What is Title I?
Title I is a federal grant program designed to give educational assistance to students living in areas of high poverty. The Title I program originated in 1965 when Congress passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and was reauthorized in 2001 with the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act. Title I is one of the oldest and largest federal programs supporting elementary and secondary education in existence, and over 90% of the school systems in the United States receive some sort of Title I funding.
The Title I 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.