Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Title I
1. How do schools qualify to receive Title I funds?
Schools qualify based on demonstrating that the K-12 membership has a sufficiently high percentage of economically disadvantaged students. In this district, Title I funds go to schools showing that at least 35% of the enrolled students are identified as CLIF (children from low income families) based on the direct certification process on the 100th day of school in grades K-5. Once a secondary or combination school/center has 75% of its students identified as CLIF (children from low income families) based on the direct certification process they by law are served also.
2. Why are Title I funds allocated exclusively to high poverty schools?
Research studies done over the past 30 years show conclusively that schools with high concentrations of economically disadvantaged students generally demonstrate lower levels of achievement than do schools with lower concentrations of economically disadvantaged students. As a result, Congress, in the reauthorization of Title I under the Every Students Suceeds act, now requires districts to allocate Title I funds to those schools with the highest concentrations of such students, particularly to those schools falling above 75%. Districts may extend Title I benefits to schools lower than 75%, yet not below the district average percentage of free/reduced price meals. Currently, in Alachua, Title I benefits are extended to elementary schools down to 35%.
3. Which children are Title I children?
There is a common misconception that a Title I child is a child eligible for free or reduced price meals, but this is false. Because the Title I program in this district operates at the school level in the form of School-wide Programs, there are technically no Title I children in the district; only Title I schools. The children within each Title I school have no designation related to Title I.
4. How are schools allocated Title I funds?
Once a school qualifies, funds are then allocated based on a formula developed at the district office that projects the number of qualifying children at the school for the following year. Occasionally, a further adjustment is made after the first month of school the year funds are allocated, to ensure that schools receive funds commensurate with the number of qualifying children actually enrolled.
5. How can Title I funds be used?
Title I funds must be used to promote:
- High academic/achievement for all children;
- A greater focus on teaching and learning;
- Flexibility to stimulate local initiatives coupled with responsibility for student performance;
- Improved linkages among schools, parents and communities.
In general, funds cannot be used to purchase/lease/rent or improve facilities or provide routine transportation costs for the transport of students to and from school or supplant funds the school is already entitled to from other sources.
6. What are the restrictions on the use of funds to hire staff?
The intent of the law is to use funds to acquire "highly qualified staff" (professionals & teachers). Although the final draft of the law permits the use of funds for other staff, the primary focus remains on "highly qualified staff". Schools intending on hiring non-professional staff with Title I funds must request clearance from the district Title I office. The state further prohibits the expenditure of Title I funds in school level clerical, administrative or school safety personnel.
7. Do Title I Funds follow the child if he moves to another school?
As indicated in the ESSA, the intended purpose of these funds is to improve the school. This is why funds are allocated to schools not to children. As a result, if a child leaves a Title I school and transfers to another school, there is no transfer of Title I funds to the receiving school.
8. Do Private Schools also receive Title I Assistance?
Federal regulations require that districts provide access to academic support services in private schools that qualify to receive Title I funds. Assistance is limited to remedial reading and/or mathematics tutorial services that support the regular instructional program for certain students in qualifying private schools. As required by federal law, these students must (1) be experiencing significant difficulty in reading and/or mathematics in their regular classes and (2) live in a neighborhood that is served by a public school that is an identified Title I school.
9. Are you aware of all the components within the District Title I Parent and Family Engagement Policy?