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at Advocates for Children

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Title I Funding

Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) targets students most at risk for failing in school, including children and youth experiencing homelessness. The ESEA requires coordination between Title I and the McKinney-Vento Act. All children and youth experiencing homelessness are automatically eligible for Title I, Part A services. (M-V Section 722(g)(4)(B)).

What can Title I set-aside funding be used for?

An LEA may use funds reserved under this section to provide services to eligible homeless students in both Title I and non-Title I schools that are comparable to services provided to non-homeless students in Title I schools. Services provided should assist children in meeting New York State academic content and achievement standards. Title I funding cannot be used to supplant services required under the McKinney-Vento Act, e.g. transportation to the school of origin during compulsory school hours. The following is a non-exhaustive list of services to which Title I funding can be applied: tutoring, counseling, school supplies, school uniforms, transportation once the student is permanently housed. (Title I of ESEA Section 1115(b)(3)).

If a student experiencing homelessness attends a school that does not receive Title I, Part A funds, how does the student receive services?

Every school district that receives Title I, Part A funds is required to set aside a portion of the school district's allotment to provide comparable services to homeless students attending schools in the district that do not receive Title I, Part A services. (Title I of ESEA Section 1113(c)(3)(A)).

Can Title I, Part A set-aside funds be used to pay for services for a student attending a Title I school?

School districts may use the Title I, Part A set-aside for students attending Title I and non-Title I schools. (Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program, U.S. DOE Non-Regulatory Guidance, July 2004.)

Are districts that are 100% Title I (i.e. every school in the district is a Title I school) still required to do Title I set-asides?

No. School districts where all of the schools in the district receive Title I funding and charter schools that receive Title I funding are not mandated to set aside a portion of such funding for students who are homeless. However, every single schoolwide plan should address how the educational needs of students who are homeless will be met, and how the district will coordinate with housing programs in planning the program and throughout the year to better meet the educational needs of such students. If there are shelters in the district and they have or the district itself has identified needs for educationally-related support services that are distinct from those of housed students, the district could reserve funds to meet those needs.

How is the amount of Title I set-aside funding calculated?

There is no mandated formula for calculating Title I set-aside funding. Some methods include identifying homeless students' needs and fund accordingly; obtaining a count of the students who are homeless and multiply that number by the Title I, Part A per-pupil allocation; reserving a specific amount of funds greater than or equal to the amount of the district's McKinney-Vento sub-grant; and reserving a specific percentage based on the district's poverty level or total Title I, Part A allocation. (For more information, see: Title I, Part A Set-Aside for Homeless Students Q & A [PDF].)

Can Title I, Part A funding that is unused in a given school year be rolled over from one school year to the next?

A maximum of 15% of Title I, Part A funding may be rolled over from one year to the next; if the LEA has 15% or less of the initial Title I, Part A allocation left over, that funding is automatically rolled over to the following year. Funds for any federal program can only be rolled over for one year. If there are carryover funds from two years ago, the LEA would lose those funds, which is very rare.

Can Title I set-aside funding that is unused in a given school year be rolled over into next year's Title I set-aside?

A school district can petition the State Education Department (SED) to have its set-aside funds put back into Title I funding, but Title I set-aside funds cannot be rolled over into next year's Title I set-aside.

Can Title I funds be used to pay for transportation while a student is homeless?

Generally no. Title I funds cannot be used for transportation costs while a student is homeless. However, Title I funds can be used for non-mandated transportation services for students who are homeless, including transportation to and from after- and before-school activities, transportation to the school of origin after the student has moved into permanent housing, transportation for parents to attend school events, and transportation to medical appointments that relate in some way to the student's education.

Can Title I funds be used to pay for eyeglasses/ medical/dental services for homeless students?

Yes, provided funds are not available from other public or private sources to provide such services, e.g. Medicaid. (Title I of ESEA Section 1115(e)(2)(B)).

If a homeless child becomes permanently housed during the school year, is the student eligible to receive Title I, Part A services for the remainder of that school year?

Yes. In general, a student experiencing homelessness who becomes permanently housed midway through the school year continues to remain eligible for Title I, Part A services for the remainder of the school year. (Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program, U.S. DOE Non-Regulatory Guidance, July 2004.)

Can school districts use Title I funds for students who do not formally attend the school district?

No. School districts cannot use Title I funds for students who are temporarily residing in their districts but attending school in a different district.

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