History of Title I

The History of Title I

Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965  (ESEA) is the largest federally funded education program.  The overall purpose of Title I is to give funds to schools with high concentrations of children living in poverty in order to provide special assistance for children who are not achieving well academically or who are at risk of educational difficulty.  In addition, the main goal of the Title I grant is to ensure that all children have a fair, equal and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach, at minimum, proficiency on challenging state academic achievement standards and assessments. 

In 1994, Congress overhauled Title I through the Improving America's Schools Act (IASA).  Congress rewrote the law to align Title I programs with the standards-based education reforms taking place in general education.  The revised law emphasizes that educationally disadvantaged students must be educated according to the same high standards established for all students.  In 2015, Congress passed the latest version of  Title I, under the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA).  Targeted remedies for poor school performance were clearly specified  as were specific definitions for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

In 2012, the Virginia Department of Education applied for and received a flexibility waiver from some of the requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Act (formerly referred to as "No Child Left Behind").  Due to the flexibility waiver, schools no longer have to make AYP.  Now schools must meet Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) for the three identified proficiency gap groups and their subgroups in the areas of reading and math.  The goal is to reduce the gap among groups by 50% in six (6) years.  (To learn more about accountability in Virginia public schools, please visit:   http://www.doe.virginia.gov/federal_programs/esea/flexibility/faq_amo.pdf)  

There are two primary models for serving students in a Title I school:   school-wide programs and targeted assistance programs.  In school-wide programs, Title I funds may be combined with other federal, state and local funds to upgrade the entire educational program of all students in the school.  In contrast, Title I funds in targeted assistance  programs may only be used to provide services to eligible children identified as having the greatest academic need.  Both school-wide and targeted assistance programs must be based on research-based effective means of improving student achievement and strategies to support parental involvement.