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Title I, Part A: Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged


The purpose of Title I, Part A is to provide resources to schools and districts to ensure that all children have a fair, equitable, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and close educational achievement gaps.

Title I, Part A is intended to support LEAs in:

  • Improving teaching by promoting effective instruction for at-risk children and for enriched and accelerated programs;
  • Expanding eligibility of schools for schoolwide programs that serve all children;
  • Encouraging school-based improvement planning;
  • Establishing accountability based on results;
  • Promoting meaningful parent and family engagement;
  • Coordinating with health and social services agencies;
  • Focusing resources on the schools with the highest percentage of students living in poverty.

Title I Reallocated Grant

Application Resources

*Submit all application materials through the GAINS system (online application).  The online system does not save work in progress so applicants may wish to complete their information in the paper application and copy responses into the online application. 

Program Requirements and Eligibility

Title I, Part A targets resources to districts and schools in greatest need. The program is the largest ESEA program supporting both elementary and secondary education. The USDE allocates funds based on census poverty rates from ages 5 through 17. Eligibility is based on statutory formulas. Although the amount of Title I, Part A funds a school and district may receive is based on poverty rates, the children that benefit from the program(s) are not, necessarily, students in poverty. Rather, Colorado’s Title I, Part A programs work to address the needs of a school's lowest performing students and those students most at risk for not meeting the Colorado English Language Proficiency (CELP) and Colorado Academic Standards (CAS).

Comprehensive Needs Assessment

Activities supported with Title I, Part A funds must be planned based on a comprehensive needs assessment and in consultation with parents, teachers, principals, and other relevant stakeholders.  The LEA must also engage in continued consultation with these stakeholders to evaluate and improve supported activities.

Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement

Title I, Part A requires LEAs to engage stakeholders in developing the Unified Improvement Plan (UIP), the ESEA Consolidated Application, schoolwide plans and in the planning of Title I funded activities. Additionally, LEAs must implement programs, activities and procedures for the involvement of parents and families in Title I-funded activities. There are several Parents Right to Know notifications that are required as part of receiving Title I, Part A including notifying parents of the qualifications of their child’s teacher, information regarding the assessments, and language instruction identification. Click here for more information regarding parent Title I parent engagement and notification requirements.

Title I, Part A Programs

Title I, Part A funds are intended to support student achievement and growth at the school level. Schools eligible for Title I, Part A funds are determined based on school attendance areas and rank order. Districts may choose to provide supports and services to increase student achievement and growth through schoolwide programs or targeted assistance programs. Additionally, districts may support some district-level Title I activities through district-managed activities and/or parent and community engagement activities.

  • Schoolwide Programs – A Title I Schoolwide Program is an option for schools with high numbers of at-risk students and poverty rates of 40% or higher. Schoolwide programs use Title I, Part A funds to upgrade the educational program of the entire school, with special attention to providing services to students identified as at-risk. Title I, Part A funds must be used to address the educational needs of the school.
  • Targeted Assistance Programs – Targeted assistance programs are designed to provide supplemental services only to eligible students that are identified as at-risk of failing to meet the state’s academic content standards, rather than upgrading the entire schoolwide instructional system.
  • Flexibilities for Districts Less than 1,000 - ESEA offers exemptions from the requirements of Rank Order and the 125% Rule for school districts with enrollment of less than 1,000 students.
  • District Managed Activities – An LEA may set aside a portion of Title I-A funds to implement district managed activities (DMA). DMA is not districtwide as these funds are not intended to provide Title I services to non-Title I schools. Districts can set-aside 20% of their Title I funds. However, if an LEA wishes to set-aside more than 20%, LEAs need to go through a waiver process to justify exceeding the 20% limitation. Unless directing DMA to prioritize supports for schools identified for comprehensive (CS) or targeted (TS) support and improvement, DMA should be used to provide a benefit to a group or all Title I schools. Allowable uses of the DMA may include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following circumstances:
    • Additional services and supports for Title I schools identified for CS or TS;
      • Additional services and supports should address the reason(s) the school(s) were identified for CS or TS 
    • Extending learning time in Title I schools
    • Pay differential for Title I schools with any plan type assignment
    • Hiring an outside expert to work with the staff of low-performing Title I schools to build their capacity to analyze student data and identify promising interventions
    • Contracting with an outside provider with expertise in school improvement to support low-performing Title I schools
    • Supplying supplemental instructional materials to improve the academic growth and achievement of students in low-performing Title I schools, including students with disabilities and English learners
    • Supporting a district-operated preschool program
    • Piloting a data dashboard to help teachers in Title I schools identify, track and analyze data to help them better target interventions to low-performing students
    • Paying for extended time for teachers in Title I schools to review data for at-risk students and identify interventions to better meet the needs of those students
    • Additional parent and community engagement activities in Title I schools**

**Parent and Family Engagement Activities – Title I, Part A requires LEAs that receive more than $500,000 in Title I, Part A funds to set aside funds for parent and family engagement activities.

For more information on District Managed Activities, see DMA: Guidance and Waiver.  

English Learner Identification

Under ESSA, the requirement to identify English learners has moved from Title III, Part A to Title I, Part A. Title I grantees must notify parents if a student has been identified as an EL.  This notification must be sent no later than 30 days after the beginning of the school year (CDE defines the date of October 1 for beginning of school year), and must include:

  • the process by which the child was identified,
  • the child’s level of English proficiency, how such level was assessed, and the status of the child’s academic achievement,
  • the programs offered by the district designed for English Learners,
  • how the programs will meet the educational strengths and needs of the child,
  • how the programs will specifically help their child learn English and meet age appropriate academic achievement standards,
  • the specific exit requirements of the programs, and,
  • how the program meets the objectives of an individualized education program, if applicable.

Notifications must be understandable and, to the extent practicable, in a language the parent can understand.

Use of Funds

The purpose of Title I, Part A funds is to enable schools to provide opportunities for children to acquire the knowledge and skills required to meet the Colorado English Language Proficiency (CELP) and Colorado Academic Standards (CAS). The law provides many flexibilities and opportunities for districts and schools to meet the purpose of Title I, Part A.  In schoolwide programs, the use of Title I, Part A funds is based on a comprehensive needs assessment. In targeted assistance schools, the program is designed to provide extra educational assistance beyond the regular classroom to identified at-risk students.

In addition to the requirements for schoolwide and targeted assistance programs, Title I, Part A funds must also meet the following fiscal requirements:

  • Maintenance of Effort – An LEA may only receive Title I, Part A funds if it maintains educational expenditures from State and local funds from on year to the next. An LEA cannot reduce its own spending and replace those funds with Federal funds.
  • Comparability – An LEA may receive Title I, Part A funds only if State and local funds will be used in Title I schools that are at least comparable to those in non-Title I schools. An LEA may meet this requirement on a grade-span or school-by-school basis.
  • Supplement not Supplant – Title I funds must supplement the amount of funds that would, in the absence of Title I funds, be available from non-Federal sources for the school, including funds needed to provide services that are required by law for children with disabilities and English learners.
  • Reasonable and Necessary – All expenditures must be reasonable and necessary.

Title I, Part A Carryover

Section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act, states that not more than 15 percent of the Title I, Part A funds allocated to a local educational agency (LEA) for any fiscal year may remain available for obligation by such agency for one additional fiscal year.* However, section 1127 of the ESEA provides that CDE may waive this percentage limitation for LEAs once every 3 years when one of the following applies:

(1) CDE determines that the request of a local educational agency is reasonable and necessary; or

(2) Supplemental appropriations for this subpart become available.

Accordingly, an LEA must receive a waiver from the State to carry over into the 2017-2018 fiscal year in excess of 15% of its 2016-2017, Title I, Part A allocation. If the waiver is granted, the LEA will not be eligible to request a waiver of this statute again until the fiscal year 2020-2021 for carryover of its 2019-2020 funds. 

*This percentage limitation on carryover does not apply to any LEA that receives less than $50,000 under Title I, Part A for any fiscal year.


Title 1 Part A 15% Carryover Waiver


Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring of federal programs is conducted to ensure that: (1) every child has a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education; (2) programs comply with federal requirements that are most closely related to positive outcomes for students; and (3) taxpayer dollars are administered and used in accordance with how Congress and the United States Department of Education intended. 

ESSA Comprehensive and Targeted Support and Improvement 

Under ESSA, Colorado identifies schools in need of improvement as either Comprehensive Support (CS) schools or Targeted Support (TS) schools.  For Comprehensive Support schools, Colorado will annually rank all schools based on the total percentage of points earned on the State’s accountability system using data from the 3 preceding years. Title I schools with the lowest total percentage of points earned, to include a minimum of 5 percent of all Title I schools, will be identified as Comprehensive Support and Improvement schools.  The state will also identify all public schools with a four-year, plus extended year, graduation rate below 67 percent, based on three years of graduation data, as a Comprehensive Support and Improvement school. For Alternative Education Campuses (AECs), the state will identify schools with a four-year, plus extended year, completion rate below 67 percent, based on three years of completion data, for Comprehensive Support. Schools will exit from Comprehensive Support if they no longer meet the criteria that led to identification after the third year.

Targeted Support schools will also be identified annually.  Colorado will use the following indicators from the statewide accountability system for annually evaluating the performance of disaggregated groups: English Language Arts achievement, Math achievement, English Language Arts growth, Math growth, the “other indicator” of school quality and student success (when available), Graduation Rates (high schools only) and English Language Proficiency growth (for schools with a large enough population of English learners).

Please visit the Comprehensive and Targeted Support for Improvement webpage for additional information

For Additional Information Contact:

Laura Meushaw
Title I Coordinator
720-728-9023 (c)

Evita Byrd
Title I and IV Specialist
720-347-5667 (c)

Rachel Echsner
Title I & II Specialist
303-681-6486 (c)

Nazanin (Nazie) Mohajeri-Nelson
Executive Director, Federal Programs & Supports Unit
720-626-3895 (c)