What is Title I and what type of student does it serve?
This program provides financial assistance through state educational agencies (SEAs) to local educational agencies (LEAs) and public schools with high numbers or percentages of poor children to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic content and student academic achievement standards.
LEAs target the Title I funds they receive to public schools with the highest percentages of children from low-income families. Unless a participating school is operating a schoolwide program, the school must focus Title I services on children who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet state academic standards. Schools enrolling at least 40 percent of children from low-income families are eligible to use Title I funds for schoolwide programs designed to upgrade their entire educational programs to improve achievement for all students, particularly the lowest-achieving students.
In school year 2009-10, more than 56,000 public schools across the country used Title I funds to provide additional academic support and learning opportunities to help low-achieving children master challenging curricula and meet state standards in core academic subjects. For example, funds support extra instruction in reading and mathematics, as well as special preschool, after-school, and summer programs to extend and reinforce the regular school curriculum.
That same year, Title I served more than 21 million children. Of these students, approximately 59 percent were in kindergarten through fifth grade, 21 percent in grades 6–8, 17 percent in grades 9–12, 3 percent in preschool, and less than 1 percent ungraded.
Title I is designed to help students served by the program to achieve proficiency on challenging state academic achievement standards. Title I schools with percentages of low-income students of at least 40 percent may use Title I funds, along with other federal, state, and local funds, to operate a "schoolwide program" to upgrade the instructional program for the whole school. Title I schools with less than 40 percent low-income students or that choose not to operate a schoolwide program offer a "targeted assistance program" in which the school identifies students who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet the state's challenging academic achievement standards. Targeted assistance schools design, in consultation with parents, staff, and district staff, an instructional program to meet the needs of those students. Both schoolwide and targeted assistance programs must use instructional strategies based on scientifically based research and implement parental involvement activities.
Under Title I, local educational agencies (LEAs) are required to provide services for eligible private school students, as well as eligible public school students. In particular, section 1120 of Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act, requires a participating LEA to provide eligible children attending private elementary and secondary schools, their teachers, and their families with Title I services or other benefits that are equitable to those provided to eligible public school children, their teachers, and their families. These services must be developed in consultation with officials of the private schools. The Title I services provided by the LEA for private school participants are designed to meet their educational needs and supplement the educational services provided by the private school.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education. Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of State Support. (2015). Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies (Title I, Part A).