Districts receiving Title I funds must operate one of two programs, Targeted Assistance or Schoolwide.
In a Title I Targeted Assistance Program, funds may be spent on allowable Title I activities for participating, targeted Title I students, their teachers, and families. Activities and interventions must be aligned to the program plan for providing services to eligible students based on educational need.
In a Title I Schoolwide Program, funds may be spent on allowable Title I activities for any student, teacher, and family of students enrolled in the school. Activities and interventions must be aligned to the schoolwide plan, strategies, and interventions based on a comprehensive needs assessment.
Using Title I Funds
Title I funds must carry out a variety of activities including, but not limited to:
- Developing and implementing plans to support and improve low-performing schools
- Providing services to homeless students
- Providing services to students in local institutions for neglected or delinquent children
- Ensuring the educational stability of students in foster care
- Developing policies and providing services to engage parents and families
- Providing services to eligible private schools
- Overseeing Title I interventions and services in Title I eligible schools
LEAs must reserve Title I, Part A funds for the following required activities:
- Services for students experiencing homelessness
- Services for children in local institutions for neglected students and delinquent students
- Parent and family engagement (required if the LEA receives $500,000 or more)
- Equitable services for eligible private school students (amounts depend on proportionate share)
Title I funds support eligible students using one of two models:
- A schoolwide model which supports high poverty schools with the flexibility to implement comprehensive school improvement strategies, not limited only to add-on services for certain students. In a schoolwide program, all students and staff may participate in Title I-funded activities. Schools may use Title I to support any reasonable activity designed to improve the school’s educational program so long as it is consistent with the school’s comprehensive needs assessment. Schoolwide programs allow a school to consolidate its federal, state, and local funds to upgrade the entire educational program.
- A targeted assistance model is available to any Title I school that does not operate a schoolwide program. In a targeted assistance school, the school uses Title I funds to provide additional support to specifically identified students struggling to meet state standards. Title I, Part A funds must be spent on supplemental activities to improve the academic achievement of eligible students.
Required program components for both schoolwide and targeted assistance models include:
- School-level needs assessment
- Evidence-based interventions
- Stakeholder consultation
- Annual evaluation
Planning to Use Title I Funds
Dependent upon the school’s needs assessment, high impact funded activities may be used to support:
- High-quality preschool, full-day kindergarten, or transition from early learning services
- Recruitment and retention of effective teachers, particularly in high-need subjects
- Increased learning time (e.g., afterschool, summer school, or extended day programs)
- Providing professional learning to teachers, principals, school leaders, and paraeducators
- Evidence-based interventions to support at-risk learning (e.g., English learners)
- Activities designed to increase access and prepare students for success in high-quality advanced coursework to earn postsecondary credit while in high school (e.g., Advanced Placement, early college high schools, and dual or concurrent enrollment programs)
- Career and technical education programs to prepare students for postsecondary education and the workforce
- Counseling, school-based mental health programs, mentoring services, and other strategies to improve students’ nonacademic skills that impact academic learning
- School climate interventions (e.g., anti-bullying strategies, positive behavior interventions)
- Equipment, materials, and training needed to compile and analyze student achievement data
- Evidence-based strategies intended to allow for early identification of students with learning or behavioral needs and to provide a tiered response based on those needs (including multi-tiered systems of support)
- High impact strategies shown to be effective at increasing family and community engagement
- Devices and software for students to access digital learning materials and collaborate with peers, and related training for educators (including accessible devices and software needed by students with disabilities)
- Programs to support improved economic, educational, health, safety, and other outcomes that address the issues of intergenerational poverty.
- District-level administration of the Title I program which is necessary and reasonable
Supplement, Not Supplant
A district shall use federal funds received under Title I only to supplement the funds that would, in the absence of such Federal funds, be made available from State and local sources for the education of students participating in Title I, and not to supplant such funds.
|June 30||Consolidated Application Narrative due in WebGrants|
|July||NDDPI posts final allocations for Federal Title programs|
|July||Final Title I Rank and Serve spreadsheets due to NDDPI|
|TBD||Title I, Part A Consolidated Application Budgets due in WebGrants|
|July 15 (and as assigned, if funds remain)||Title I Year-End Annual Status Reports for required set-asides due in WebGrants|
|October 20||Due date for submission of the claim to meet the 15-month period for Title I 15% limit|
|October 25||Title I Excess Funds Waiver or Release of Funds Status Report due in WebGrants|
|November 21||Comparability Report due|
|June 1||Title I Schoolwide applications are due for the next school year|
|May||NDDPI releases preliminary allocations|
|May 20||Intent to Apply for Federal Title Programs due in WebGrants (includes nonpublic intents to participate and Title I Rank and Serve spreadsheets)|
A district may receive Title I, Part A funds for any fiscal year only if either its combined fiscal effort per student or the aggregate expenditures of the district and the state with respect to the provision of free public education by the district for the preceding fiscal year is not less than 90% of the combined fiscal effort or aggregate expenditures for the second preceding fiscal year.
School Attendance Areas (Rank and Serve)
Title I law requires districts with a total enrollment of 1,000 students or more and having more than one attendance area, to rank schools based on the percentage of poverty and allocated funds to eligible buildings according to the number of low-income students in each building. The district must serve, in rank order of poverty, its schools above 75% poverty. After schools above 75% poverty are served, the district has the option to (a) continue on with district-wide ranking or (b) rank remaining schools by grade span grouping. There is an exception to the ranking rule: a district may lower the poverty threshold to 50% for high schools. Districts are not required to serve high schools above 50% poverty; it is optional. If a district elects to use the exception, all high schools above 50% poverty must be served.
In order to be eligible for a Title I building allocation, a school must be at or above the district poverty percent. Schools below the district percent are not eligible for Title I funding.
Within District School Allocations (Rank and Serve)
A district must allocate Title I, Part A funds to participating schools based on Title I, Part A allocation procedures. Districts serving any school below 35% low-income must allocate Title I, Part A funds to participating schools based on a minimum per-pupil amount using the 125% rule.
Title I, Part A, Reallocation of Funds
Section 1126 (c) of the Every Student Succeeds Act requires the State Educational Agency (SEA) to develop procedures for the reallocation of Title I, Part A funds. Funds must be reallocated to districts in a timely fashion and must be allocated in accordance with State guidelines for reallocation. The NDDPI Office of Educational Improvement and Support will reallocate Title I, Part A funds in accordance with the reallocation guidelines outlined below.
Eligibility of Funds
Title I, Part A funds eligible for reallocation are:
- Funds allocated to an eligible district that has chosen not to participate in the Title I, Part A program (method to proportionately redistribute to all districts in the current year);
- Funds returned by a district because of its failure to meet federal maintenance of effort requirements (method to proportionately redistribute to all districts in the current year);
- Funds returned by a district as a result of excess carryover (more than 15% in districts receiving more than $50,000 in Title I, Part A funds); and,
- Funds not obligated by a district and returned to the NDDPI.
(NOTE: Funds returned by the district will be available for reallocation only if they are returned during the obligation period of the grant. Funds returned after the obligation period will no longer be available for reallocation.)
Reallocation of Excess Funds
Excess funds are made available for reallocation to districts. For each program, eligible districts are those that did not have funds in excess of carryover limitations. NDDPI will reallocate excess funds to eligible districts based on the state criteria and accountability data reports for prioritization for awards and recognition.
Prioritization for Awards and Recognition
When distributing reallocated Title I, Part A funds to districts, priority will be given based on the following:
Priority 1: Distinguished Schools (same as in past years)
- This program showcases the success of two eligible schools in one of three categories:
- Category 1: Exceptional student performance (and academic growth) for two or more consecutive years
- Category 2: Closing the achievement gap between student groups for two or more consecutive years
- Category 3: Excellence in serving special populations of students
- Depending on funds remaining, awards are available to allow a team of school staff to attend the National ESEA Conference to be acknowledged during the recognition events and receive quality professional learning. Remaining awarded funds not used on travel, registration, etc. for the conference may be used on any Title I allowable activity.
Priority 2: High-Performing Title I Schools
- This recognition award supports high-performing Title I schools based on the North Dakota accountability system.
- Eligible Title I schools may receive this award for those ranking in the top 5%-10%
- Equitably distribute returned funds on criteria determined by SEA
- Award Title I schools that have raised the bar and recognize their outstanding school performance
Funds available for reallocation will be awarded in rank order to eligible schools based on these criteria.
Application, Grant Award, and Communication
The Office of Educational Improvement and Support and grants manager will work collaboratively to open the program grant award/budget period for reallocated Title I, Part A funds in November/December each year. The awarded districts will receive and must respond to accept the nomination, recognition, and award for additional funds. Once accepted, a grant award for the additional funds will be issued to the district. A memo to eligible districts will be sent with information on the recognition, criteria, and award process. Awarded districts will receive correspondence via WebGrants with information on the grant award and funding process. Awarded districts are required to follow all Title I regulations regarding the allowability of the use of funds and submit claims for the funds during the program project period of the grant. Recognition is provided in the NDDPI newsletter, social media, and website. Districts must be able to describe/justify how the receipt of these funds will help students in meeting the achievement targets. The Office of Educational Improvement and Support and grants manager will review requests for funds and determine eligibility.
Estimated award amounts are based on the following:
- School Enrollment: 0-300 students up to $60,000
- School Enrollment: 301-800 students up to $70,000
- School Enrollment: 801+ students up to $75,000
Distribution of funds is dependent upon the amount of reallocated funds available for redistribution and funds returned; therefore, never guaranteed each year.
A schoolwide program school has flexibility in its use of Title I funds, even absent of comingling. Comingling, however, provides even greater flexibility.
Advantages of Comingling Funds in a Schoolwide Program
- Flexibility to allocate all available resources effectively and efficiently.
- A school is not required to meet most of the statutory and regulatory requirements of the specific federal programs included in the co-mingling, provided it meets the intent and purposes of those programs.
- A school is not required to maintain separate fiscal accounting records by federal program that identify the specific activities supported by each program’s funds.
A school operating a schoolwide program may use Title I funds for any activity that supports the needs of students in the school as identified through the comprehensive needs assessment and articulated in the schoolwide plan [ESSA section 1114(b)]. In designing and implementing the schoolwide plan, a school must implement strategies that: (1) provide opportunities for all children to meet challenging state academic standards; (2) use methods and instructional strategies that strengthen the academic program in the school, increase the amount and quality of learning time, and help provide an enriched and accelerated curriculum, which may include programs, activities, and courses necessary to provide a well-rounded education; and (3) address the needs of all students, but particularly those at risk of not meeting challenging state academic standards [ESSA section 1114(b)(7)(A)].
Potential Uses of Funds in a Schoolwide Program (based on a comprehensive needs assessment):
- High-quality preschool or full-day kindergarten and services to facilitate the transition from early learning to elementary education programs.
- Recruitment and retention of effective teachers, particularly in high-need subjects.
- Instructional coaches to provide high-quality, school-based professional development.
- Increased learning time (e.g., afterschool, summer school, or extended day programs).
- Providing professional learning to teachers, principals, school leaders, and paraeducators.
- Evidence-based interventions to support at-risk learning (e.g., English learners).
- Activities designed to increase access and prepare students for success in high-quality advanced coursework to earn postsecondary credit while in high school (e.g., Advanced Placement, early college high schools, and dual or concurrent enrollment programs).
- Career and technical education programs to prepare students for postsecondary education and the workforce.
- Counseling, school-based mental health programs, mentoring services, and other strategies to improve students’ nonacademic skills that impact academic learning.
- School climate interventions (e.g., anti-bullying strategies, positive behavior interventions, and supports).
- Equipment, materials, and training needed to compile and analyze student achievement data to monitor progress, alert the school to struggling students, and drive decision making.
- Evidence-based strategies intended to allow for early identification of students with learning or behavioral needs and to provide a tiered response based on those needs (including multi-tiered systems of support).
- High impact strategies shown to be effective at increasing family and community engagement in the school, including family literacy programs.
- Devices and software for students to access digital learning materials and collaborate with peers, and related training for educators (including accessible devices and software needed by students with disabilities).
- Programs to support improved economic, educational, health, safety, and other outcomes that address the issues of intergenerational poverty.
- District-level administration of the Title I program, which is necessary and reasonable.
Each school, in conjunction with district officials, has the discretion to determine the specifics of a schoolwide plan, including which methods and instructional strategies will be used, based on the school’s identified needs in its comprehensive needs assessment.
According to guidance under ESEA 1127(a), districts are entitled to access Title I funds for a full 15-month period (until September 30th) before a limitation on carryover funds applies. For districts with an allocation greater than $50,000, only 15% of funds can be utilized beyond the 15-month period. The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI) may waive the limitation once every three years under ESEA 1127(b).
The NDDPI recommends that districts obligate and expend the entire Title I allocation within each fiscal year. Districts must submit approvable claims for the 15-month period (expenses through September 30) to meet the Title I 15% limit within ten business days or by October 20, annually. If a district is not eligible for a waiver of the carryover limitation, the excess funds become available to the NDDPI to reallocate using criteria established for this process.
The percentage limitation is applied to the amount of Title I, Part A funds allocated to the district, plus any funds transferred into Title I, Part A from other ESEA programs (also known as Transfer Title I). Title I funds required to be set-aside for a specific activity (e.g., parent and family engagement, equitable services) that were not spent should be used for that specific purpose in the subsequent fiscal year.
Districts that have more than 15 % of funds remaining and are eligible to apply for a Title I waiver, will be notified by WebGrants correspondence. The district must complete the Waiver which will be in the WebGrants Status Report component, with the excess funds auto-populated.
A district may transfer up to 100% of funds from other federal programs (Title II, Part A and Title IV, Part A) into Title I, Part A. A district may not transfer Title I, Part A funds into other federal programs.