Federal Aid and Equality of Educational Opportunity: Evidence from the Introduction of Title I in the South
Title I of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act substantially increased federal aid for education, with the goal of expanding educational opportunity. Combining the timing of the program's introduction with variation in its intensity, we find that Title I increased school spending by 46 cents on the dollar in the average school district in the South and increased spending nearly dollar-for-dollar in Southern districts with little scope for local offset. Based on this differential fiscal response, we find that increases in school budgets from Title I decreased high school dropout rates for whites, but not blacks.
This research was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (Award Number 0519126) and the Spencer Foundation (Award Number 200600131). The authors also gratefully acknowledge support from the National Academy of Education/Spencer postdoctoral fellowship. We are grateful to Patricia Anderson, Sandra Black, Julie Cullen, Ethan Lewis, Robert Margo, Leah Platt Boustan, Douglas Staiger, and seminar participants at Stanford University, the University of Texas, the University of Wisconsin, and the NBER Economics of Education meeting for helpful comments and to Cyrus Kosar for excellent research assistance. We thank James Alt for providing the voting data, Douglas Miller and Jens Ludwig for providing identification of the 300 poorest counties, and Douglas Almond, Hilary Hoynes, and Diane Schanzenbach for providing REIS data. All errors are our own. The data presented, the statements made, and the views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
“Local Responses to Federal Grants : Evidence from the Introduction of Ti tle I in the South” (with Nora Gordon and Sarah Reber), American Economic Jour nal: Economic Policy , 5(3), 126-159, August 2013.