Title I - Helping Disadvantaged Children Meet High Standards

Program purpose authorization:
Title I, formerly known as Chapter 1, is part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, and is the foundation of the federal commitment to closing the achievement gap between low-income and other students. Nearly 14,000 of the 15,000 school districts in the nation conduct Title I programs. The original purpose of Title I was additional resources to states and localities for remedial education for children in poverty. The 1994 reauthorization of Title I shifted the program's emphasis from remedial education to helping all disadvantaged children reach rigorous state academic standards expected of all children. Title I funds can be used for instructional activities, counseling, parental involvement, and program improvement. In return, school districts and states must meet accountability requirements for raising student performance.

General Questions and Answers

How does my state and school district receive Title I dollars?
Title I funds flow to states and school districts on a formula basis. The formula takes into account the number of low-income children and the statewide average per pupil expenditures. Resources within the state are targeted to the districts and schools with the greatest need.

What services does Title I provide?
Title I funds generally are used to improve academic achievement in reading and math, but the resources can be used to help students improve their achievement in all of the core academic subjects. Title I funds are flexible, and can be used to provide professional development for teachers; support hiring additional teachers and classroom aides; improve curriculum; enhance parent involvement; extend learning time for students who need extra help; and provide other activities that are tied to raising student achievement.

What does the term "Title I schoolwide program" mean?
A school that receives Title I dollars and that has a student enrollment in which more than half of the students are low-income is eligible to operate a "schoolwide program." A schoolwide program requires a plan to improve academic achievement of all students in the school using Title I dollars on all of the students.

How does Title I funding break down by grade level?
Of the 11 million Title I students, about two-thirds are enrolled in grades preK-6. The Title I grants to school districts serve roughly 260,000 preschool children.

What about children with disabilities?
Children with disabilities are eligible for Title I services if the school and the student meets the Title I eligibility criteria. Title I services roughly 1 million students with disabilities.

What about children with limited English proficiency?
Children whose native language is other than English can receive Title I services in addition to bilingual education services so long as the school and the student meet the Title I eligibility criteria. Title I services are provided to approximately 2 million students with limited English proficiency, roughly one-fifth of all students served by the program.

For more information, contact:

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
400 Maryland Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20202
(202) 301-4000