Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies (ESEA Title I, Part A)

Office of School Support and Accountability


Formula Grants

ESEA Title I, Part A; Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged; Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies

The purpose of this title is to provide all children significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps. Title I, Part A (Title I) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESEA) provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging academic standards. Federal funds are currently allocated through four statutory formulas that are based primarily on census poverty estimates and the cost of education in each state.

An LEA’s Title I allocation is the sum of the amount that the LEA receives under each formula. LEAs target the Title I funds they receive to schools with the highest percentages of children from low-income families. If a Title I school is operating a targeted assistance program, the school provides Title I services to children who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet challenging academic standards. Schools in which children from low-income families make up at least 40 percent of enrollment are eligible to use Title I funds to operate schoolwide programs that serve all children in the school in order to raise the achievement of the lowest-achieving students. LEAs also must use Title I funds to provide Title I services to eligible children enrolled in private schools.


The U.S. Department of Education’s (ED’s) data on participation in the program show that in school year (SY) 2016-2017, 59,743 public schools across the country used Title I funds to provide additional academic support and learning opportunities to help low-achieving children master challenging curricula and meet state standards in core academic subjects. For example, funds support extra instruction in reading and mathematics, as well as special preschool, after-school, and summer programs to extend and reinforce the regular school curriculum.

In (SY) 2016-2017, Title I served approximately 24.6 million children.


Contact Information

  • Melissa Siry
    U.S. Department of Education, OESE
    Office of School Support Accountability
    400 Maryland Ave. S.W.
    LBJ Federal Office Building
    Washington, DC 20202-6200