Title 1A Frequently Asked Questions




What is Title 1A?
My child's first language is not English. What kind of bilingual or English Language Learner (ELL) programs are available?
Q: What is Title 1A?

A: The purpose of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), most recently reauthorized under No Child Left Behind, 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. The largest portion of Title I (Title I Section A) provides allocated formula grants through state educational agencies to local educational agencies (LEAs) and public schools based on free/reduced lunch percentages to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic content and student academic achievement standards.

LEAs target the Title I funds they receive to public schools with the highest percentages of children from low-income families. Unless a participating school is operating a schoolwide program, the school must focus Title I services on children who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet State academic standards. Schools enrolling at least 40 percent of children from low-income families are eligible to use Title I funds for schoolwide programs designed to upgrade their entire educational programs to improve achievement for all students, particularly the lowest-achieving students.

Title I is designed to help students served by the program to achieve proficiency on challenging State academic achievement standards. Title I schools with percentages of students from low-income families 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 instructional program for the whole school. Title I schools with less than the 40 percent schoolwide threshold or that choose not to operate a schoolwide program offer a "targeted assistance program" in which the school identifies students who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet the State's challenging academic achievement standards. Targeted assistance schools design, 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 use instructional strategies based on scientifically based research and implement parental involvement activities.

Under Title I, LEAs are required to provide services for eligible private school students, as well as eligible public school students. In particular, section 1120 of Title I, Part A of the ESEA, requires a participating LEA to provide eligible children attending private elementary and secondary schools, their teachers, and their families with Title I services or other benefits that are equitable to those provided to eligible public school children, their teachers, and their families. These services must be developed in consultation with officials of the private schools. The Title I services provided by the LEA for private school participants are designed to meet their educational needs and supplement the educational services provided by the private school. For additional information on services to eligible private school children, see the U.S. Department of Education Office of Non-Public Education website.


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Q: My child's first language is not English. What kind of bilingual or English Language Learner (ELL) programs are available?
  • As part of a schoolwide, Title IA program, all children are assessed, including those who are English Language Learners (ELL). This ensures that schools are accountable for all students, including those for whom English is not their first language, and that parents and teachers are aware of the needs of all students.
  • Parents Rights: A “Declaration of Rights for Parents of English Language Learners” tells what parents of English language learners can expect under No Child Left Behind ( available in English and Spanish).
  • Clearinghouse: The National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition and Language Instruction Educational Programs (NCELA) collects, analyzes, synthesizes and disseminates information about language instruction education programs for English language learners and related programs.

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