Title I: Improving Academic Achievement

The purpose of Title I of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) 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. 

Part A: Improving Basic Programs Operated By Local Education Agencies

Title I, Part A provides financial assistance to school districts and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards. School districts target the Title I, Part A funds they receive to schools with the highest percentages of children from low-income families. Unless a participating school is operating a schoolwide program, the school must provide Title I, Part A services in a targeted assistance program.

Targeted Assistance Program

Targeted Assistance Program provides services to specific, identified children who are failing, or at risk of failing, to meet state academic standards. The services must be supplementary to the regular education program, and coordinate with and support the regular education program.

Schoolwide Program

In a Title I, Part A Schoolwide Program, state, local and federal funds may be consolidated to upgrade the entire educational program of a school which serves at least 40% of students from low-income families.

40% Poverty Threshold Waiver 

ESEA section 1114(a)(1)(B) permits a State educational agency (SEA) to waive the 40% poverty threshold requirement, after taking into account how a schoolwide program will best serve the needs of the students in the school in improving academic achievement and other factors. LEAs with Title I-A participating school that does not meet the 40% poverty threshold and wish to obtain a waiver to operate a schoolwide program must complete the RIDE’s wavier process.

Further Information about Title I, Part A

Parent and family engagement is an important component of the Title I program.  School districts are required to implement programs, activities, and procedures for the involvement of parents in Title I, Part A programs.  These programs, activities, and procedures must be planned and implemented with meaningful consultation with parents of Title I participating children.

Title I, Part A requires school districts to annually offer Title I services to eligible private school children who would have attended a Title I participating school within the district. The district must offer this participation through timely and meaningful consultation with appropriate private school officials.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), requires school districts to provide equitable services to eligible private school students, teachers, educational personnel, and parents.  Public school district staffs are required to conduct timely and meaningful consultation with private school staff to determine the educational needs of the private school students.  The information gathered provides direction for the services that are then provided to the private school students and the teaching staff.  Through the consultation process, school districts build positive relationships with their private schools, which increases communication and minimizes any problems that may arise.

Any individual or organization may file a signed, written complaint if it believes the state, a local school district, an educational service district, or other sub‐grantee has violated one or more requirements of federal statutes or regulations that apply to a Title I program. 

If private school officials believe that timely and meaningful consultation has not occurred or that the district did not give due consideration to their views, they should first contact the district to discuss their concerns.  In the event the concern is not resolved, the private school has the right to appeal to RIDE in accordance with the guidelines and processes.  Further information on RIDE's Appeals Process is posted on RIDE Legal Office.

RIDE federal programs staff members are available to answer questions from districts and private schools regarding private school consultation and services.  For more information, contact the Title I program at RIDE at 401‐222‐8252.

RIDE to apply for funding flexibility waiver under ESEA – public comment welcome 

Due to the continued extraordinary circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented challenges students, educators, staff, and schools are facing during the 2020-2021 school year, the U.S. Department of Education (US Ed) is offering each State educational agency (SEA) the opportunity to request waivers that will afford additional fiscal flexibility for certain funds received under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). 

The US Ed recognizes it may not be possible to obligate these funds on a timely and responsible basis due to several factors. As such, RIDE will be applying for the waiver offered by US Ed. 

The public is welcome to comment of RIDE’s application for the waiver. The public may view the application for the waiver and the complete letter offering the waiver from US Ed below. 

Comments may be submitted by email to Karen.Lovett@ride.ri.gov. Please include ESEA Waiver in the subject line of your email. The comment period will close on August 26, 2021 at 4:00PM. 

Part D: Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youth Who are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk

Title I, Part D programs of prevention and intervention support children and youth who are neglected, delinquent or at-risk of being such.  These children and youth reside in local and State institutions and receive services to: (1) improve educational services for these children so they have the opportunity to meet challenging State academic content and achievement standards; (2) provide them with services to successfully transition from institutionalization to further schooling or employment; and (3) prevent at-risk youth from dropping out of school, and to provide dropouts and children and youth returning from correctional facilities a support system to ensure their continued education.


  • An overview of Title I supports for students, including information on Rhode Island Title I participating schools and district Title I coordinators, can be found at Title I Supports.
  • For information regarding School Improvement Grants [SIG 1003(g)], please see School Transformation.