Title I, Part A: Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged
Title I is a federal grant program designed to give educational assistance to students living in areas of high poverty. The Title I program originated in 1965 when Congress passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), and was reauthorized in 2001 with the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act. Title I is one of the oldest and largest federal programs supporting elementary and secondary education in existence, and over 90% of the school systems in the United States receive some sort of Title I funding.
The Title I 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. Title I reaches about 12.5 million students enrolled in both public and private schools.
Schools are ranked according to the percentage of students who qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch. Schools with 75% of students in poverty are automatically allocated Title I funding. Schools with 35% of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch are eligible to receive Title I funding, however it is the discretion of the school division as to the number of schools to serve. SWSD currently has three schools that receive Title I funding.
What services does Title I provide?
Title I funds generally are used to improve academic achievement in reading and math, but the resources can be used to help students improve their achievement in all of the core academic subjects. Title I funds are flexible, and can be used to provide professional development for teachers; support hiring additional teachers and classroom aides; improve curriculum; enhance parent involvement; extend learning time for students who need extra help; and provide other activities that are tied to raising student achievement.
What about children with disabilities?
Children with disabilities are eligible for Title I services if the school and the student meet the Title I eligibility criteria. Title I services roughly 1 million students with disabilities.
What about children with limited English proficiency?
Children whose native language is other than English can receive Title I services in addition to bilingual education services so long as the school and the student meet the Title I eligibility criteria. Title I services are provided to approximately 2 million students with limited English proficiency, roughly one-fifth of all students served by the program.
How can I get involved?
Parents, you can influence the success of your student in school more than any teacher or federal program. By becoming an active participant in the Title I parent involvement plan at your school, you will:
- Serve as a role model, showing your student that you support his/her education.
- Assure that you are aware of your student’s educational progress; thereby demonstrating how important that progress is to you.
- Teach your student that your input at the school is appreciated and that you support its efforts.
What does research tell us?
Research shows that how well students do in school depends a great deal, upon how much their parents get involved in their education. You can become more involved by:
- Joining local and national school/parent organizations
- Supporting school extra-curricular activities
- Volunteering at the school
- Attending parent-teacher conferences
- Communicating with your student’s teacher regularly, by writing notes, telephoning the school, etc.
- Keeping your student’s teacher informed about events in his or her life which may affect his/her performance at school
- Discussing with your student’s teacher and parent organizations other ideas for parent involvement
How can I learn more?