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Supplement, Not Supplant for Title 1, Part A under ESSA

Changes under the Every Student Succeeds Act


Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), the supplement, not supplant (SNS) requirement was met by ensuring individual Title I costs did not fall within the presumptions of supplanting test.  This process assessed whether a particular Title I cost was supplemental and focused on the use of the Title I funds.   Under the presumptions test, a Title I supplanting violation was presumed if Title I, Part A paid for:

  1. An activity required by federal, state, or local law;
  2. An activity that was paid for with state or local funds in the prior year; or
  3. The same services for Title I students that State and local funds support for non-Title I students.

In practice, the three presumptions created confusion about what kinds of costs Title I could support, which sometimes led to fragmented and misaligned services for students in Title I schools.


In response to concerns regarding SNS, Congress changed the way SNS must be tested in Title I, Part A under the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA).  This change shifts the review of Title I, Part A expenses and forgoes the three presumptions test.  Alternatively, the SNS test under the ESSA focuses on and requires demonstration of the local education agency’s (LEA’s) methodology used to allocate State and local (non-Federal) funds to each school receiving Title I assistance to ensure that it is receiving the same amount it would have regardless of whether the school received Title I assistance.  In other words, the updated SNS test reviews the manner in which LEAs allocate State and local funds to schools to ensure Title I schools receive all of the funds they would have received had they not participated in Title I.

This shift moves away from the review of individual Title I expenses and toward a review of how LEAs allocate State and local funds.  Under the ESSA, no LEA shall be required to identify that an individual cost or service supported under Title I, Part A is supplemental, nor is the LEA required to provide Title I, Part A services through a particular instructional method or in a particular instructional setting in order to demonstrate such agency’s compliance. 



Supplement, Not Supplant Demonstration under Title I, Part A

The Office of ESEA Programs will hosted a webinar to review the supplement, not supplant provisions under Title I, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on February 23, 2018.  This webinar included a discussion of the demonstration timeline, as well as changes to implementation under the ESSA.


Questions related to the demonstration requirements, process, or timeline:

Laura Meushaw
Title I Coordinator
Federal Programs and Supports Unit

Questions related to the description of methodology, budget process, or Financial Transparency documents:

Jennifer Okes
Chief School Operations Officer
School Operations Division