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Title I, Part A School Allocations

Local educational agencies (LEAs) shall allocate funds to eligible school attendance areas or eligible schools.

Rank and Serve Eligible Schools | Determining the Per-Pupil Allocation | Additional Exceptions | Discretion Codes in the Consolidated Application and Reporting System (CARS) | LEA Discretions | Allocating Carryover Funds | Parent and Family Engagement Reservations | Recipients of Title I, Part A School Allocations – Reports by Fiscal Year (FY) | Resources

According to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), LEAs shall allocate Title I, Part A funds to eligible school attendance areas or eligible schools on the basis of the total number of students from low-income families (ESSA sections 1113[a][1], and [c][1]).

“School attendance area” means, in relation to a particular school, the geographical area in which students are normally served by that school reside (ESSA Section 1113[a][2][A]).

“Eligible school attendance area” means a school attendance area in which the percentage of students from low-income families is at least as high as the percentage of students from low-income families served by the LEA as a whole (ESSA Section 1113[a][2][B]). School allocations are reported in the CARS, which is used to distribute funds from various state and federal programs to county offices, school districts, and direct-funded charter schools throughout California.

Rank and Serve Eligible Schools

An LEA shall use Title I, Part A funds in eligible school attendance areas or eligible schools (ESSA sections 1113[a][1], and [2]; Title 34 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 200.78[a][1]). An LEA must allocate funds to school attendance areas and schools, identified as eligible, in rank order on the basis of the total number of students from low-income families in each area or school (ESSA Section 1113[c][1]; and 34 CFR 200.78[a][1]). To determine the eligibility, ranking, and serving of each school attendance area, an LEA shall use the same student measure of poverty (low-income measure) for all school attendance areas in the LEA (ESSA Section 1113[a][5][A]). The LEA shall use the same measure of poverty; which measure of poverty shall be one of the following:

  • The number of children eligible for a free or reduced-price lunch (FRPM) under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 United States Code [U.S.C.] 1751 et seq.).
  • The number of children in families receiving assistance under the State program funded under Part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act (SSI).
  • The number of children eligible to receive medical assistance under the Medicaid Program.
  • The number of children aged five through 17 in poverty counted in the most recent census data approved by the Secretary.

    or

  • A composite of such indicators (ESSA Section 1113[a][5][A]).

*Data from the U.S. Federal Census – Bureau of the Census.

In calculating the total number of students from low-income families, the LEA must include students from low-income families who attend private schools (34 CFR 200.78[a][2][1]). For additional information, please refer to the California Department of Education (CDE) Title I Services for Students in Private Schools web page.

When LEAs have insufficient funds to serve all eligible schools for services that meet the needs of their students, the LEA shall serve all schools in rank order that exceed 75 percent student low-income percentage (ESSA Section 1113[a][3][A]). However, for those LEAs with an average low-income percentage above 75 percent are only required to fund those schools at or above the LEA average (ESSA Section 1113[a][2][B]). For example, if the LEA has a low-income percentage at 90 percent, the LEA is only required to serve those schools at or above 90 percent LEA low-income average.

Exception for High Schools

The LEA may lower the rank-and-serve threshold from above 75 low-income percentage to 50 low-income percentage (ESSA Section 1113[a][3][B]).

Ranking and Serving Eligible School Attendance Areas From Highest to Lowest

If funds remain after serving all eligible school attendance areas exceeding 75 percent and with LEA discretion serving high schools with low-income percentage at or above 50, LEAs shall:

  • Annually rank such agency’s remaining eligible school attendance areas from highest to lowest either by grade span or for the entire LEA according to the percentage of students from low-income families; and

  • Serve such eligible school attendance areas in rank order either within each grade-span grouping or within the LEA as a whole (ESSA Section 1113[a][4][B]; 34 CFR 200.78[a][3]).

In other words, if funds remain after serving all eligible school attendance areas above 75 percentage low-income average, LEAs shall rank and serve eligible schools from highest to lowest percentage either by:

  1. LEA as a whole; or
  2. Grade span (ESSA Section 1113[a][4][B]).

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Determining the Per-Pupil Allocation

An LEA is not required to allocate the same per-pupil amount to each participating school attendance area or school provided the LEA allocates higher per-pupil amounts to areas or schools with higher concentrations of poverty than to areas or schools with lower concentrations of poverty (34 CFR 200.78[c]).

To calculate the per-pupil allocation, the available allocation is divided by the total number of eligible low-income students within the LEA.

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Additional Exceptions

There are two additional exceptions under ESSA Section 1113.

  • LEAs with less than 1,000 students are exempt from ESSA Section 1113(a) (ESSA Section 1113[a][6]).
  • An LEA may reduce the amount of funds allocated for a school attendance area by the amount of any supplemental state and local funds expended in that school that meet Title I, Part A requirements of ESSA sections 1114 or 1115 (ESSA Section 1113[c][2][B]).

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Discretion Codes in the CARS

LEAs are required to report all school allocations on the CARS Title I, Part A School Allocations forms. LEAs may use the applicable discretion code when ranking and serving eligible school attendance areas or eligible schools. The following discretion codes are available:

Discretion Codes

  • a ─ Below LEA average and at or above 35 percent student Low-income
  • d ─ Desegregation Plan Waiver on File
  • e ─ Grandfather Provision
  • f ─ Feeder Pattern

Desegregation Plan Waiver

If an LEA has an existing Desegregation Plan Waiver on file with the U.S. Department of Education (ED), the LEA is permitted to treat as eligible, and serve, any school that students attend, if the number of economically disadvantaged students enrolled in the school is at least 25 percent of the school’s total enrollment (ESSA Section 1113[a][7]). For reporting in the CARS that the Desegregation Plan Waiver is on file with ED, use Discretion Code d.

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LEA Discretions

Under the ESSA Section 1113, LEAs have discretion when ranking and serving eligible school attendance areas or eligible schools. An LEA may:

  • Serve, in rank order, school attendance areas or schools with student low-income percentages below the LEAs average low-income percentage in which at least 35 percent of the students in the school are from low-income families (ESSA Section 1113[b][1][A]).
    • Use Discretion Code a to designate as eligible and serve a school attendance area or school with a student low-income percentage below the LEA average and at or above 35 percent low-income when completing the Title I, Part A School Allocations form in the CARS.

  • Designate and serve a school attendance area or school that is not eligible, but that was eligible and that was served in the preceding fiscal year, but only for one additional fiscal year (ESSA Section 1113[b][1][C]);
    • Use Discretion Code e to serve a school that is no longer eligible but was eligible and served in the preceding fiscal year when completing the Title I, Part A School Allocations form in the CARS.

  • The LEA may calculate an estimate of the number of students in low-income families in the secondary school by applying the average percentage of the students in low-income families of the elementary school attendance areas that feed into the secondary school to the number of students enrolled. If the LEA uses this discretion, the LEA shall conduct outreach to their secondary schools and receive approval from majority of those schools (ESSA sections 1113[a][5][B], and [C]);
    • Use Discretion Code f to serve secondary schools using the average low-income percentages of feeder schools when completing the Title I, Part A School Allocations form in the CARS.

  • Special Rule: The per-pupil amount of funds allocated to each eligible school attendance area or eligible school, shall be at least 125 percent of the per-pupil amount of funds a LEA received for that year except this shall not apply to a LEA that only serves schools in which the percentage of such students is 35 percent or greater (ESSA Section 1113[c][2][A]; 34 CFR 200.78[b][1]-[2]).
    • The LEA must allocate to each participating school attendance area or school an amount for each low-income child that is at least 125 percent of the per-pupil amount of funds the LEA received for that year. The LEA must calculate this per-pupil amount before it reserves funds, using the poverty measure selected by the LEA under ESSA Section 1113(a)(b); 34 CFR 200.78(b).
    • This special rule also applies to schools that have low-income percentages below 35 but are able to be funded by using any one of the Discretion Codes except Discretion Code a.
    • The LEA must calculate this per-pupil amount before it reserves funds, using the poverty measure selected by the LEA (ESSA Section 1113[a][5]; 34 CFR 200.78[b][1]).
      • A warning will appear in the CARS when LEAs serve any schools with low-income percentages below 35.

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Allocating Carryover Funds

Unspent Title I, Part A carryover funds, at or below the allowable 15 percent, from the prior year remain available for obligation by the LEA for one additional fiscal year (ESSA Section 1127[a]). The 15 percent carryover limitation does not apply if the LEA allocation (including funds transferred-in from other federal education programs) is less than $50,000 for the FY (ESSA Section 1127[c]).

The percentage limitation is applied to the amount of Title I, Part A funds allocated to the LEA, plus any funds the LEA transferred into Title I, Part A from other ESEA programs.

The CDE recommends that the LEA obligate or expend the entire Title I, Part A allocation within each FY. LEAs are authorized to carry over up to 15 percent of Title I, Part A funds to the succeeding FY without applying for a waiver. Before allocating carryover funds, the LEA must ensure that any Title I, Part A funds, originally required to be reserved for specific activities (e.g., parent and family engagement, equitable services), that were not spent should be used for those specific activities in the subsequent fiscal year.

Unspent Title I, Part A funds from the prior year may include funds:

  • Reserved for a specific purpose.
  • Retained for LEA-wide direct student services.
  • Allocated to a school(s).

When determining how to allocate carryover funds:

  • The LEA shall:
    • Meet its obligations with respect to the statutory reservations from funds that remain available for the subsequent school year.
  • The LEA may:
    • Retain some/all of the remaining carryover funds at the LEA level for LEA-wide direct student services, and/or
    • Allocate some/all of the remaining carryover funds to eligible schools.

For more information about carryover funds and waivers, please visit the CDE Title I, Part A Carryover and Waiver web page.

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Parent and Family Engagement Reservations

Each LEA that receives more than $500,000 in Title I, Part A funds, shall reserve at least one percent of its allocation to assist schools to carry out the parental engagement activities. Funds reserved by an LEA shall be used to carry out activities and strategies consistent with the LEA’s Parent and Family Engagement Policy. Not less than 90 percent of the funds reserved shall be distributed to schools served with priority given to high-need schools (ESSA Section 1116[a][3][A-C]).

For more information about Title I, Part A Parent and Family Engagement, please visit the CDE Title I, Part A Parent and Family Engagement web page.

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Recipients of Title I, Part A School Allocations – Reports by FY

Below you will find reports containing the list of recipients of Title I, Part A school allocations in accordance with each FY:

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Resources

CARS
The CARS is a data collection system used by LEAs to apply for Categorical Program Funding and to report on the use of those funds.

Title 34 CFR Section 200.78 Allocation of Funds to School Attendance Areas and Schools External link opens in new window or tab.
Text of Title 34 CFR 200.78 from the National Archives.

Title I, Part A School Student Counts
Title I, Part A school student counts are collected and reported by the LEA on an annual basis.

Title I, Part A LEA Carryover and Waiver
For each FY, the ESSA limits the amount of Title I, Part A LEA carryover funds that may remain available for obligation or expenditure.

ESSA External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
Complete ESSA publication on the ED web site.

Within-District Allocations Under Title I, Part A of the ESEA, as Amended (February 2022) External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
This non-regulatory guidance discusses provisions that govern within-district allocations under Title I, Part A ESEA, as amended by the ESSA, and accompanying regulations in 34 CFR sections 200.64, 200.77, and 200.78.

LEA Identification and Selection of School Attendance Areas and Schools, and Allocation of Title I Funds to Those Areas and Schools External link opens in new window or tab. (DOC; Aug-2003)
ED's non-regulatory guidance outlining how LEAs identify eligible Title I school attendance areas and schools and allocate funds to those attendance areas and schools.

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Questions:   Rina DeRose | RDerose@cde.ca.gov | Title I Policy, Program, and Support Office
Last Reviewed: Thursday, June 13, 2024
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