Carroll, Howard schools won't get extra Title 1 aid

October 14, 1994|By Capital News Service

WASHINGTON -- Carroll is one of only two counties in Maryland that will not be entitled to additional Title 1 money this year.

Maryland public schools will receive $3.1 million more this year in federal Title 1 funds for poor and underachieving students, bringing total program funds for the state to $83.1 million.

Under the redistribution, Carroll and Howard counties are affected.

Both have less than 5 percent of their students living below the poverty level and will receive no additional federal funds in fiscal year 1996.

In fact, they could be squeezed to 85 percent of the amount they receive in fiscal 1995, which started this month, the legislation says.

"It's going to amount to a slow leak," said Patti Caplan, a spokeswoman for Howard County schools. "As our teachers' salaries go up, we'll be able to fund fewer and fewer teachers.

"It's devastating at this point. We're going to be discriminated against because of our wealth."

But all other Maryland districts will gain -- how much will depend on how many of their students' families fall below the poverty level.

Maryland Department of Education officials said they were satisfied with the extra funds, which will go to elementary schools to pay for teachers to help children who have fallen behind, said Nola Cromer, a Title 1 programs specialist for the state Department of Education.

In addition, some Title 1 funds will be redistributed next year, to better aid schools with high levels of students living in poverty.

"So often programs and expectations were different for poor children," said Ron Friend, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Education. The redistribution "moves everyone together, forward," he said.

The money was included in a $12.7 billion education bill approved by the Senate Oct. 5. A spokesman said President Clinton is expected to sign it.

The redistribution in fiscal year 1996 would allow 89 more elementary schools with some of the state's poorest children to cut class sizes or hire teachers or guidance counselors.

Schools where at least 60 percent of the students receive free or reduced lunches would qualify, said JoAnne Carter, an assistant state superintendent for the Maryland Department of Education.

Ms. Carter estimated that by fiscal year 1997, when the requirements for federal aid loosen further, 224 elementary, middle and high schools in Maryland will qualify for schoolwide aid.

Now only 37 Maryland schools -- in Baltimore City and Baltimore, Montgomery, Prince George's and Allegany counties -- receive the schoolwide improvement funds, said Ms. Carter.

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