What is Title 1?

Title I is a federal aid program for schools. The goal of Title 1 is to ensure a high-quality education for every child, by providing extra help to students who need it most. Title I has three primary objectives:

  • to improve student achievement for all participating children
  • to improve staff development
  • to improve parental and community involvement

Title 1 funds are distributed to districts and individual school based on the number of low-income families served. However, once a school qualifies for Title 1 funds, academic need, not economic status, determines which students receive extra services. Title 1 funds are intended to supplement (add to), not replace, state and federal funds.

Title 1 is different from Special Education programs. Title 1 does not address student needs based on disability or special needs, but rather on the basis of student performance, achievement and progress. To read a parent tip sheet describing Title 1, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, go to Title 1, IDEA and 504.

Under new flexibility guidelines for Title 1 grants, the way Title 1 funds are used within schools has changed. In the past Title 1 services were programs which supported the general educational mission of a school, but were visibly separate from services funded by the local school district. This often resulted in parallel and separate services for groups of students, and was not the most efficient way to add to the educational experience. Title 1 programs are now allowed, and encouraged, to collaborate with each school as a whole to fill gaps and introduce innovations in instruction. What does this mean to you and your child? Because we can now combine some Title 1 funds with other funding sources to enhance the education of all students, the role of Title 1 in your school may not be as visible to you (and your child) as they have been in the past. This is a good thing! As a educators and parents, we share the goal of providing students with with the best education possible. The new guidelines enable us to work together toward this goal.  

For more information on Title 1:  Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education or U.S. Department of Education