Best Practices for Maintaining Title I Compliance
- Parent Involvement
- Adequate Yearly Progress
- Targeted Assistance
- School-Wide Resources
- Teaching and Support Staff
Title I is a program created by President George Bush in 2001 as part of the No Child Left Behind Act, and it requires schools that receive assistance to remain in compliance with a standard set of guidelines. Two types of Title I assistance are available to elementary and secondary schools that meet the criteria for federal funding. School-wide assistance is available for schools with rates of family poverty higher than the minimum threshold set by the Bush Administration. Targeted assistance is available for schools in which only some students need special attention to achieve parity with the national average. In both cases, Title I schools must adhere to the following guidelines to continue receiving funding.
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1. Parent Involvement
Parent involvement is one of the most important factors in receiving Title I funding. According to NCLB legislation, parents must play a key role in helping failing and at-risk students improve their performance. Teachers and administrators of Title I schools are required to work closely with parents of students receiving targeted assistance to ensure that they play active roles in their children’s education. The motivation for this policy is to help underserved communities break the cycle of poverty and underachievement that is often caused by a lack of parental involvement in education. Title I seeks to address this issue by incentivizing schools to encourage parents to become more active in their children’s education.
2. Adequate Yearly Progress
When it comes to school performance and applications for Title I funding, the policy of adequate yearly progress, or AYP, is a crucial factor. The Department of Education determines which schools qualify for Title I assistance by analyzing the number of students coming from impoverished families, the number of students receiving failing grades and several other key factors. In determining whether Title I schools should continue to receive funding, the DoED assesses the AYP of students in targeted assistance programs. According to the DoED, Title I eligibility is determined by math and reading test scores of students receiving targeted assistance.
3. Targeted Assistance
Title I funding is available for students at schools in which the general student population is not living below the poverty line or at risk of academic failure. Students at risk of academic failure are eligible for targeted assistance whether or not they come from impoverished families. Targeted assistance programs are subject to the same federal oversight as school-wide funding programs. Parents, teachers, and administrators are responsible for ensuring that adequate progress is made over the course of the school year.
4. School-Wide Resources
Schools that receive Title I assistance for school-wide resources can use the funding to improve educational resources and provide tools and technology for learning and student achievement. In this case, Title I funding can be used by all students in the school, including students not at risk of academic failure.
5. Teaching and Support Staff
Title I schools are required to hire additional teaching and support staff to implement NCLB policies and work with parents to improve learning outcomes. According to the DoED, NCLB legislation stipulates that teaching quality is one of the most important factors in determining eligibility for Title I funding. Schools that make efforts to improve the quality of teaching and support staff receive the targeted or school-wide assistance needed for student achievement.
The theory underpinning the No Child Left Behind Act is that students who receive literacy and math preparation in early childhood perform at a higher level later in life. To remain in compliance with Title I regulations, schools must focus on fostering cultures of learning and parent involvement.