Ryan White Care Act impose such thresholds. In the Title I education program, individual school districts are grant recipients. To be eligible for a basic grant, a school district must have at least 10 eligible children and a poverty rate for school-age children of 2 percent or more. A likely rationale for the minimum number of eligibles is that a critical mass of funding is needed to enable a program; funding below that level would be too small to run a Title I program of sufficient size, scope, quality, and impact. A possible rationale for the minimum rate requirement is that a wealthy school district with no more than a 2 percent poverty rate would have relatively little need for Title I funding—such a district would have sufficient resources to address the needs of its at-risk students. Title I concentration grants are designed to provide funds for areas with large concentrations of poor families: a school district must have at least 6,500 eligible children or a 15 percent poverty rate. For either type of grant, a shortfall of one eligible child means that no grant funds are received.
Eligibility for these two grants is based on estimates of the numbers of eligible children and poverty rates. These estimates are based on data from sample surveys, the decennial census, and administrative sources and are subject to substantial statistical variation, especially for the smaller school districts. Some school districts that would be eligible if exact counts were available receive no funds, and some that would not be eligible do receive funds. These false negatives can have a large impact on both large and small school districts. A small school district with 10 truly eligible children that failed to receive a basic grant because the estimate was 9 or fewer might be unable to serve these children, and the amount lost could be substantial for a large school district with a true poverty rate at or slightly above the 2 percent level or one whose number of eligible children was close to the 6,500 threshold for concentration grants. In a capped program, false positives take funds away from truly qualifying districts.
The community development block grant program features another type of threshold. Annual appropriations for the program are divided, with 70 percent directly allocated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to eligible metropolitan cities and urban counties (entitlement communities) and 30 percent allocated to states to be distributed to nonentitled jurisdictions that must apply to the state for funding. Entitlement communities include central cities of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), other cities with at least 50,000 population in MSAs, and urban counties, which are counties located in MSAs and having a population of at least 200,000, excluding entitled cities. Decennial census counts