Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides financial assistance through state education agencies (SEAs) to local education agencies (LEAs) and public schools with the highest percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards.
Title I funds may be used for children from preschool through grade 12. LEAs target the Title I funds they receive to public schools with the highest poverty rates. Public schools with poverty rates 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 entire educational program. Schools with poverty rates below 40 percent, or those choosing not to operate a schoolwide program, offer a targeted assistance program. In a targeted assistance program, the school serves Title I-eligible students who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet challenging state academic standards. The school then designs, 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 be based on effective means of improving student achievement and include strategies to support parent and family engagement.