Title I is a major contributor to the education of many youth in the Omaha Public School district. The program has been in existence for more than 40 years, yet some may not be aware of the many ways it assists the education of our youth.
Title I, Part A came into existence as a section of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965. As the largest federal assistance program for our nation's schools, it provides funds for reading/language arts and math curriculum to students in impoverished areas who are at risk of failing to meet state standards. Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education are given to State Education Agencies (SEA), which then direct those funds to Local Education Agencies (LEA). Private schools, state agencies for neglected and delinquent youth, and homeless shelters also receive federal Title I monies.
According to the U.S. Department of Education's Web site, Title I reaches approximately 12.5 million students in both public and private schools nationwide. Of that number, 77% of the students served are in grades Pre-K through 6. Ninety percent of U.S. school districts and approximately half of all public schools receive some Title I, Part A funds. Those funds can be administered through two types of programs. LEA's may offer a school wide program in which the whole school is served, or a targeted assistance program.
A school wide program's objective is to improve academic achievement, related to State/District standards, throughout the whole school. Targeted assistance programs identify specific students who are the most "at-risk" of failing or not achieving State/District standards and designs methods to help those students.
Regardless of which type of program an LEA uses, all Title I programs offer special features, including:
•Additional teachers and paraprofessionals
•Additional training for school staff
•Extended time for instruction
•Smaller class sizes
•In-services/workshops provided for parents
Title I also assists, through the use of Transition Plans, preschool students entering kindergarten from various early childhood programs such as, but not limited to, Head Start.
The Title I program in the Omaha Public School District is the largest in the state of Nebraska, with 59 school buildings spanning the grades of kindergarten through twelve. Forty-three schools will be served through the School wide model and two as Targeted Assistance Program. The amount of funds given to a particular school is based on the number of students receiving free and reduced lunches. Title services are also received in 30 private schools in the Omaha area. Those students are served with a targeted assistance program. Twenty-three social service agencies throughout the Metro area are also served.
Accountability is monitored through a process called Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). If a school does not make AYP for two consecutive years in the same subject and same grade level, a School Improvement Plan is enacted for two years.
Further information may be found on the U.S. Department of Education Web site, http://www.ed.gov, search word, "Title I".