U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Guide to Chapter 2 Education Consolidation and Improvement Act of 1981

NCJ Number
Date Published
150 pages
A new provision in amendments to Chapter 2 of the Education Consolidation and Improvement Act of 1981 (the education block grant) will probably require 32 States to make changes in how they distribute aid to local school districts.
Survey responses from State Chapter 2 directors show that 32 States are now sending funds for high-cost children to all districts with any children meeting high-cost eligibility criteria, while only 17 States now target their high-cost aid to districts with high numbers (or percentages) of needy children, as is required by the new provision. High-cost is most often defined as low income, limited English-speaking, gifted and talented, low achieving, minority, handicapped, or rurally isolated. Under Chapter 2, a State may reserve up to 20 percent of its grant for State-level programs; it then must devise a formula for distributing the remaining 80 percent to local school districts. In designing these formulas, most States have consulted with a State advisory Committee, decided how much should be set aside for high-cost children, determined which high-cost children should be identified for extra aid and how the set-aside is to be divided among them, and whether to restrict aid to districts with large concentrations of high-need children. While the intention of the amendment is to ensure that more Chapter 2 funds help needy children than is presently the practice, States may still opt to set aside less, if high-cost funds cannot be sent to all districts. Appendixes include additional data tables for State formulas and weightings, the text of the Block Grant Act, and U.S. Department of Education guidelines on the Act.