What is Title I?
Title I is the largest single program of federal aid for elementary and secondary education. Title I, Part A, allocates funds to more than 90 percent of the nations’ school districts to offset the effects of poverty on the educational opportunities of low-performing children in high-poverty schools. Each state oversees the program for its own local educational agencies (LEAs). Each state educational agency (SES) plays a central role in setting standards and enforcing program requirements.
A Brief History of Title I
Title I began as “Better Schooling for Educationally Deprived Students,” as one component of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, and was one of the major programs of President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty.” The ESEA has been reauthorized several times. Title I now provides parents, advocates, and school communities with a tool for broader school improvements.
Title I: A Framework for Program Quality
The reauthorized Title I provides strong support for ensuring a quality education for students served by Title I funds. The law requires states to use the same high standards for these students as they do for all other students. It requires schools and LEAs to develop programs that will enable students to meet the standards. Further, the law calls for highly qualified professional staff to teach Title I students a challenging curriculum, and effectively designed educational assistance to students who are having difficulty achieving the standards. It gives parents the right to be involved in planning their children’s education, and to see that their children’s schools comply with the requirements of Title I.
Standards, Assessments, and AYP
Standards: The state of Indiana has adopted challenging academic content and student achievement standards that apply to all schools and all children in the state. These academic content standards specify what children are expected to know and be able to do.
Assessments: Indiana is required to administer a set of high-quality, yearly student academic assessments in mathematics, reading, and science. These assessments must be aligned with the academic standards and be taken by all students (including, with appropriate accommodations, student with disabilities or limited English proficiency). By regulation, children with the most significant cognitive disabilities may be assessed against alternate standards that better represent the highest achievement of which these children are capable. In Indiana, these students are assessed using the Indiana Standards Tool for Alternate Reporting (ISTAR). Limited English Proficient (LEP) students must be tested in the language and form most likely to yield accurate data to the extent practicable. However, LEP students must take their reading/language arts assessment in English if they have attended schools in the United States for three consecutive years. In addition, all LEP students must take an annual English proficiency assessment. In Indiana, the LAS Links is the assessment used for this purpose.
Title I Program Design
Designation as a Schoolwide Program allows a school to use funds from Title I to upgrade the entire educational system of the school in order to raise academic achievement for all students. For a school to be eligible to initiate a schoolwide program, at least 40 percent of its students must come from low-income families. In the Richmond Community Schools, the following are designated as Schoolwide Program schools:
- Charles Elementary
- Crestdale Elementary
- Fairview Elementary
- Starr Elementary
- Vaile Elementary
- Westview Elementary
- Dennis Intermediate
- Test Intermediate
Staff Qualifications and Professional Development
Teachers of “core academic subjects” must be highly qualified, which means that the teacher: has passed the state certification or licensing exam; holds a bachelor’s degree; and has passed a formal assessment or state evaluation or has done coursework in certain subject areas.
To ensure parents are properly included in the Title I program, the law mandates a written district parent involvement policy and school-parent compacts. At each stage of school improvement, parents must be notified and told how they can participate in the process.
Parent Concerns and Complaints
Richmond Community Schools strives to meet the needs of all families and students served through Title I. However, if at any time we have failed to meet your expectations, we want to know about it. A complaint may be submitted by an organization or an individual, and must be submitted in writing. If you believe that RCS violated any federal or state law, rule, or regulation, please contact Dawn Sonsini, Title 1 Program Administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org or call (765) 973-3339. Address: Richmond Community Schools, 300 Hub Etchison Parkway, Richmond, Indiana 47374