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Title I, Part A School Allocations

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

According to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), local education agencies (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 Consolidated Application and Reporting System (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]; 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 low-income measure for all school attendance areas in the LEA (ESSA Section 1113[a][5][A]). 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 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]). 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]).

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]).

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]). In California, no such funds are available.

Desegregation Plan Waiver

If an LEA has an existing Desegregation Plan Waiver on file with the U.S. Department of Education, 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 the Desegregation Plan Waiver is on file, use Discretion Code d.

LEA Discretions

Under 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]).
    • For reporting in the CARS a school served that has a student low-income percentage below the LEA average and at or above 35 percent student low-income, use Discretion Code a.

  • 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]);
    • For reporting in the CARS a school that is served using the Grandfather Provision, use Discretion Code e.

  • 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]);
    • For reporting in the CARS secondary schools served using the average low-income percentages of feeder schools, use Discretion Code f.

  • 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 (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.

Discretion Codes in 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% student Low-Income
  • d - Desegregation Plan Waiver on File
  • e - Grandfather Provision
  • f - Feeder Pattern

School Allocations

Below, you will find school allocations in accordance with fiscal year:

Resources

Consolidate Application and Reporting System

To request a School Ranking and Allocation Planning Tool Template, please email TitleI@cde.ca.gov.

U.S. Department of Education Resources

Text of the ESEA as reauthorized by the ESSA (October 5, 2017) External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)

34 CFR Section 200.78 External link opens in new window or tab.

Local Educational Agency 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)

Questions:   Title I Policy and Program Guidance Office | TitleI@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0917
Last Reviewed: Thursday, September 5, 2019
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