Title I, Part A, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA),is a federally funded program that provides financial assistance to local education agencies (LEAs) and schools. The purpose of the Title I program is to help at-risk students meet the state's challenging academic content and performance standards. Schools qualify for Title I funds based on economic need. The Title I program offers a variety of services for participating schools, which may include: additional teachers and support staff, extra time for instruction, a variety of teaching methods and materials, smaller classes, and additional training for staff.
Understand Title I Programs
What is Title I?
Title I is the largest federal educational program, founded in 1965 as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, reauthorized in 2002 as part of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), Amended as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
Its purpose is to make sure that all children have the opportunity to have a high quality education.
Title I provides extra help to the students who need it the most. These are the children who are the furthest from meeting the standards the state has put in place for all children.
The program serves millions of children in elementary, middle and high schools every year. Most school districts participate. About half of NC schools (in all 115 school districts) receive Title I funds. Title I also serves children who attend parochial and private schools.
How Title I Works
Funds are provided to schools based on the number of students qualifying for free/reduced price lunch.
In Title I schools teachers, administrators, other school staff, and parents work to:
- identify students most in need of educational help;
- set goals for improvement;
- measure student progress;
- develop programs that add to regular classroom instruction: and
- involve parents in all aspects of the program
Title I schools usually offer:
- smaller classes;
- additional teachers and teacher assistants;
- additional training for school staff;
- extra time for instruction;
- a variety of teaching methods and materials; and
- workshops and classes for parents.
The school’s program is revised each year by administrators, teachers and parents.
Title I serves children through:
- Schoolwide Programs (SWP)
- Schools that have at least 40 percent of their children receiving free/reduced price lunch can develop Schoolwide Title I Programs to serve all students.
- Targeted Assistance Schools (TAS)
- Schools that use Title I funds to focus on helping students most at risk of failing state assessments. Targeted assistance schools have special requirements such as the identification of students to receive services and time limits for instruction during the school day.
As a Parent you're part of the Title I Team. You have ore influence in your child's education than any teacher or school. Your involvement can increase your child's achievement.
By taking an active role in your child's education you're showing your child:
- how important he or she is to you;
- how important education is to you; and
- that you and the school are a team.
You know your child best, so it's up to you to:
- share information about your child’s interest and abilities with teachers;
- know whether your child’s needs are being met;
- speak up if you notice any problems (but don’t criticize the school, its teachers or principal in front of your child.)
Your School needs your help:
- develop goals;
- plan and carry out programs;
- evaluate programs;
- develop and/or revise the parent-school-student compact and parental involvement policy; and
- work with your child at home, and volunteer at school.
Title I can help make sure that you, your child and your school have a winning team!
Parents Right to Know Title I Schools
Elementary and Secondary Education Act requires all LEAs to notify parents of all children in all Title I schools that they have the right to request and receive timely information on the professional qualifications of their children’s classroom teachers. This notice must be sent at the start of each school year. The notice does not itself contain the teacher information; it simply tells parents the types of information they may request.
At a minimum, if a parent requests it, LEA/school must report:
- Whether the teacher has met state qualifying and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher is teaching;
- Whether the teacher is teacher under emergency or other provisional status through which state qualification or licensing criteria have been waived;
- The baccalaureate degree major of the teacher and any other graduate certification or degree held by the teacher, including the field of discipline of the certification or degree; and
- Whether the child is provided services by paraprofessional and, if so, their qualifications.
In addition, if a child is assigned, or taught by, a teacher who is not “highly qualified” for four or more consecutive weeks, the parents must receive timely notice.
These and other communications with parents must be in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practical, in a language the parents can understand. According to ED guidance, if there is no other way to provide information, it should be provided in oral translation.
Requests must be in writing to the principal.
This applies only to Title I schools.
Title I FAQ's
How does a school qualify as a Title I school?
Title I schools must have: 1) a percentage of low-income students that is at least as high as the district's overall percentage; or 2) have at least 35 percent low-income students (whichever is the lower of the two figures). Districts rank schools by poverty and serve them in rank order until funds run out. Schools with 75 percent or more of the students on free or reduced-price lunch must be served.
What happens to Title I schools that do not make Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs)?
Progress on AMOs, along with other measures of student achievement, will be reviewed annually by the SEA to determine schools/districts that may need additional support within the Statewide System of Support. Districts should also review AMO progress and use the results in making decisions about interventions and strategies to address in the district’s Title I Plan that will meet the needs of under-performing subgroups in Title I Schools. See the "Annual Measurable Objectives" tab.
How are Title I funds used in a school?
Each school's School Improvement Team determines how Title I funds will be used in the school. Services can include: hiring teachers to reduce class size, tutoring, computer labs, parental involvement activities, professional development, purchase of materials and supplies, prekindergarten programs, and hiring teacher assistants or others.