Title I is a federally-funded program, enacted in 1965 under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), committed to
- providing educational opportunities for students in need of academic support in order to succeed, and
- strengthening academic programs to boost achievement in student groups.
Title I funds are awarded to schools based on the number of students who qualify for the federally funded School Nutrition Program. If forty percent (40%) of students enrolled in a school qualify for this program, the school is identified as a Title I Schoolwide school. If only thirty-five percent (35%) of enrolled students qualify, the school is identified as a Targeted Assistance school. Schoolwide schools may spend federal Title I funds with more flexibility for all students while Targeted Assistance schools must spend Title I funds on specific students. In the 2016 - 17 school year, all elementary schools in the Asheville City School system qualified as Schoolwide Schools.
Recently, Title I funding was reauthorized in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) previously regulated as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. By the fall of 2017, states must submit plans to the US Department of Education following input from stakeholders. Accountability in the Every Student Succeeds Act, ESSA, is similar to the No Child Left Behind Act, which required testing in reading, math, and science at certain grade levels and identified schools that consistently performed below state averages and exceeded state achievement gaps in reading and/or math. More information about the Every Student Succeeds Act can be found at https://www.ed.gov/essa?src=rn, and http://www.ncpublicschools.org/succeeds/ .
The Purpose of Title I Programming is to provide fair and equitable educational opportunities for all children, to support all children in obtaining a high-quality education, and to assist students in reaching grade-level proficiency on state and local academic achievement standards and assessments. In addition, Title I strives to partner with parents/guardians and families in educating students and ensuring student success. “Regardless of family income or background, students whose parents are involved in their schooling are more likely to have higher grades and test scores, attend school regularly, have better social skills, show improved behavior, and adapt well to school.” (National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools, Southwest Education Development Laboratory)
A District Parent/Guardian and Family Engagement Team with representatives invited from each of the Title I Schools meets quarterly with specific tasks and areas of focus based on input from the team including current education concerns. The Team may also include community and business representatives. Topics may include
- specific strategies to increase parent/guardian, family, and community involvement, input, and engagement
- information concerning academic assessments, accountability systems, training, curriculum, and instructional materials aligned with standards so that students, teachers, parents, and administrators can measure progress against common expectations for student academic achievement
- strategies for meeting educational needs and ensuring grade-level proficiency for all students in Title I designated schools
What is Title I?
Title I began as part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965) and continued as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. In December 2015, it was reauthorized as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Title I, Part A, as amended in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides financial assistance to school systems and schools with high numbers or percentages of students who benefit from the federally-funded School Nutrition Program. A goal of Title I is to provide instructional services and activities that support students in meeting the state’s challenging performance standards. Title I is intended to help ensure that all children have the opportunity to obtain a high quality of education and reach grade-level proficiency. Many public and charter schools and school districts in North Carolina receive Title I funds. If certain qualifications and accountability measures are met, non-public schools may also benefit from Title I funding. Meetings to determine the eligibility of non-public schools are generally held in the spring of the year.
What is a Title I School?
A Title I school is a school that qualifies for Title I funding based on the number of students who benefit from the School Nutrition Program. Schools may qualify as either Title I Schoolwide (40%) or Title I Targeted Assistance (35%) Schools.
How is Title I School funding determined?
Title I is a federal, formula-based program. Funding is given to schools based on student enrollment, the number of students who benefit from the School Nutrition Program, and input from stakeholders. Schoolwide programs have 40% or more of students benefitting from the School Nutrition Program. Schoolwide Programs may use Title I funding to upgrade their entire educational program for all students but particularly to enhance academic achievement for students needing additional academic support in order to reach the state’s challenging academic achievement standards in reading and math. Targeted Assistance schools must use funds to provide services to a select group of students who demonstrate the most academic need. In the 2016-17 school year, all five Asheville City Schools elementary schools were Title schools and operated Schoolwide Programs. Schools must meet Title I eligibility standards yearly.
What are the State and Federal Standards for students who benefit from the School Nutrition Program?
Each year, the federal government establishes eligibility criteria for the School Nutrition Program. Schools must meet Title I eligibility standards yearly. Eligibility is based on the number or percent of students who benefit from the School Nutrition Program. Parent are encouraged to apply for this benefit each year. Not only does the program benefit students and families, it also benefits schools that qualify for Title I funding.
What are Parents’ Rights under Title I?
Title I schools must notify parents/guardians of their right to receive certain information.
Parents Right to Know Must (from ESEA amended by ESSA, Section 1112(e) (A) and (B))
Parents may request and have the right to know information regarding the professional qualifications of the student’s classroom teacher including the following:
Whether the student’s teacher -
- has met State qualifications and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction;
- is teaching under emergency or another provisional status through which State qualification or licensing criteria have been waived; and
- is teaching in the field of discipline of the certification of the teacher.
Parents may also ask if the child is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, the paraprofessional’s qualifications.
Title I Schools must also notify parents timely that the student has been assigned or has been taught for 4 or more consecutive weeks by a teacher who does not meet applicable State certification or licensure requirements at the grade level and subject area in which the teacher has been assigned.
Notification When Student has been taught for 4 or more consecutive weeks by non-certified/licensed teacher
Title I Schools must also notify parents timely that the student has been assigned, or has been taught for 4 or more consecutive weeks by, a teacher who does not meet applicable State certification or licensure requirements at the grade level and subject area in which the teacher has been assigned.
Notification of Testing and Accountability Requirements
Parents/Guardians/Families are notified yearly by the Testing/Accountability Department of requirements to participate in the state and local testing program. Test results are shared timely with parents/guardians. School Report Cards are shared once the state approves and releases the data. School Report Cards are also available at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/src/ .
Parents/Guardians/Families Are Needed to Be Active in Their Child’s School
Parents/Guardians and Families are their child’s first and best teachers. “Regardless of family income or background, students whose parents are involved in their schooling are more likely to have higher grades and test scores, attend school regularly, have better social skills, show improved behavior, and adapt well to school.” (National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools, Southwest Education Development Laboratory, https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/what-research-says-about-parent-involvement/ ).
Parents/Guardians and Families are encouraged to participate in school and district activities and to work with the school and teachers in ensuring student success. Parents/Guardians and Families are encouraged to
- Apply for the benefit of the School Nutrition Program
- Participate in school meetings where Title I policies, procedures, compacts, plans and funding are created, reviewed, and approved (District Parent/Family Engagement Policy)
- Participate in district Title I meetings (assist in creating, revising, approving District Title I Plan
- Participate in the planning and implementation of curriculum training events
- Provide feedback for school and Title I programs.