. “We can all learn from John Muir and Greenway,” Saxton said. “These schools are showing us that with high standards, excellent instruction, and a focus on individual kids, all students can learn, grow and achieve at high levels regardless of race or income. I want to congratulate these two schools on this well-deserved recognition.” Greenwood has made an enormous change in closing the achievement gap for their low-income and Hispanic students, and fifth-grade math. The overall achievement at Greenwood is well above district and state averages.

Commentary: This article points out that having Title 1 funding in low income areas is very beneficial and it really takes those students to different levels and categories. (Way to go Greenwood Elementary School!)

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Cordon, Hector. “World Socialist Web Site.” Portland Teachers Face Huge Job Cuts. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2012. <http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/apr2012/port- a10.shtml>.

Summary: This article is about how teachers jobs are being cut statewide to save money. Portland schools also saw a reduction in federal anti-poverty (Title I) funding for the coming school year of nearly 30 percent, from $20.2 to $14.4 million. This cut will affect the most vulnerable students who rely on additional teachers and specialists provided by the funds.

Commentary: This article shows the reader that having teachers in our schools is important because not only does it affect the teachers, but it affects the students; especially the students who rely on the Title 1 funding programs.

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“Does Your Kid Go to a Title I School?” Does Your Kid Go to a Title I School? N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2012. <http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1208409/does- your-kid-go-to-a-title-i-school>.

Summary: This is a great blog where a mother is moving her family to an area where her child will be attending a Title 1 school. She voiced no concern but found it as a positive thing for the kids there are all the same and receiving the same type of education and coming from the same types of backgrounds.

Commentary: I found this blog very uplifting and reading the other readers responses made Title 1 schools seem not as bad as the type of rap that they get.

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One comment

  1. Sam

    Fund Title 1 schools! Your research was able to queue me into the issue you were addressing. I agree with your cause, and support it. Before reading this, I never really thought of Title 1 funding. After going through your research, I’ve discovered its importance.

    I would have tried to actually find someone to send your letter to. There are a number of people in charge of budget cuts, funding, and decisions. You could have even addressed a politician that is strong in supporting education.

    I liked how you referenced a specific school in your letter, giving strength to your argument. I also thought you did a great job with your research. Your research was able to quickly shed light on what you were speaking about.

    Great job Michelle and thank you for the informative read!

    ~Sam >.>

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