How the Federal Title I Program Helps Students and Schools

What is Title I?

Children sitting in desks in a classroom
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Title I provides federal funding to schools that serve an area with high poverty. The funding is meant to help students who are at risk of falling behind academically. The funding provides supplemental instruction for students who are economically disadvantaged or at risk of failing to meet state standards. Students are expected to show academic growth at a faster rate with the support of Title I instruction.

The Origin of Title I

The Title I program originated as the Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965. It is now associated with Title I, Part A of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Its primary purpose was to ensure that all children were given the opportunity to be provided with a high-quality education.

Title I is the largest federally funded education program for elementary and secondary schools. Title I is also designed to focus on special needs populations and to reduce the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students.

Benefits of Title I

Title I has benefited schools in many ways. Perhaps the most important is the funding itself. Public education is cash strapped and having Title I funds available affords schools the opportunity to maintain or initiate programs that target specific students. Without this funding, many schools would not be able to provide their students with these services. Furthermore, the students have reaped the benefits of Title I funds having opportunities that they otherwise would not have. In short, Title I has helped some students succeed when they may not have otherwise.

Some schools may opt to use the funds to initiate a school-wide Title I program where every student can benefit from these services. Schools must have a child poverty rate of at least 40% to implement a school-wide Title I program. A school-wide Title I program can provide benefits to all students and is not just limited to those students who are considered to be economically disadvantaged. This path gives schools the biggest bang for their buck because they are able to impact a larger number of students.

Requirements of Title I Schools

Schools that utilize Title I funds have several requirements to keep the funding. Some of these requirements are as follows:

  • Schools must create a comprehensive needs assessment that specifies why Title I funds are needed and how they will be used.
  • Schools must use highly qualified teachers to provide instruction.
  • Teachers must utilize highly effective, research-based instructional strategies.
  • Schools must provide their teachers with quality professional development designed to improve the areas identified by the needs assessment.
  • Schools must create a targeted parental involvement plan with associated activities such as a family engagement night.
  • Schools must identify students who are not meeting state standards and create a strategic plan for helping those students grow and improve.
  • Schools must show annual growth and improvement. They must prove that what they are doing is working.
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Your Citation
Meador, Derrick. "How the Federal Title I Program Helps Students and Schools." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Meador, Derrick. (2020, August 26). How the Federal Title I Program Helps Students and Schools. Retrieved from Meador, Derrick. "How the Federal Title I Program Helps Students and Schools." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 31, 2023).