Take One Small Step for Students
Educators have a million and one things on our plates right now: Common Core ~ proficiency-based diplomas ~ testing ~ educator evaluations ~ mass customized learning ~ student poverty ~ the list goes on and on. Federal funds and grants are meant to help states deal with the many federal requirements passed on to us.
But did you know that at least some of the resources sent from Washington to benefit our students get deducted on the way to the classroom?
Maine treats the Title I funds differently than other states. If a district receives a dollar in Title I money, the State of Maine deducts a dollar in state funds that are sent through Maine’s Essential Programs and Services formula (EPS).
What is MEA doing about this? We have our “One Small Step for Students” campaign that is drawing the attention of people across the state to the inequities of the use of Title I funds.
The Title I funds that are sent to Maine are described, in part, like this at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/titleiparta/index.htm:
“Title I, Part A (Title I) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended (ESEA) provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards...
LEAs target the Title I funds they receive to public schools with the highest percentages of children from low-income families...[T]he school must focus Title I services on children who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet State academic standards.”
It is pretty clear from this that the Title I funds are meant to supplement the money already provided to education ~ to give our students at risk an extra leg-up. But that is not happening.
We really need to have your involvement to change the funding process for Title I in Maine so that eligible children receive the federal funding they are due.
MEA is working hard to have changes made at the state level and that takes all of us ~ ESP, teachers, parents, and community members ~ working together. We need to fill the State House with the voices and letters of those who care about our children.
You can help by taking action.
You can fill out a form online at: http://www.maineea.org/onesmallsteppledge.
We will deliver the postcards to the legislators as we receive them, a few at a time. This is a great way to gain attention to our effort to protect our students and - best of all - IT WILL ONLY TAKE A COUPLE OF MINUTES OF YOUR TIME!
It is imperative that our most vulnerable students get the federal money that is meant to improve their opportunities. Please help MEA help our students.
To learn more about getting involved go to: http://www.maineea.org/onesmallstep.