Yesterday the Federal Education Budget Project (FEBP), Ed Money Watch’s parent initiative, released updates to its education funding, demographic, and achievement database (http://www.edmoneywatch.org). These new data include:
- District-level funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part B, Title I Part A, and Impact Aid basic support payments, through 2009 with estimates for 2010;
- State-level funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part B, Title I Part A, Impact Aid basic support payments, and federal school nutrition programs, through 2009 with estimates for 2010 and levels based on the President’s budget request for 2011.
FEBP is currently the only public source that provides these data all in one place and allows them to be analyzed along side student demographic and achievement data. In fact, the district level Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) data were collected directly from state departments of education because the federal government does not make data on district level IDEA allocations publicly available. The Impact Aid data were collected from the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools (NAFIS), and the Title I data were collected from Thompson Publishing.
These data provide an interesting window into the existing federal mechanisms for supporting public education, including services for low income students, special education students, and students that participate in school nutrition programs. FEBP’s comparison functions allow users to conduct comparisons of various indicators including funding across similar states and school districts.
Previous Ed Money Watch posts, under the “Examining the Data” series, use the FEBP comparison tool to explain idiosyncrasies in the existing funding formulas for each of these programs and provide context for the funds with student demographic. These same analyses can be recreated using data for other states and school districts. See the list below:
The Federal Education Budget Project aims to improve the quality of the education debate by making information on federal funding for education more accessible and transparent for the public, the media, and policymakers. We hope this new wave of data further illuminates the complex nature of the federal role in education funding and spurs conversations about improving federal funding formulas to better serve students and schools.