Federal government could cut funding to help low-income students - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Federal government could cut funding to help low-income students

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Some cuts to education funding from the federal government could have an impact on at-risk kids in local school districts. The House of Representatives budget eliminates funding to teach kids of low-income families things like reading and math.

If the house budget proposal passes as is, one funding source for a nationwide program for children could be eliminated.

"Title One funding, for low-income families and school districts in high need areas, which I think would set back the education efforts that we have going for us in the state of Wisconsin," says Representative Ron Kind (D-3rd Congressional District).

Title one dollars are used to provide additional education for kids from low-income families, who are most at risk of failing to meet each state's academic standards. The money is given to the highest poverty schools in a school district.

In the Eau Claire School District, nine elementary schools and DeLong Middle School receive title one dollars.

"Title One significantly helps school districts provide the necessary one on one support and classrooms aides and extra reading help for those kids," says Eau Claire School Board President Dr. Carol Craig.

This school year, the district is getting $1.5 million from the federal government for Title One. The district uses that money to beef up its teaching staff, to enable more one-on-one instruction that Dr. Craig talked about.

"Not every kid comes to school at the same level. We have some kids here in Eau Claire that have their reading at a second and third grade level when they start kindergarten. We have other kids who don't even have a book at home. Title One allows that gap to be addressed," says Dr. Craig.

"It's one of the concerns that I have with the budget discussions in Washington, huge cuts in crucial education programs, which I'm afraid will harm our children in the classroom, and make them less able to compete in a very competitive global marketplace," says Congressman Kind.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed their budget, and that bill is now in the Senate. Congressman Kinds' office says it's unlikely that bill will pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

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