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. Federal funds are currently allocated through four statutory formulas that are based primarily on census poverty estimates and the cost of education in each state.
- Basic Grants provide funds to LEAs in which the number of children counted in the formula is at least 10 and exceeds 2 percent of an LEA's school-age population.
- Concentration Grants flow to LEAs where the number of formula children exceeds 6,500 or 15 percent of the total school-age population.
- Targeted Grants are based on the same data used for Basic and Concentration Grants except that the data are weighted so that LEAs with higher numbers or higher percentages of children from low-income families receive more funds. Targeted Grants flow to LEAs where the number of schoolchildren counted in the formula (without application of the formula weights) is at least 10 and at least 5 percent of the LEA's school-age population.
- Education Finance Incentive Grants (EFIG) distribute funds to states based on factors that measure:
- a state's effort to provide financial support for education compared to its relative wealth as measured by its per capita income; and
- the degree to which education expenditures among LEAs within the state are equalized.
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 children from low-income families are eligible to use Title I funds for schoolwide programs designed to upgrade their entire educational programs to improve achievement for all students, particularly the lowest-achieving students.
Title I is designed to help students served by the program to achieve proficiency on challenging State academic achievement standards. Title I schools with percentages of students from low-income families of at least 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. Title I schools with less than the 40 percent schoolwide threshold or that choose 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 academic achievement standards. Targeted assistance schools design, 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 use instructional strategies based on scientifically based research and implement parental involvement activities.