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The Basics

Title I, Part A the cornerstone of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), is the largest federal education program.  Its intent is to help ensure that all children have the opportunity to obtain a high quality education and reach proficiency on challenging State academic content and performance standards. 

Title I began with the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, which provided federal funding for high-poverty schools to help students who are behind academically and at risk of falling behind. Services can include hiring teachers to reduce class size, tutoring, purchase of instructional equipment, materials and supplies, parental involvement activities, professional development, pre-kindergarten programs, and hiring teachers and paraprofessionals.

Title I Schools 

Schools considered Title I are those in which the identified student percentage (students directly certified) is at least 39.4% (or 63%) based on Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) guidelines. The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) replaced Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) as the measure of poverty for Title I purposes in 2015. 

School-wide  programs have flexibility in using their Title I funds, in conjunction with other funds in the school, to upgrade the operation of the entire school.  School-wide programs must conduct a comprehensive needs assessment, identify and commit to specific goals and strategies that address those needs, create a comprehensive plan, and conduct an annual review of the effectiveness of the school-wide program that is revised as needed.

School-wide programs:

  • plan for comprehensive, long-term improvement
  • serve all students with highly qualified teachers and paraprofessionals
  • provide continuous learning for staff, parents, and the community
  • use research-based practices to develop and implement enriched instruction for all students
  • use inclusive approaches to strengthen the school's organizational structure
  • consolidate resources to achieve programs goals
  • engage in continuous self-assessment and improvement


   The Components of a Title I School

  1. All Title I schools must complete a comprehensive needs assessment that drives all aspects of school operations.
  2. School reform strategies must be implemented to address the identified needs.
  3. All instructional staff, including paraprofessionals must be highly qualified according to the criteria set by NCLB.
  4. There must be high-quality and ongoing professional development for staff to address the needs of the school.
  5. There must be strategies in place to recruit highly qualified teachers and place them in areas of greatest need.
  6. Parent involvement is a critical and integral part of day-to-day operations in a Title I school.
  7. Strategies are in place to aid in the transitions between academic grade levels, as well as school levels, i.e., pre-school to kindergarten, elementary to middle school, and middle school to high school.
  8. Teachers are actively involved in the use of assessments and instructional decisions are driven by data analysis.
  9. Title I schools develop specific instructional activities for students identified with the greatest needs.
  10. Title I schools coordinate and integrate resources and services from federal, state, and local sources.