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Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Title I, Part A: Improving Basic Programs Operated by LEAs Fact Sheet

Under The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Title I, Part A (Title I) provides funds to local educational agencies (LEAs) – Public School Districts, Charter Schools, and Special Act Districts – for the purpose of providing all children significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps among groups of students.

Allocation and Application

Program Requirements

  • There are two kinds of programs a Title I school can operate: a targeted assistance program (TA) or a schoolwide program (SWP). If a Title I school is operating a targeted assistance program, the school provides Title I services to children who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet challenging State academic standards. Schools in which children from low-income families make up at least 40% of enrollment are eligible to use Title I funds to operate schoolwide programs that serve all children in the school in order to raise the achievement of the lowest-achieving students. Please see the federal guidance document entitled Supporting School Reform by Leveraging Federal Funds in a Schoolwide Program for more information on schoolwide programs.
  • Parent and Family Engagement requirements under ESSA guide Local Educational Agencies (LEA) to develop and distribute a written family engagement policy. The policy must be developed in consultation with parents and families of participating students. ESSA requires that LEAs promote collaboration between, schools, parents and families, in helping students achieve high academic standards. More information on Title I parent and family engagement requirements can be found in our guidance document Parent and Family Engagement: Title I, Part A.
  • Each Title I school is required to host an annual Title I meeting for parents of children in the Title I program. In this meeting, the school should share information about the specific Title I programming available, parent and family engagement policies and activities, information about measuring and reporting on student progress, and the rights of parents to be informed about teacher qualifications and how to become involved with the education of their children.
  • LEAs also must use Title I funds to provide Title I services to eligible children enrolled in private schools. LEAs must consult annually with private schools regarding eligibility and equitable services. The guidance document Equitable Services to Non-Public Schools Consultation describes the consultation process between LEAs and private schools.

Fiscal Requirements and Considerations

  • If an LEA receives a Title I allocation greater than $500,000 (including transferability), the LEA must reserve at least 1% of its Title I allocation to help schools to carry out the parent and family engagement activities. This provision does not limit LEAs from reserving more than 1%. Parents and family members of children receiving Title I services must be involved meaningfully in the decisions about how these funds reserved are allotted for parent involvement activities. Not less than 90% of the funds reserved must be distributed to schools served under Title I, Part A, with priority given to high-need schools.
  • LEAs are also required to set aside a homeless reserve to serve students experiencing homelessness and a neglected youth reserve to serve LEA students enrolled in Neglected Facilities.
  • LEAs may set aside funds as part of an administration reserve to account for costs of administering the grant program. Salaries associated with this reserve should reflect the percentage of time allocated to grant related activities. There is no statutory cap on administrative costs for Title I, but the costs should be reasonable and allocable to the grant.
  • As part of ESSA Supplement Not Supplant provisions, LEAs are responsible for developing a methodology to distribute state and local funds to schools. LEAs must demonstrate that the methodology they use to allocate state and local funds is Title I neutral - meaning that the methodology used provides each Title I school with all of the state and local money it would receive if it did not participate in the Title I program. Districts must distribute state and local funds to all schools as if no Title I funds were available to any schools in the district. The funding methodology that a district uses must also provide sufficient state and local funds to provide an adequate general education program in all schools. LEAs are required to submit this information annually in a separate Title I Supplement Not Supplant survey administered through the business portal.
  • As outlined in Section 1118(c) of ESSA, LEAs must use State and local funds to provide services in Title I schools that are comparable to the services provided in non-Title I schools. If all schools within an LEA receive Title I funds, the LEA must use state and local funds to provide services that are substantially comparable in each Title I school. All LEAs that submitted the annual Consolidated Application for ESSA-Funded Programs are required to provide assurances regarding meeting the Comparability requirements and also fill out a separate survey on Title I Comparability administered through the business portal.
  • While an LEA may not transfer funds out of Title I, LEAs may use transferability to shift the use of Title II, Part A and Title IVA, Part A funds to Title I to extend the scope of the Title I program. For more information, please see our guidance document entitled Transferability.
  • An LEA may carry over 15% of its Title I, Part A allocation for an LEA with an allocation of at least $50,000; 100% of allocation for an LEA with an allocation of less than $50,000.
  • An LEA can receive 100% of their carryover once every three years by applying for a carryover limit waiver. More information on how to apply for a waiver.


For additional assistance on Title I, Part A, districts may contact the Office of ESSA-Funded Programs
Conappta@nysed.govor (518) 473-0295.