The following is information provided to you from the Jeffco U training in January regarding Title I department: what they do, how they serve our students, and why.
In Jeffco, we have 10,065 students to serve under Title I in 30 schools. That includes 24 elementary schools, 1 middle school, 1 option school, 1 charter school, and 2 high schools.
This is based on a requirement that the school services 75% of more students receiving free and reduced lunch (FRL) for high school and 65% or more free and reduced lunch students for middle and elementary.
Funding for these students requiring interventions has decreased by 13% over the past three years. The monies were previously used only for math and reading but has been expanded to include social emotional learning and positive behavioral interventions and services. Data from the schools is used to determine what services are most needed and resource staff and specialists are hired with the monies allocated based on this information.
Identifying needs at each school ultimately comes from the data used for the UIP (Unified Improvement Plan, these are required to the state for all schools.) The UIP is discussed in the school accountability meetings, also required for all schools but sadly, too many parents don’t participate in these very important meetings to give their feedback and help set the direction of their schools. Some schools are actually missing the accountability committee because of a lack of involvement. More parents than staff members is a requirement of these committees under statute but what is a school to do when parents don’t show up? Or are unable to show up due to life circumstances?
Decisions to serve students are made in these accountability committees. Hiring more counselors, counselors vs. social workers, lowering class sizes, eliminating split classrooms, and hiring a family engagement liaison are a few of the proven strategies in serving students at Title 1 schools, though there is not sufficient funding to have all services needed. Every school community is unique and every stakeholder voice is important.
Imagine what could be done to serve students if federal funding had not been cut by 13% (when it was already low) and state funding hadn’t been reduced by $850Million to date OR if Jeffco had approved the 2008 or 2016 mill levies to invest in students.
***Clarification is also needed, even if a student is on FRL, that student doesn’t qualify for the additional funding from Title I, the funding is based on the percentage of students at a school.
What is Title I?
Title I — Improving The Academic Achievement Of The Disadvantaged
SEC. 1001. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE.
The purpose of this title is to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach, at a minimum, proficiency on challenging State academic achievement standards and state academic assessments. This purpose can be accomplished by —
(1) ensuring that high-quality academic assessments, accountability systems, teacher preparation and training, curriculum, and instructional materials are aligned with challenging State academic standards so that students, teachers, parents, and administrators can measure progress against common expectations for student academic achievement;
(2) meeting the educational needs of low-achieving children in our Nation’s highest-poverty schools, limited English proficient children, migratory children, children with disabilities, Indian children, neglected or delinquent children, and young children in need of reading assistance;
(3) closing the achievement gap between high- and low-performing children, especially the achievement gaps between minority and nonminority students, and between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers;
(4) holding schools, local educational agencies, and States accountable for improving the academic achievement of all students, and identifying and turning around low-performing schools that have failed to provide a high-quality education to their students, while providing alternatives to students in such schools to enable the students to receive a high-quality education;
(5) distributing and targeting resources sufficiently to make a difference to local educational agencies and schools where needs are greatest;
(6) improving and strengthening accountability, teaching, and learning by using State assessment systems designed to ensure that students are meeting challenging State academic achievement and content standards and increasing achievement overall, but especially for the disadvantaged;
(7) providing greater decisionmaking authority and flexibility to schools and teachers in exchange for greater responsibility for student performance;
(8) providing children an enriched and accelerated educational program, including the use of schoolwide programs or additional services that increase the amount and quality of instructional time;
(9) promoting schoolwide reform and ensuring the access of children to effective, scientifically based instructional strategies and challenging academic content;
(10) significantly elevating the quality of instruction by providing staff in participating schools with substantial opportunities for professional development;
(11) coordinating services under all parts of this title with each other, with other educational services, and, to the extent feasible, with other agencies providing services to youth, children, and families; and
(12) affording parents substantial and meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children.