Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), Title I Intended for Funding
The local educational agency (LEA) must first serve, in rank order of poverty, all schools with a poverty rate above 75 percent of the students, including any middle schools or high schools. The LEA may skip a school that has a poverty level of more than 75 percent only if funds from other sources are equal to or greater than what the school would have received in Title I, Part A, funds.
Only after an LEA has served schools with a poverty rate above 75 percent of the students may the LEA serve lower-ranked schools. The LEA has the option to (1) rank remaining areas by grade span groupings, or (2) proceed with the districtwide ranking. If an LEA elects to fund by grade span, the LEA, for example, may fund only a specific grade span or grade spans or the top ranked schools across some or all grade spans. For more information on grade span group assignment, refer to the School Grade Span Group Assignment section on page 25 of this document. The same poverty measure must be used for either option 1 or 2 above.
An LEA may determine different per-child amounts for different grade spans as long as those amounts do not exceed the amount allocated to any school above the 75 percent poverty level. Per-child amounts within grade spans may also vary as long as the LEA allocates higher per-child amounts to schools with higher poverty rates than it allocates to schools with lower poverty rates.
If the districtwide poverty percentage is below 35 percent and the LEA chooses to fund a school with less than 35 percent poverty, then all funded schools must receive 125 percent of the per pupil funding amount. This per pupil amount is determined by dividing the Title I, Part A annual entitlement, before any reduction for administrative charges or reservations, by the total number of pupils from low-income families in the LEA. This results in the dollar amount per pupil from low-income families. This amount is then multiplied by 1.25 to determine the minimum amount of funding per pupil that must be used when allocating Title I, Part A funds to eligible schools starting at the highest poverty concentration to lowest concentration of pupil from low-income families. Although any eligible school may be funded as long as it is served in rank order, the LEA may elect not to serve eligible schools if it determines that there are insufficient Title I, Part A funds to provide a program that would have a reasonable chance of success. When this cut-off point is determined, no remaining schools may be funded.
Example: Total annual Title I allocation divided by the total number pupils from low-income families in the LEA multiplied by 125 percent = allocation per student from low-income families.
If the Title I allocation was $100,000 divided by 500 students from low-income families = $200 per pupil multiplied by 1.25 = $250 per pupil from low-income families in all schools
Note: The results of this calculation will be reported in the Consolidated Application, Winter Release.
ESEA Title I, Part A Ranking Exceptions
Flexibility in ranking and selecting Title I attendance areas: School attendance areas at or above the district's poverty rate are eligible for Title I, Part A funding. In certain circumstances, the district may take advantage of special opportunities (exceptions) for extra flexibility. Refer to the ESEA Title I Part A, Section 1113 Web page for additional information.
An LEA may qualify a school for Title I funds based on one of the following exceptions:
- At least thirty-five percent low-income: A district may designate as eligible any school attendance area in which at least 35 percent of the students are from low-income families. When using this rule, schools must be served in rank order, and the allocation for a low-income student must be of sufficient size to provide a reasonable expectation of success.
- Public school poverty rate above district poverty rate: A district may designate a school that does not serve an eligible school attendance area as an eligible school if the percentage of children enrolled in that school from low-income families is equal to or greater than the percentage of children from low-income families in an eligible school attendance area. A continuation high school, community school, or locally funded charter school could be served under this exception.
- Skipping an eligible school that will be served by state or local resources that meet the requirements of Title I: A district may skip eligible school attendance areas that have higher proportions of children from low-income families if the children in those attendance areas are receiving, from nonfederal funds, services of the same type at a funding level that is equal to that which would have been received from Title I, Part A funds. For example, a school that would be eligible to be served by Title I, Part A funds could be skipped if the school was allocated Economic Impact Aid (EIA)/State Compensatory Education (SCE) funds equal to the allocation that would have been made under Title I. If a "skipped" school is served by any state or local program other than EIA/SCE, please click on the comments box and describe these services and allocations. Note: A school with a poverty concentration above 75 percent may be skipped for Title I, Part A funding if the school was allocated nonfederal funds in an amount equal to or greater than the amount that it would receive under Title I, Part A. Students in the skipped school must also receive services of the same type as schools funded with Title I.
- Desegregation — 25 percent waiver: If a district is operating a state or court-ordered desegregation program, the district may request a waiver from the United States Department of Education to allow the district to serve as eligible schools at or above 25 percent poverty.
- Grandfather provision: The ESEA allows for an additional year of funding for schools that were funded last year but no longer rank high enough in the current school year to receive Title I, Part A funds.
- Feeder pattern: The LEA may project the number of low-income children in a middle school or high school on the basis of average poverty rate of the elementary school attendance areas that feed into that school. If this exception is used, the LEA will be expected to describe the feeder pattern calculations. For an example of how to calculate for feeder pattern go to the guidance on the “Identifying Eligible Title I Schools and Attendance Areas” Web page.