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What is Title 1?

September 26, 2019
By Julie Yetter

What is Title 1?

Title I is a federal aid program for schools. The goal of Title 1 is to ensure a high-quality education for every child, by providing extra help to students who need it most. Title I has three primary objectives:

  • to improve student achievement for all participating children
  • to improve staff development
  • to improve parental and community involvement

Title 1 funds are distributed to school districts and individual schools based on the number of families enrolled that would qualify for free or reduced lunch within the public school district that they live. However, once a school qualifies for Title 1 funds, academic need, not economic status, determines which students receive extra services. Title 1 funds are intended to supplement what a school already provides its students.

Title 1 is different from Special Education programs. Title 1 does not address student needs based on disability or special needs, but rather on the basis of student performance, achievement and progress. CCS uses many forms of assessment to determine these needs including but not limited to: Direct Reading Assessments, Iowa Assessment, formative and summative assessment by teachers, and more.

Under new flexibility guidelines for Title 1 grants, the way Title 1 funds are used within schools has changed.  Title 1 programs are now allowed, and encouraged, to collaborate to fill gaps and introduce innovations in instruction. What does this mean to you and your child? Because we can now combine some Title 1 funds with other funding sources to enhance the education of all students, the role of Title 1 in your school may not be as visible to you (and your child) as they have been in the past. This is a good thing! As educators and parents, we share the goal of providing students with the best education possible. The new guidelines enable us to work together toward this goal.  

Under Title I, local school districts 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 local school district 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 local school districts for private school participants are designed to meet their educational needs and supplement the educational services provided by the private school.

Here at CCS we recognize that parent involvement in the school increases academic success as well as builds our culture.  You play an integral role in our Title 1 program.  We encourage parents to become classroom aides, volunteer in classrooms through Parent Service Hours, and partner with teachers through at home reading logs, projects, fieldtrip chaperones, and other program supports.  We invite you to get more involved and find out how Title 1 is supporting the programs of CCS.

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).