Title I

About Title I

What is Title I?
• Title I is the largest federal aid program for our nation's schools.

How long have schools been given Title I funds?
• Title I began in 1965 under President Lyndon B. Johnson as part of his “War on Poverty”.

What is the purpose of Title I?
• Title I money is given to districts to help students in schools affected by poverty. It is intended to help close the achievement gap between schools in affluent neighborhoods and schools from poor communities.

What does Title I money do for a school?
• Title I money can be used in two different ways in a school. In one program, called a Targeted Assisted Program, the money is used to provide support for students targeted as low performing in reading or math. Another type of Title I program is called a Schoolwide Program. In a schoolwide program, Title I money is used to benefit all of the children in a school. A schoolwide program is guided by the schoolwide program plan and a school leadership team. Title I money is typically used to provide extra staff, Instructional Coaches, materials and professional development for these schools.

How might Title I help my child?
• A child attending a Title I school may receive assistance in reading or math from a Title I teacher or assistant. A Title I Assistant is often called a paraprofessional. Paraprofessionals often work in class with teachers and assist teachers with instruction. They might work with small groups of students or one on one with a child. Title I teachers often team teach with classroom teachers or conduct small classes for students with unique learning needs. The Title I program works closely with the classroom teacher and other programs in a school to help all children be successful in reading and math. Children also benefit from the training teachers receive or curriculum materials that are paid for with Title I funds.

What are “Highly Qualified” Staff?
• The Elementary and Secondary Act of 2001, also known as “No Child Left Behind”, requires that all teachers be highly qualified. This means teachers must have an appropriate college degree and hold a state license with endorsement for the content area in which they teach.

Are Paraprofessionals highly qualified?
• All Paraprofessionals who work in a program supported by Title I funds need to be highly qualified with the following qualifications:
o High school diploma (of GED) AND
♣ Two years of college OR
♣ Associate’s degree OR
♣ Rigorous standard of quality on formal state or local assessment (ParaPro Assessment offered by the Education Testing Service)

How is a school eligible to receive Title I money?
• The federal government measures a schools poverty level by the number of students receiving free or reduced lunch. Schools that have more than 40% of the student population on free or reduced lunch qualifies to have a Title I program.

How is a child eligible for Title I services?
• All children attending a Title I school operating as a schoolwide program are eligible to receive services from Title I. Thus, in a schoolwide program, all students are Title I students and all teachers are Title I teachers. How Title I resources and staff are used in a schoolwide program is decided by the school leadership team and guided by the schoolwide program plan.

What is a schoolwide program plan?
• This document is the written plan a school submits to the district and state department that explains how the schoolwide program will operate. It identifies the major schoolwide goals the Title I resources will be targeted towards and gives direction for professional development and parental involvement.

What is “A Parent’s Right to Know”?
• All parents of students in schools receiving Title I funds may request information regarding the professional qualifications of their child’s classroom teacher. Title I schools send parents notice of this right to know in the beginning of each school year. Parents have the right to request information on: college and graduate school preparation, including degrees and major field of study for each degree held; licensure status, including subject and grade level endorsements; and whether those licenses meet the requirements for the subjects for grade levels. This notice also advises parents that they have the right to request information about the qualifications of any instructional assistant who provides services to their child.
• Parents of students in Title I schools are promptly notified if at any time their children receive instruction for four or more consecutive weeks from a non-highly qualified teacher or substitute teacher.
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