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Our Federal Title I Program Supports Students and Schools


Title I is the country’s “flagship aid program for disadvantaged students”. It provides funding to schools to help close the education gaps associated with poverty. Title I is literally the first title (or section) in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which was passed into law in 1965 as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty”.

The Institute of Education Sciences sums up Title I as a program that “provides financial assistance through state educational agencies (SEAs) to local educational agencies (LEAs) and public schools with high numbers or percentages of poor children to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic content and student academic achievement standards.” (Source)

What are SEAs?
Each state has a State Education Agency (SEA) that coordinates educational efforts at the state level. Missouri’s SEA is the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

What are LEAs?
Your child’s Local Education Agency (LEA) is the local organization that coordinates education efforts or provides government services to local schools. In most cases, the LEA is simply your child’s school district.

How Can Title I Funds Be Used?
Title I funds can be used for school wide programs or for targeted assistance. School wide programs are for schools that have 40% or more low-income students. School wide programs are implemented across the entire school, making core instructional programs stronger.

Schools that don’t qualify for (or chose not to use) school wide Title I program funds can use the Title I targeted assistance program. Targeted assistance means that the school can identify and support those students who are at highest risk of failing.

Title I funds could be used for a number of purposes, including extra instruction in core academic subjects, transportation of homeless students to their school of origin, hiring extra teachers, or investing in supplemental materials or technologies that help disadvantaged students meet state academic standards. Funding can also be used to support preschool, after-school, or summer programs that “reinforce the regular school curriculum.” (Source, Source)

Who Benefits from Title I Funding?
· Schools in need
(to be eligible, at least 40% of a school’s students must be from low-income families)
· Individual students who are at risk of failing. Examples could include children from migrant families, neglected youth and those at risk of abuse, or other at-risk youth

How Many American Students Benefit from Title I?
· In the 2006-7 school year: more than 17 million K-12 students benefited from Title I funds. (Source)
· In the 2009-10 school year, more than 56,000 public schools or more than 21 million children nationwide benefited from Title I funds.

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