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Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Program Mission

Title I, Part A - Improving Basic Programs provides supplemental funding to state and Local Education Agencies (LEAs). The funding provides resources to LEAs and schools with high percentages of children from low-income families. Title I resources improve education quality and help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards. Title I services focus on children who are failing or who are most at risk of failing to meet state academic standards.


Title I is designed to help students served by the program achieve proficiency on challenging state academic achievement standards. Title I provides support to schools that implement either a “schoolwide program” or a “targeted assistance program.” Title I schools with percentages of students from low-income families of at least 40 percent may use Title I funds, along with other federal, state, and local funds, to operate a schoolwide program to upgrade the instructional program for the whole school. Title I schools with less than the 40 percent schoolwide threshold or that choose not to operate a schoolwide program may offer a targeted assistance program in which the school identifies students who are failing or who are most at risk of failing to meet the state's challenging academic achievement standards. Targeted assistance schools design, in consultation with parents, staff, and district staff, an instructional program to meet the needs of those students. Both schoolwide and targeted assistance programs must use instructional strategies based on scientifically based research and implement parental involvement activities.

LEAs must also use Title I fundsPDF Document to provide academic enrichment services to eligible children enrolled in nonpublic schools Title I requires LEAs to provide services for eligible nonpublic school students as well as eligible public school students. In particular, section 1120 of Title I, Part A of the ESEA requires a participating LEA to provide eligible children attending nonpublic elementary and secondary schools, their teachers, and their families with Title I services or other benefits that are equitable to those provided to eligible public school children, their teachers, and their families. These services must be developed in consultation with officials of the nonpublic schools. The Title I services provided by the LEA for nonpublic private school participants are designed to meet their educational needs and supplement the educational services. See the U.S. Department of EducationOffice of Non-Public EducationPDF Document website for additional information on services that are available for eligible nonpublic school children.

Title I, Part A provides supplemental services for children from preschool through grade 12 who are at risk of not meeting the Illinois Learning Standards. Funds support instruction in an expanded list of core subjects. Title I, Part A may also support parent involvement​PDF Document and professional development activities. Funds are used for a variety of expenditures, including instructional salaries, supplies, and materials; consultant fees; equipment; and other services in support of supplemental programs to support high-quality education and other activities to close the achievement gap.​​

 Reimbursement/Distribution Method

Funds for Title I, Part A are distributed via formula grants based on the low-income census count. The state allocates not less than 95 percent of the funding to districts on a formula basis.

The information below shows the Title I, Part A grant award allocation at the state level based on ESSA.

  • Grant Award
    • 92% LEA Grants
    • 1% Administration
    • 7% School Improvement

 Population and Service Levels

An LEA may consolidate and use funds under Title I, Part A, together with other federal, state, and local funds, in order to upgrade the entire educational program of a school that serves an eligible school attendance area in which not less than 40 percent of the children are from low-income families or not less than 40 percent of the children enrolled in the school are from such families.

Title I funds provide additional academic support and learning opportunities to help low-achieving children master challenging curricula and meet state standards in core academic subjects. Funds may be used to support extra instruction in reading and mathematics, as well as special preschool, after-school, and summer programs, to extend and reinforce the regular school curriculum.

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