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Joseph N. Adkins
Director, Federal Programs
Email: adkinsj@columbiak12.com

Dawn Odum
Federal Projects Program Specialist
Email: odumd@columbiak12.com

All About TITLE I

20 days ago

Title I is the largest federally funded educational program in the United States. (see: US Dept. of Education). Authorized by Congress, it provides supplemental funds to school districts to assist eligible public and private schools with the highest student concentration of poverty to meet school educational goals.

 

What Is Title I?

Title 1 of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (formerly known as NCLB, ECIA, ESEA or Chapter 1) is the largest federally funded educational program. This program, authorized by Congress, provides supplemental funds to school districts to assist schools with the highest student concentrations of poverty to meet school educational goals.

 

What Schools are Title I Schools for 2017 - 18?

Title I Schools

 

How Do Schools Qualify to Receive Title I Funds?

Schools qualify based on demonstrating that the K-12, ages 5-17, membership has a sufficiently high percentage of economically disadvantaged students. Title 1 regulations require school districts to provide services to all schools where at least 75% of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals or are a Community Eligibility Provision school.

 

Why are Title 1 Funds Allocated Exclusively to High Poverty Schools?

Research studies done over the past 30 years show conclusively that schools with high concentrations of economically disadvantaged students generally demonstrate lower levels of achievement than do schools with lower concentrations of economically disadvantaged students. As a result, Congress, in the reauthorization of Title 1 under the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, now requires districts to allocate Title 1 funds to those schools with the highest concentrations of such students, particularly to those schools falling above 75%. Districts may extend Title I benefits to schools lower than 75%, yet not below the district average percentage of free/reduced price meals or directly certified students through the CEP option.

 

Which children are Title I children?

There is a common misconception that a Title I child is a child eligible for free or reduced-price meals, but this is false. Because the Title I program in this district operates at the school level in the form of School-wide Programs, there are technically no Title I children in the district; only Title I schools. The children within each Title I school have no designation related to Title I.

 

How are schools allocated Title 1 funds?

Once a school qualifies, funds are then allocated in the spring based on a formula developed at the district office that projects the number of qualifying children at the school for the following year. Occasionally, a further adjustment is made after the first month of school the year funds are allocated, to ensure that schools receive funds commensurate with the number of qualifying children actually enrolled.

 

How can Title 1 funds be used at the school site?

Title 1 funds must be used to promote:

 

  • High academic/achievement for all children;
  • A greater focus on teaching and learning;
  • Flexibility to stimulate local initiatives coupled with responsibility for student performance;
  • Improved linkages among schools, parents, and communities.

 

In general, funds cannot be used to purchase/lease/rent or improve facilities or provide routine transportation costs for the transport of students to and from school or supplant funds the school is already entitled to from other sources.

 

Are there restrictions on using the funds to hire staff?

The intent of the law is to use funds to acquire "highly qualified" professionals and state licensed certified teachers. Although the final draft of the law permits the use of funds for other staff, the primary focus remains on "highly qualified" and "State Licensed Certified" teachers. Schools intending on hiring non-professional staff with Title 1 funds should request clearance from the district Title 1 office. The state further prohibits the expenditure of Title I funds in school level clerical, administrative or school safety personnel.

 

Do Title I Funds follow the child if he moves to another school?

As indicated in the Act, the intended purpose of these funds is to improve the school. This is why funds are allocated to schools, not to children. As a result, if a child leaves a Title I school and transfers to another school, there is no transfer of Title I funds to the receiving school.

 

Do Private Schools also receive Title 1 Assistance?

Federal regulations require that districts provide access to academic support services in private schools that qualify to receive Title 1 funds. Assistance is limited to remedial reading and/or mathematics tutorial services that support the regular instructional program for certain students in qualifying private schools. As required by federal law, these students must (1) be experiencing significant difficulty in reading and/or mathematics in their regular classes and (2) live in a neighborhood that is served by a public school that is an identified Title 1 school and (3) qualify on the basis of family income. Call (386) 758 - 4912 for further information about this program.

 

Title 1 - Program Purposes

Title 1 Programs (Part A of PL 114-95 of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, provide funds to districts in order to assist schools with the highest levels of economically disadvantaged youngsters to:

 

  • improve student achievement for all participating children,
  • improve staff development and
  • improve parent and family engagement.

 

In accordance with federal law, funds are allocated directly to schools to work toward these three goals. In this district, all schools falling above 58% of their K-12 membership eligible for a free or reduced-price meal receive funds. Funds are allocated on a per qualifying child (child with free or reduced-price meal status) basis. Federal law requires that a district not use Title 1 funds to offset expenses to a Title 1 school that would normally be paid by other sources if Title 1 funds were not available.

 

Program Design/Operation and Assessment

The School Improvement Plan is the vehicle for comprehensive school planning. Plans are completed through the School Improvement Office.

 

The district's philosophy is to provide a minimum of rules and regulations beyond what is found in federal law, regulations or policy, regarding the expenditure of funds at the school site, so long as this expenditure is representative of the wishes of the school improvement team, is consistent with district policies, state law and program goals.

 

There are no unique measures applied to "Title 1 children" as technically there are no “Title I children” in our district; only Title I schools.

Parent and Family Engagement

20 days ago

Currently Title I, Part A defines parent involvement as the ...participation of parents in regular, two-way and meaningful communications with school staff that involves the student, addresses learning and engages the family in school activities.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) refers to this as Parent and Family Engagement starting in 2017-18.

Parent involvement helps to promote academic success! The more involved you are, the more likely your child will give his or her best effort and be successful. We encourage you to make ordinary moments extraordinary by connecting with your children during their daily routines of life. Parents reinforce the message that education is important.

Connecting with children does not require additional resources of time or money. It only takes a minute to make eye contact, to ask a question on the drive to school, while getting groceries, making dinner, doing laundry, running to the bank or reading a bedtime story. You are your child’s first teacher.

We strongly encourage you to become a member of your child’s School Advisory Council (SAC) and/or Parent – Teacher Organization (PTO); attend Literacy Nights and other special events hosted by your child’s school; and keep the line of communication open between you and your child and between you and your child’s teacher (s). 

If we can assist you in any way, do not hesitate to contact us. When families, schools, and communities work together in partnership, students learn that school is important. We wish the best for you and your child this year. School success takes TEAMWORK! Stay involved!

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