Title I

What is Title I?

Title I is a federal program which provides assistance to improve the education of children in high-poverty schools, enabling those children to meet state academic content and performance standards.

A Title I school is a school with low-income students making up more than 50% of the student body. These schools may use Title I funds to create a school wide program to improve achievement, thereby serving all children in the school.


Title I funding began as a part of the Great Society Program of President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965 under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The intent of the law was (and still is) to provide services to students who have academic needs that are not addressed in any other funding – those who are not handicapped but who are not working up to their grade placement. 

The goal of Title I is a High-Quality Education for every child. The program provides extra help to students who need it most. These are children who are the furthest from meeting the standards the state has set for all children. Title I resources are directed to schools with high poverty levels. The program serves millions of children in elementary schools each year. Most school districts participate. Title I also serves children who attend parochial and private schools.

How Title I Works          

The Federal Government provides funding to states each year for Title I. To get funds, each state must submit a plan detailing:

  • what all children are expected to know

  • the high-quality standards of performance that all children are expected to meet

  • ways to measure progress

State educational agencies send the money to school districts based on the number of low-income families in their district.

The local school system identifies eligible schools—those with the highest percentage of children from low-income families—and provides Title I resources to students in need, regardless of their income.

The Title I school, including parents, teachers, administrators and other school staff, work together to:

  • identifying students most in need of educational help (students do not have to be from low-income families to receive help)

  • setting goals for improvement

  • developing programs that add to regular classroom instruction

  • yearly review and revision of the Title I program

  • involving parents in all aspects of the program

Title I programs offer

  • small group instruction

  • additional teachers and assistants

  • additional training for school staff

  • extra time for instruction

  • a variety of teaching methods and materials

What can I do?

As a parent, you are a part of the Title I Team. You influence your child’s education more than any teacher or school. Your involvement can boost your child’s achievement! By taking an active role in Title I, you show your child:

  • how important he or she is to you.

  • how important education is to you.

  • that you and the school are a team.

You know your child best; it’s up to you to:

  • share information about your child’s interests and abilities with teachers.

  • judge whether Title I is meeting your child’s needs.

  • speak up if you notice any problems. (But don’t criticize the school, its teachers or principal in front of your child.)

  • set a good “reading “ example for your child