Federal aid to education programs and their influence on financial equalization among the states

Joy M. Mockelmann

Abstract

The purposes of this study were to determine the extent to which selected programs of federal aid to education equalize the financial abilities of the states, and what has been the legislative intent of the federally funded education programs consecutively titled Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, Education Consolidation and Improvement Act of 1981, up to the most recent reauthorization, Improving America's Schools Act of 1994. The specific purpose of this study was to define and explain selected federal aid to education programs, with specific attention given to the equalization tendencies of the federally funded programs to the financial abilities of the 50 states to support public elementary and secondary education. No significant relationships were found between ECIA total program allocations per school-age child and the financial abilities of the states as measured by personal income per child of school age or as measured by personal income per student in average daily attendance. There were not significant relationships between ECIA Chapter 1 allocations per school-age child and the financial abilities of the states as measured by personal income per school-age child or personal income per student in average daily attendance. Also, no relationship was found between ECIA Chapter 2 program allocations per school-age child and states' financial abilities as measured by personal income per school-age child. Thus, no equalizing relationships were found through these analyses. There was a significant inverse (equalizing) relationship between ECIA Chapter 2 program allocations per student in average daily attendance and the financial abilities of the states as measured by personal income per student in average daily attendance. Although it was significant, the equalizing relationship was slight. A significant relationship was found between ECIA total program allocations per student in average daily attendance and state per pupil expenditure. Also, a significant relationship was found between ECIA Chapter 1 allocations per student in average daily attendance and state per pupil expenditure as well as ECIA Chapter 2 program allocations per student in average daily attendance and state per pupil expenditure.