President Bush hiked federal funding for low-income students 2.9 percent, Education Week reports. The boost adds $13.9 billion to the program, a smaller increase than another bill previously proposed by Congress and vetoed by the President. The funding, called Title 1, is intended to help schools that serve low-income students, paying for extra support to bring disadvantaged students up to speed.

But in San Diego, school district leaders have said they anticipate a drop in Title 1 funding, stemming from a decrease in low-income families in California. As poorer families leave the state, the federal allocation of Title 1 funds to California is likely to decrease. The drop is expected to hit San Diego Unified especially hard because the district anticipates more low-income students enrolling in public schools next year, splitting the funds.

Like all school districts, San Diego Unified won’t actually know how much Title 1 money it receives until the money has already been budgeted for schools. The uncertainty puts pressure on schools to monitor federal and state budget predictions.

Besides Title 1, Education Week reports that other school programs saw their stars rise and fall with the stroke of the president’s pen:

  • Reading First, a K-3 reading program criticized for mismanagement, dropped from $1 billion to $393 million in funding.
  • Teacher improvement funds for states went up 1.7 percent, adding $2.93 billion to the program.
  • K-12 grants under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act jumped $10.9 billion, an increase of nearly 1 percent.
  • Career technical education, formerly known as vocational education, lost $1.2 billion, a 0.5 percent decrease.

Check back later this week for more news about Title 1 in San Diego.

EMILY ALPERT

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