The Department of Funding and Disbursement Services is responsible for many funding aspects of ESSA. Department staff calculate the annual projected and final Title I Part A, Title IIA and Title IV allocations for each local education agency (LEA), review and approve Title I excess carryover waivers, collect expenditure reports and process payments.
ESSA Title I Part A is the largest federal grant program administered by the Illinois State Board of Education. The funds are allocated to LEAs and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards. Title I allocations consist of four funding streams: Basic Grants, Concentration Grants, Targeted Grants and Education Finance Incentive Grants (EFIG)
- Basic Grants provide funds to LEAs in which the number of children counted in the formula is at least 10 and exceeds 2 percent of an LEA's school-age population.
- Concentration Grants flow to LEAs where the number of formula children exceeds 6,500 or 15 percent of the total school-age population. Poverty counts and low-income rates are generated by the Census Bureau and do not equate to free and reduced-lunch eligibility.
- Targeted Grants are based on the same data used for Basic and Concentration Grants except that the data are weighted so that LEAs with higher numbers or higher percentages of children from low-income families receive more funds. Targeted Grants flow to LEAs where the number of schoolchildren counted in the formula (without application of the formula weights) is at least 10 and at least 5 percent of the LEA's school-age population.
- Education Finance Incentive Grants (EFIG) distribute funds to states based on factors that measure:
- a state's effort to provide financial support for education compared to its relative wealth as measured by its per capita income; and
- the degree to which education expenditures among LEAs within the state are equalized.
Once a state's EFIG allocation is determined, funds are allocated (using a weighted count formula that is similar to Targeted Grants) to LEAs in which the number of children from low-income families is at least 10 and at least 5 percent of the LEA's school-age population. LEAs target the Title I funds they receive to schools with the highest percentages of children from low-income families. Unless a participating school is operating a schoolwide program, the school must focus Title I services on children who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet state academic standards. Schools in which children from low-income families make up at least 40 percent of enrollment are eligible to use Title I funds for schoolwide programs that serve all children in the school. LEAs also must use Title I funds to provide academic enrichment services to eligible children enrolled in private schools. Federal funds are currently allocated through four statutory formulas that are based primarily on census poverty estimates and the cost of education in each state.
The Illinois State Board of Education is committed to making Illinois' Pre-K to 12 system the strongest in the nation.