Title I, Part A


The purpose of Title I, Part A is to provide all children significant opportunities to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps. Title I, Part A is an ESEA program intended to:

  • Ensure all children have the opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach proficiency on challenging state academic standards and assessments,
  • Provide funding to supplement educational opportunities for students in higher-poverty schools,
  • Provide professional learning for school staff, and 
  • Implement other strategies for raising student academic achievement.

The information on this webpage is included in the Title I, Part A Handbook. To request a PDF copy, please email the Office of Educational Improvement & Support.

Committee of Practitioners

Title I Policy Committee of Practitioners Title I, under the Every Student Succeeds Act, requires that the Office of Educational Improvement & Support establish a Committee of Practitioners. The Title I law is very specific in outlining membership representation for the Committee of Practitioners. The Committee of Practitioners must include:

  • Representatives from local educational agencies as a majority of its members
  • Administrators, including the administrators of programs described in other parts of this policy
  • Teachers, including vocational educators and higher education
  • Parents
  • Members of the local school boards
  • Representatives of private school children
  • Pupil services personnel

It is the role of the Committee of Practitioners to “…review, before publication of, any proposed or final State rule or regulation” pertaining to Title I. Committee members are often asked to review and be aware of various issues in Title I, including standards development, the state assessment system, and other current issues.

When selected, committee members are asked to consider serving on the committee for at least a three-year period, basically to ensure consistency within the committee’s membership. However, agreeing to be on the committee only commits service for one year; each year the Office of Educational Improvement & Support contacts each individual on the committee to verify membership for the upcoming school year.

The committee is asked to assist in selecting the recipients of several awards administered in the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction and review applications and reports before being submitted to the U.S. Department of Education.

Comparability and Supplement, not Supplant

Title I law requires school districts with more than one school attendance area for each grade span to meet Title I comparability requirements. The schedule for reviewing comparability requirements at the state department has been moved from spring to winter so that if we encounter problems with comparability reports, there is still time to make changes before the school year ends.
Title I comparability requirements state that a school district may receive Title I funds only if state and local funds will be used in schools receiving Title I funds to provide services that, taken as a whole, are at least comparable to services in schools that are not receiving Title I funds. If the district is serving all schools under Title I, they may receive Title I funds only if they will use state and local funds to provide services that, taken as a whole, are substantially comparable in each school.
The comparability regulations include documenting compliance in the following three areas:

  1. A local educational agency-wide salary schedule;
  2. Ensuring equivalence among schools in teachers, administrators, and other staff; and 
  3. Ensuring equivalence among schools in the provision of curriculum materials and instructional supplies.

Comparability reports are to be submitted and reviewed at the end of each school year. Meeting comparability is a prerequisite to receiving approval on your subsequent year’s consolidated application, which is processed during the summer. Demonstrating comparability is an annual requirement.
Previously, school districts were informed that they could develop and submit a policy to ensure that the comparability requirements were met on an annual basis. However, when the USDE released final fiscal guidance which addresses the comparability requirements and outlines new USDE expectations, the guidance states that all districts must actually perform the calculations necessary each and every year to demonstrate that all of its Title I schools are, in fact, comparable. Therefore, districts will need to submit actual documentation (not a policy) for each of the three comparability components listed above.

Supplement, not Supplant

A district may use Title I, Part A funds only to supplement the funds that would, in the absence of Title I, Part A funds, be made available from non-federal sources for the education of children participating in Title I, Part A programs. In no case may Title I, Part A funds be used to supplant, or take the place of, funds from non-federal sources. ESSA 1118(b)(2) changed the way districts demonstrate compliance with the supplement, not supplant requirement. The district must demonstrate the methodology in which state and local funds are distributed to schools. Funds must be distributed in a Title I-neutral manner; the district cannot determine the amount of state and local funds allocated to a school based on the school’s Title I allocation. The supplement, not supplant methodology must be updated annually and kept on file at the district office. 

A method of evaluation must:

  • Reflect staffing allocation with real calculations and numbers to support it;
  • Account for distribution of state and local funds including staff, resources, and services in a Title I-neutral manner;
  • Be supported with documentation;
  • Include a narrative to clarify allocation steps.

Exemptions apply for districts with only one school, a single grade span per school, or those that serve all schools with Title I allocations. In these cases, a supplement, not supplant methodology is not required.


There are 4 levels of Title I grants: Basic, Concentration, Targeted and Education Finance Incentive Grants (EFIG). Each level has eligibility criteria that the school, Local Educational Agency (LEA) and/or state must met to qualify for the grant. The Title I funds are allocated through statutory formulas that are based primarily on census poverty estimates and the cost of education in the state.

Basic Grant:

  • An LEA must have at least 10 poverty children and;

  • Poverty children must exceed 2 percent of the LEA's school age population (age 5-17).

Concentration Grant:

  • An LEA must have at least 10 poverty children and;

  • Poverty children must be greater than 15 percent of the LEA's school age population (ages 5-17).

Targeted Grant:

  • An LEA must have at least 10 poverty children and;

  • Poverty children must be at least 5 percent of the LEA's school age population (ages 5-17).

Education Finance Incentive Grants (EFIG):

  • A state must rank well in comparison to other states in its effort to provide financial support for education compared to its relative wealth as measured by its per capita income;

  • A state must rank well in comparison to other states in its degree to which education expenditures among LEAs within the state are equalized;

  • An LEA must have at least 10 poverty children;

  • Poverty children must be at least 5 percent of the LEAs school age population (ages 5-17) and;

  • An LEA must target the Title I funds schools with the highest percentages of children from low-income families and;

  • Schools must focus Title I services on children who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet state academic standards (unless a school is operating a schoolwide program*); and

  • An LEA also must use Title I funds to provide academic enrichment services to eligible children enrolled in private schools.

*Schools in which poverty children make up at least 40% of enrollment are eligible to use Title I funds for schoolwide programs that serve all children in the school.

Release of Census Data for 2022-2023

Each year the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI) determines eligibility status for Title I funding for the subsequent school year and sends information to each district.

Eligibility for a Title I grant requires a district to have a minimum formula count of ten. The formula count must exceed 2% of the district’s age 5-17 population. The formula count is a weighted unit consisting of 15.5% of the census poor count, 15.5% of the foster child count, 46% of the eligible free meal count, and 23% of the eligible reduced meal count.

In October 2021, the free and reduced meal and foster child counts were reported. The free meal count is a count of children eligible for free meals. The reduced meal count is a count of children eligible for reduced meal prices. A child must have an approved free or reduced meal application on file at their school district office in October 2021 to be counted. The department’s Child Nutrition and Food Distribution unit verifies the free and reduced meal counts which will be finalized January 2022.

The census poor count data is the count of children ages 5-17 reported below poverty on the updated federal census. The United States Department of Education (USED) has released the 2020 Census Data. Please review the USED memo which includes links to the census data located on the NDDPI website under eligibility. The North Dakota Census Data is available for your review. The district may contact the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) Branch at the Census Bureau for further information about how to challenge the census data (see USDE Census Memo for details). The challenge period for the census data ends March 16, 2022.