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All About TITLE I

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.

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The Columbia County School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability or marital status in its education programs, services or activities, or in its hiring or employment practices. The Columbia County School District is required by Title IX and its regulations not to discriminate in such a manner. The district also provides equal access to its facilities to the Boy Scouts and other patriotic youth groups, as required by the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act. Questions, complaints, or requests for additional information regarding discrimination or harassment of all types including sexual harassment or assault may be sent to Hope Jernigan Columbia County School District Equity and Title IX Coordinator at (386) 755-8015 or via email
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