Title I, Part A (Title I) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended (ESEA) provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards.
What is Title I?
"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 (Soon to be Every Student Succeeds Act- ESSA).
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.
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, in Pinellas we service 64 Title I schools which include elementary, middle, high school and charter. 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 "school wide" programs that serve all students, not just the disadvantaged. Which how Pinellas County determines which schools are considered Title I schools.
PAC and You!
The Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is a district team made up of the Title I Family Education Specialist, and parent representatives from each Title I school, and other Title I and district personnel. Its role is to plan for and promote highest student achievement for students in the Title I schools.
Each year the PAC works to review and offer input into the District Parent Involvement Policy and the Annual Title I Parent Survey. The group is kept informed about the Title I program at the district, state and national levels. It also participates in workshops that will support the learning of students at home. PAC members share this information with their individual school staffs and families.
PAC meets twice a year (once in the Fall and again in the Spring) to discuss and review implications and policy changes related to Title I funding.