"Title I" is the federal program that provides funding to local school districts to improve the academic achievement of disadvantaged students. It is part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act first passed in 1965. That Act is reauthorized by Congress from time to time, and often given a new name. It is currently known as the No Child Left Behind Act.
Section A of Title I provides grants to states to distribute directly to school districts. This is by far the largest source of federal money for local schools.
School districts do not have to apply for Title I funding as they would have to for a competitive grant. If a school district qualifies for Title I funding, it is entitled to the money. However, the district must submit to the state education agency a plan for how it will use the funds to improve academic achievement among disadvantaged students.
"Disadvantaged" students are those who come from low-income families, are in foster homes, or are neglected or delinquent, or who live in families receiving temporary assistance from state governments.
The districts have wide discretion in determining how the money is to be used. About 83% of Title I money is used for programs serving pre-K through 8th grade. These programs must specifically serve students who are failing to meet academic standards or at risk of failing because they are disadvantaged. However, if more than 40% of the students in a school qualify as disadvantaged, the school is allowed to run "schoolwide" programs that serve all students, not just the disadvantaged.
To learn more about Title I at Bell Fork Elementary, click on the icon below.