What is Title I?
Title I is the largest elementary and secondary education program vehicle used for broad-based school reform. The purpose of Title I funding, “is to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high quality education and reach, at minimum, proficiency on challenging state academic achievement standards and state academic assessments.” A Title I school is a school receiving federal funds for students. The basic principle of Title I is that schools with certain concentrations of low-income students will receive supplemental funds to assist in meeting student's educational goals. Low-income students are determined by the number of students enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program. For an entire school to qualify for Title I funds, a certain percentage of students must be enroll in the free and reduced lunch program.
How does it help the school?
The funds are used to improve curriculum and program, instructional activities, counseling, parental involvement, increase staff, etc. The funding has one goal and that is to assist schools in meeting the educational goals of students in need. Brandywine School District operates a Schoolwide Title I Program which allows for greater flexibility for serving all students in need of extra academic support. Schools implementing schoolwide programs must conduct needs assessments and develop comprehensive plans to meet the needs of various constituencies in the school. All planning and implementation must be done with the goal of making substantial yearly progress toward getting all students to meet high state standards.
How does it help parents be involved?
Under Title I, schools are required to provide assistance to parents to help them understand the National Education Goals and the standards and assessments which will be used to determine children's progress. Schools are also required to help parents understand the Title I law and how to help their children. Each school district (except the smallest ones) is required to spend at least 1% of its Title I funds on training/education program for parents. Parents must be involved in decisions about how that money is to be spent. In fact, parents must jointly develop and approve the district and school's parent involvement policies which should spell out how this money is spent.