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The War on Povertys Human Capital Programs: K-12 Education Elizabeth Cascio, Dartmouth Sarah Reber, UCLA June 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "The War on Povertys Human Capital Programs: K-12 Education Elizabeth Cascio, Dartmouth Sarah Reber, UCLA June 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 The War on Povertys Human Capital Programs: K-12 Education Elizabeth Cascio, Dartmouth Sarah Reber, UCLA June 2012

2 Elementary and Secondary Education Act Signed April 11, 1965 Title I: Federal aid to fund programs for poor, educationally deprived children – Directed to poor school districts – $1 billion in ($7b, 2009$) – Doubled federal aid for elementary/secondary education Per-pupil grants to districts linearly in child poverty rate

3 The Title I Program Restricted block grant from the federal government to local school districts – Targeted good is educational services for poor children Initially, very little regulation of use of funds Over time, became highly regulated Most educators now think of Title I as related to particular educational interventions (pull- out programs), schools and students – Evaluations of program consistent with this

4 Federal Grants in a Federalist System Effects of Title I extended beyond grant- making TI receipt initially tied to desegregation – Strengthened the hand of the Courts – Consider desegregation-related benefits part of the legacy of TI TI receipt tied to accountability Experience of TI influenced design of state programs

5 Title I Evaluation Studies Federally mandated evaluations Compare students participating in Title I programs to some comparison groups Generally find Title I not so effective Difficult to handle selection problem Gives benefits of Title I overall only if – No Crowd-Out: Services received by treated students are new services – No Spillovers: Non-participating students not affected – Good reason to believe these dont hold

6 Economists Approach Worry about all kinds of crowd out Who can crowd out? – State governments – Local school districts – Schools Where might the money go? – Educational services for ineligible kids/schools – Ineligible educational expenditure (e.g. capital) – Private consumption (lower taxes) Funds may be nominally used for intended purposes but still not increase ed services for poor children – Lots of anecdotal evidence of nominal mis-use of funds

7 Fiscal Federalism Studies Feldstein (1978) Gordon (2004) Cascio, Gordon, and Reber (2012) Range of estimates, but all find evidence of economically significant crowd-out. What is the incidence? CGR find suggestive evidence of improvements in ed attainment for Southern whites

8 Summary of the Literature Important to consider crowd-out! Few credible studies of Title I programs much less the program as a whole Desegregation appears to have benefitted blacks TI like played some role – Many other actors and policies also important A lot we dont know

9 School Spending and Attainment: A Long View How have the relationships among educational spending, educational attainment, poverty and income changed over time? Use state-level data from the 1950s to 2000s. – Digest of Education Statistics – Census/ACS

10 Summary Spending incredibly unequal across states and strongly negatively correlated with poverty – No South effect South is just poor – Would have needed a much larger program to equalize Poverty less predictive and slope less steep over time – Greater role for income Ed attainment gaps between high and low poverty states narrowing over time – HS: Strong trend over whole period – College Attendance: Consistent with role for TI

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