Title I, Part A, the cornerstone of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015, 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 and paraprofessionals, tutoring, purchase of instructional equipment, materials and supplies, parent and family engagement opportunities, professional development, and pre-kindergarten programs.
Schools considered Title I are those in which the identified student percentage (students directly certified) is at least 33.33% (or 53.33%) based on Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) guidelines. The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) replaced Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) as the district's measure of poverty in 2015. All CMS Title I schools operate under a school-wide program model. These 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.