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Frequently Asked Questions: 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. Title I requires that local education agencies (LEAs) coordinate services provided under Title I and the McKinney-Vento Act. 20 U.S.C. § 6312(a)(1)(B). All children and youth experiencing homelessness are eligible for Title I, Part A services. 20 U.S.C. § 6315(c)(2)(E).

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

A Local Education Agency (LEA) may use funds to provide services to eligible students in temporary housing in both Title I and non-Title I schools that are comparable to services provided to non-homeless students in Title I schools. 20 U.S.C. § 6313(c)(3)(C). Title I services should help children to meet New York State's academic content and achievement standards. Title I funding cannot be used to supplant services that are already required under the McKinney-Vento Act. For a list of examples of allowable uses for Title I funds, see M-4 of the March 2017 Federal Non-Regulatory Guidance for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth Program. For students who are eligible for McKinney-Vento protections, Title I set-aside funding may also be used for excess costs of transportation to the school of origin, transportation once the student is permanently housed, and for the hiring of the McKinney-Vento liaison and other support staff 20 U.S.C. § 6313(c)(3)(C).

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 funding to provide comparable services to students in temporary housing who attend schools that lack Title I, Part A services. 20 U.S.C. § 6313(c)(3)(A)(i).

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

Yes. School districts may use the Title I, Part A set-aside for students attending Title I and non-Title I schools. Because students in temporary housing often have unique needs that differe from the needs of permanently housed students, Title I, Part A set-aside funds are available for meeting these needs. 20 U.S.C. § 6313(c)(3)(A)(i). For more information, please see M-5 of the March 2017 Federal Non-Regulatory Guidance for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth Program.

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

Yes. Beginning in the 2017-2018 academic year, all school districts that receieve Title I funding must set aside a portion of their funding for students who are homeless. 20 U.S.C. § 6313(c)(3)(A)(i).

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 funding accordingly;
  • obtaining a count of the students who are homeless and multiplyng 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, 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 an 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. 20 U.S.C. § 6339(a).

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

A June 2014 Field Memo from the NY State Education Department authorizes school districts to use Title I funds to pay for excess costs of transporting students in temporary housing. This may include transportation to and from after-school 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 to or support the student's education. 20 U.S.C. § 6313(c)(3)(C).

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

Yes, if funds are not available from other public or private sources to provide such services, e.g. Medicaid. 20 U.S.C. § 6315(e)(2)(B)(i).

If a student in temporary housing becomes permanently housed during the school year, is the student still 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 be eligible for Title I, Part A services for the remainder of the school year. 42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(3)(A)(i)(II).For more information, please see M-5 of the March 2017 Federal Non-Regulatory Guidance for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth Program.

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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