Improving Basic Programs
PURPOSE OF PROGRAM
This program 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.
LEAs target the Title I funds they receive to public schools with the highest percentages of children from low-income families. Unless a participating school is operating a schoolwide program, the school must focus Title I services on children who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet State academic standards. Schools enrolling at least 40 percent of students from poor families are eligible to use Title I funds for schoolwide programs that serve all children in the school.
Title I reaches about 12.5 million students enrolled in both public and private schools. Title I funds may be used for children from preschool age to high school, but most of the students served (65 percent) are in grades 1 through 6; another 12 percent are in preschool and kindergarten programs.
Title I is designed to support State and local school reform efforts tied to challenging State academic standards in order to reinforce and amplify efforts to improve teaching and learning for students farthest from meeting State standards. Individual public schools with poverty rates above 40 percent may use Title I funds, along with other Federal, State, and local funds, to operate a "schoolwide program" to upgrade the instructional program for the whole school. Schools with poverty rates below 40 percent, or those choosing not to operate a schoolwide program, offer a "targeted assistance program" in which the school identifies students who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet the State's challenging performance standards, then designs, in consultation with parents, staff, and district staff, an instructional program to meet the needs of those students. Both schoolwide and targeted assistance programs must be based on effective means of improving student achievement and include strategies to support parental involvement.