Title I Federal Grant Program

What is Title I Funding ?

Federal Title I funds have been allocated for more than 50 years to schools and districts intended to improve educational opportunities for children in poverty. Title I expenditure is the largest portion of any federal school funding initiative, so it is an important source of support for literacy instruction in many schools across the country.

What is Title I Grants ?

Title I has its origins in the 1965 passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (recently renamed in 2015 as the Every Student Succeeds Act). In recent years, Title I funding of approximately $13-16 billion has been distributed annually to states and school districts. Title I supplements how much money each state allocates for schools. There are also other "title" funds (I-VII), all aimed at helping students who are unable to receive an equal education. Title I provides financial assistance to schools with high percentages, high numbers of children from low-income families, and local educational agencies (LEAs). Federal funds are allocated through four statutory formulas based primarily on the cost of education in each state and census poverty estimates. Title I is a 100% Federally funded supplemental education program that provides financial assistance to local educational agencies to improve educational opportunities for educationally deprived children.
  • Basic grants fund LEAs, with LEAs making up more than 2 percent of the school-age population and 10 percent of formula children.
  • Concentration grants fund LEAs who are eligible for core grants and in which, LEAs account for 15 percent of the total school-age population and formula children over 6,500.
  • Target grants are based on data used for Concentration and Basic Grants. Targeted grants fund LEAs that have at least 5 percent of the LEA's school-age population and formula children at least 10.
  • Education Finance Incentive Grants (EFIG) A state's effort to provide financial support for education compared to its relative wealth as measured by per capita income and the extent to which education expenditure is equated between LEAs within the state. EFIG distributes funds to states based on factors. EFIG distributes funds using a weighted calculation formula similar to targeted grants, which account for at least 5 percent of LEA's school and 10 percent of children from low-income families.

Purpose of Title I Grants

  • Title I The purpose of the program fund is to enable all children to meet state student performance standards and to help schools with high concentrations of students from low-income families provide high-quality education.
  • Title I funds complement state and local educational programs to achieve all students in all academic fields.
  • The Title I program provides a variety of services that include extra time for instruction, additional teachers and support staff, smaller classes, additional training for staff, different teaching methods and materials.

Features of Title I Grants

  • The Title I program is authorized through ESEA to provide supplemental resources to districts beyond state and local funds.
  • Funding flows from USDE to the Texas Education Agency in Texas and each state education agency at each level.
  • The TEA then uses a funding formula to provide funding when determining which private non-profit schools are eligible to receive services using acceptable funding and which eligible campuses will receive funding.
  • Title I Increases the quality of education by providing qualified employees with ample opportunities for professional development.
  • Provides educational support services to low achieving students in schools at the elementary, preschool, middle and high school levels.
  • Provides evidence based programs to enable the students to achieve the learning standards of the State Curriculum Framework.

Title I Grants Eligibility

  • State Educational Agencies (SEAs) can apply.
  • The department allocates appropriated funds to local educational agencies through participating state educational agencies.
  • Before calculating the LEA allocation, the ESEA is required to keep a separate allocation of 0.7 percent for the external sectors and the ED's secretary of the interior.
  • The Interior Secretary gives sub-grant to schools run by the Indian Bureau of Education, while external areas receive formula grants.
  • The Appropriation Acts from the U.S. Census Bureau make a certain amount of basic grant funding available to EDs to receive updated LEA poverty data annually.
  • Schools qualify based on economic need for funding. Schools that enroll children from at least 40 percent of low-income families are eligible to use Title I funds.

School Wide :

  • Title I funds are used to upgrade the entire educational program at the school.
  • The activities should be a part of the approved schoolwide plan.
  • Must support an identified educational need through the school's CNA.
  • Local educational agencies that receive funds must reserve funds for services for homeless students.
  • The LEA must clearly show these funds in the Title I budget, by determining the amount of reserve.

Title I Awards

See ED's budget history tables for the latest information on major ED programs and enacted appropriations for presidential budget requests.

Funds for Title I are distributed through formula grants based on the low-income census. The state allocates at least 95 percent of the funding to the districts on a formula basis. Title I, Part A Grants Award Allocation Based on the ESSA shows the following information at the state level.
  • 92% LEA Grant
  • 7% School Improvement
  • 1% Administration

How Does a School District Receive Title I Funding ?

Title I is targeted to the schools, districts and students who have the greatest need. The funds flow through a formula based on the most recent census in the district and state. Once funds are remitted to a district, the funds flow to the premises of that district or within that district. Title I schools have students in poverty higher than the district average. The target beneficiaries of this services are students who are academically disadvantaged. (not necessarily financially disadvantaged)

What Services Does Title I Provide ?

Title I funds are used to improve academic achievement in math and reading. Title I can be used to provide professional development for teachers, such as assistance in hiring classroom assistants, additional teachers, increased parental involvement, curriculum improvement, increased learning time for students and to undertake other activities which are associated with increasing student achievement.

Is Title I for Children with Disabilities ?

Children with disabilities are eligible for Title I services if the school and student meet the Title I eligibility criteria. Title I serves more than one million disabled students in the United States.

How Does Student Qualify for Title I Funding ?

  • The federal government divides low-income children into two groups, the reduced lunch and the free lunch.
  • Children of the family are eligible for lunch at a reduced cost, if the family is living above the poverty line by 185%.
  • Children in a family are eligible for lunch at no cost if the family is living at or below 130% of the federal poverty line.
  • To receive the benefit, guardians or parents must fill out the application with information about the income and size of the family. This is commonly referred to as "targeted assistance".

How Does School District Qualify for Title I Funding ?

If a district finds, through targeted assistance, that at least 10 students per school, or 2% of school-age children in the district, are eligible for free or reduced meals, the district receives a Title I grant. The district should use the funds for research-based strategies to improve achievement for students. If a school district is eligible through CEP, the entire school is eligible for compensatory funding. (Even children in school who are not low-income.)

How Do Schools Use Title I Funds ?

  • Schools use enrollment in reduced and free lunch programs to calculate the percentage of low-income households by which Title I funds are distributed. Schools with less than 40% of households receive targeted grants.
  • Schools can spend targeted grants on technology, professional development, summer programs, extended day services and academic instructional staff.
  • The school must evaluate programs and schools supported by Title I to improve instruction, assess needs, increase caregiver participation, and monitor progress.

How to Apply for Title I Grant Program ?

Application for Title I funds must be completed online and submitted on the eGrant system.


Program Contact :
  • E-mail Address : Patrick.Rooney@ed.gov
  • Mailing Address : U.S. Department of Education, OESE, Student Achievement and School Accountability Programs, 400 Maryland Ave. S.W., Rm 3W200, LBJ, Washingrton, DC 20202-6132
  • Telephone : (202) 260-0826
  • Toll-Free Telephone : (800) 872-5327 or (800) USA-LEARN
Contact your state's education department, higher education agency, adult education agency, and special education agency. 

For more information, contact :                                       
U.S. Department of Education
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
400 Maryland Ave, SW   
Washington, DC 20202