Playing Fair

The Need for Teacher Equity in Low Income Schools

On Monday, June 8, the New America Foundation's Federal Education Budget Project released "Equitable Resources in Low Income Schools: Teacher Equity and the Federal Title I Comparability Requirement" at an event on Capitol Hill. This event featured representatives from the White House, Representative George Miller's committee staff, and the National Education Association to discuss teacher equity and the comparability requirement in the law.

The Title I comparability provision of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is intended to prevent local school districts from systematically spending less on students in the highest-poverty schools. Each school district that receives federal NCLB Title I funding must use its state and local funds to provide "comparable services" to its high-poverty and low-poverty schools. In practice, loopholes in the federal law, watered down regulations and weak enforcement have made this provision ineffective. The discussion focused on how to modify the provision to ensure that students in high-poverty schools receive equitable services.

You can listen to an audio recording of the event here. A complete transcript is also available.


Also, read an article on the topic by MaryEllen McGuire published in U.S. News & World Report, "In Urban Classrooms, the Least Experienced Teach the Neediest Kids".

If you have any questions about the event or the report, please contact Emilie Deans at


Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2261
S. Capitol St. SE and Independence Ave. SW
Washington, DC
See map: Google Maps


Alice Johnson Cain
Senior Education Policy Advisor
Chairman George Miller, House Education and Labor Committee

Segun Eubanks
Director of Teacher Quality
National Education Association

Roberto Rodriguez
White House Domestic Policy Council

MaryEllen McGuire, (PowerPoint Presentation)
Director, Education Policy Program, New America Foundation