Policy Guidance for Title I, Part A: Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies - April 1996

A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Serving Students Who Participate in Educational Choice Programs

Some States have implemented interdistrict open-enrollment options. A student who attends a school in a non-resident LEA through a State open enrollment or other educational choice program could be eligible for Title I services in the non-resident LEA under the circumstances provided below.
  1. In creating an open enrollment or other educational choice program, the State, pursuant to State law, treats students participating in the program as "residents" of the LEA in which they attend school. Accordingly, section 1113 of the Title I statute would apply to the new "resident" LEA--i.e., the LEA of choice. In such a case, a student attending a school in a participating attendance area of a new resident LEA and meeting the student selection eligibility criteria would be eligible for Part A services. In effect, the LEA in which the school of choice is located would become responsible for providing Part A services to the student because of the State's declaration of residence.

  2. Section 1113(a)(6) of Title I relieves an LEA from identifying and selecting eligible attendance areas if an LEA has fewer than 1,000 children enrolled. In this situation, the LEA may serve any student who, because of participation in an open enrollment or other educational choice program, attends a school in that LEA. The student of course must be identified as eligible and selected to participate in accordance with the LEA and school selection criteria.

  3. A student resides in a Title I, Part A program area but chooses, under an open enrollment or other educational choice program, to attend a school in a participating attendance area in another LEA. The student may receive Part A services in the non-resident LEA if the student has been identified as eligible and selected to participate in accordance with the non-resident LEA and school selection criteria.

  4. Section 1113(b)(1)(B) of Title I allows funds to be used for eligible children who are in a school that is not located in an eligible Title I school attendance area when the proportion of children from low-income families in that school is equal to the proportion of such children in an eligible school attendance area of that LEA. If students from low-income families attend a school in a non-resident LEA under an open enrollment or other educational choice program, they may be counted to determine whether the school qualifies under section 1113(b). If the school qualifies and the educational choice participants meet the LEA and school criteria for selection, they may be served in that school.

Instructural Strategies and Models

Instructional strategies and models in a targeted assistance school must focus on enabling participating students to meet the State's student performance standards. The selection of instructional models to use in a targeted assistance school will be made by each school based on the needs of participating students. Although extended time strategies are strongly encouraged, other strategies such as in-class models and collaborative teaching among Part A and regular classroom teachers can also benefit participating children. Given that the students who will be participating in targeted assistance programs are those who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet the challenging standards, thoughtful consideration to program design is essential.

Extended Time


An urban school district in a western State operates a child development center that offers three programs:

The center is open 10 hours a day, Monday through Friday, and provides services during the summer, on holidays, and on teacher in-service days. Most students who participate before and/or after school also participate in the summer program. The center focuses on developmentally appropriate activities, language arts, and multicultural activities with the goal of preparing Title I participants from non-English-speaking homes for success and full participation in American society.

Beaverton, Oregon

Summer time has been identified as an opportunity in this school district to provide additional services to children who attend private schools during the regular school year. More than 50 Title I-eligible students from nonpublic elementary schools enroll each summer in a four- to five-week reading program. Thematic studies provide a framework for reading and writing activities that improve student attitudes and achievement and encourage parent participation in education. The summer school targets students in grades 1-8 who have difficulty reading. The program's goals are to stimulate higher-order thinking skills, overall reading competence and social skills and to engage parents in supporting student learning. Classes meet for three-and-a-half hours a day, four days a week in the same building used by the district-sponsored summer school for special education students. Students use laptop computers to learn worked processing and write reports and they are allowed to take the computer home for additional instruction.

Omaha, Nebraska

The Omaha Public Schools and the Omaha Housing Authority have joined forces to provide additional time for students to receive help. The partnership has established study centers at four public housing developments where volunteers provide individualized tutoring to students twice a week after school. The centers are open from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. twice a week. On any typical day, between 30 to 40 students attend each of the four study centers to receive individualized help. Approximately 60 percent of the students attend elementary school, 25 percent attend middle school and 15 percent attend high school.

Socorro Independent School District, El Paso, Texas

Socorro Independent School District began phasing in year-round education with intersession programs to improve academic achievement and better serve the needs of its students. Every school follows a schedule of 60 weekdays on, 20 weekdays off. Intersession activities occur during the first two weeks of each month-long break. Intersession formats vary but most have acceleration and enrichment activities from 8 a.m. to noon, followed by extracurricular activities in the afternoon. Academic programs focus on tutoring and enrichment activities that use thematic whole-language approaches. The shorter breaks between courses decrease the loss of English skills by many students with limited English proficiency. Participation in the intersessions is voluntary but students who have failed or fallen behind are encouraged to attend. Most schools follow multi-track schedules to serve larger number of students.


Wanting its Title I participants to participate in all regular school day activities and acknowledging its students' vocational interests, a high school designed its targeted assistance program to use its Title I funds and other supplemental funds to increase the opportunities for Title I students to engage in summer apprenticeships. Teaching and counseling staff provide academic and social support to students placed in positions requiring the application of language and mathematics skills. Most placements are in technical and professional support areas in order to help students translate academic skills to the job setting and provide a foundation for teacher/counselor support. Summer support emphasizes developing goal structures that help students master the various academic and job functions. When allowable, students earn credit towards graduation for completion of program components.

South Bend, Indiana

Increasing the opportunities to learn for at-risk students has made the schools in this urban district look towards the summer for additional instruction time. The district has instituted a five-week summer program that uses a theme-based, interdisciplinary curriculum to help more than 500 students in grades preK-10 succeed in the regular school environment. The summer program targets students who are migrant or non-native English speakers and emphasizes geography, science, the arts, media, and technology. The goals of the summer school include improving basic skills and English language proficiency, expanding awareness of career and cultural opportunities and boosting students' self esteem. Students meet for seven-and-a-half hours a day, Monday through Friday, and spend mornings on academic activities and afternoons in extracurricular activities such as dance or art.

Charleston, South Carolina

The schools in Charleston have used the summer to provide additional learning time for at-risk students. Charleston's six-week, science-based summer enhancement program helps students in grades K-5 maintain and improve their skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. The program targets at risk, Title I students who pass their classes but would benefit from the program. The program has two goals: (1) to maintain and improve students' basic skills through experiential learning activities in science-based thematic units, and (2) to improve student attitudes toward school and learning. The program meets for four hours a day, Monday through Friday, for six weeks. Everyday, participants attend classes organized around science themes, work in the school's computer lab, check out books and read in the media center, and spend time writing in their journals.


An elementary school found that traditional instructional methods were not successful in helping Title I participants in learning math and science. After a small team of Title I and other teachers reviewed many options and discussed them with the entire school staff and LEA administrators, the school decided to use the Internet and a satellite link to communicate via computer and also "in person" with experts at a weather station. The school designed the program for Title I participants as an exciting way to teach math and science concepts. During some lunch times and also after school, students and teacher communicate on a daily basis through technology with oceanic and atmospheric experts. All communication is coordinated with extensive lesson planning by the teachers and experts.

In-class Resource Models

Over the last few years, many LEAs and schools have moved from the pull-out approach (pulling students from the regular classroom for short periods every day or so) to providing resource teachers or other resources in the regular classroom. The in-class support that has been most effective does not resemble a pull-out in the back of the classroom.

EXAMPLE: In-class

The Creative Useful Experiential (Project CUE) instructional model is used in Coloma Community Schools (MI) to integrate special education and Title I students into the regular classroom setting by: (a)utilizing the thematic approach to make the curriculum more interesting to students, (b)using of teacher collaboration to ensure the needs of all children are being addressed, and (c)using of a variety of experience-based classroom activities. Teacher teams collaborate to plan a theme-based curriculum for each classroom. A teaching team is made up of a regular education, a special education, and a Title I teacher. Specialist teachers are scheduled into 4 or 5 classes a day to ensure that the needs of the special education and Title I students are met. Cooperative planning between all team members allows for activities designed to address the needs of a wide range of students. Activities that incorporate a variety of learning styles allow students to perform successfully. The inservice required for the implementation of this program includes training in cooperative learning, strategic instruction, co-teaching, literature-based learning, thematic instruction, hands-on activities, consensus decision-making, outcome-based curriculum, portfolio/classroom assessments, and classroom observation of model teaching.

EXAMPLE: In-class

"Push-In" As A Delivery Model

Eliminating the traditional "pullout" program, an urban school district in Arizona with a diverse student population instituted a "push-in" delivery of additional services for Title I students. Under the supervision of the regular classroom teacher, a Title I teacher or paraprofessional works with small groups of children, some of whom, at times, may be non-Title I. This structure minimizes disruption and negative labeling while it provides direct services to Title I students and incidental assistance to their classmates who might need assistance on a particular concept.

In each Title I school, a Title I program facilitator (a certified teacher and in many cases a former Title I teacher) provides every classroom teacher with pedagogic support, including modeling instructional strategies and other professional advice, support, and guidance. Their goal is to help every teacher establish and maintain classroom learning conditions that stimulate and accelerate Title I students' learning.

Pull-out and Replacement Programs

Part A requires that targeted assistance programs use effective teaching strategies that give primary consideration to providing extended learning time and that help provide an accelerated, high-quality curriculum. Because there are situations in which a school is unable to provide extended-time services or in which schools have had success by conducting replacement projects with students, pull-out and replacement models are other allowable strategies.

EXAMPLE: Pull/out-Reading Recovery

Many schools throughout the country have implemented Reading Recovery, an early intervention program that enables the lowest 20 percent of first graders "at risk" of reading failure to develop effective strategies to read at average classroom levels. Children are selected through a battery of individually administered diagnostic tests. They receive a daily 30-minute lesson that incorporates a variety of reading and writing experiences designed to help them develop effective strategies for reading and writing. Each day, children move through a lesson sequence that involves the reading of familiar materials, the composing and writing of a story, and the introduction and reading of a new book. Although Reading Recovery lesson follow a framework, every lesson is unique because the Reading Recovery teacher closely monitors each student's progress and makes ongoing teaching decisions based on that student's current use of reading and writing strategies. This pull-out program lasts approximately 15-20 weeks and supplements regular classroom reading instruction. Once children complete the Reading Recovery program, they often need no further remediation in reading.

Q4. Are replacement programs allowable under Part A as they were in previous authorization periods?

A. A replacement program provides Part A services for a period of time that exceeds 25 percent of the time--computed on a per day, per month, or per year basis--that a participating child would, in the absence of Part A funds, spend receiving instructional services from a teacher of a required or elective subject who is paid with other than Part A funds. Part A replacement programs are generally provided in a different classroom setting or at a different time than would be the case if these children were not participating in the Part A program and replace all or part of the course of instruction regularly provided to Part A participants with a program that is designed to meet participants' special educational needs. Replacement programs are still allowable under Title I. However, the statute strongly encourages strategies that include extended learning time and accelerated curricula. If an LEA operates a replacement program, the LEA must provide from funds other than Part A either the FTE number of staff that would have been provided for the services replaced by the Part A program or the funds required to provide the number of staff.

Incidental Inclusion

Because of the instructional method, setting, or time of a particular Part A service, it is not always reasonable or desirable for a school to serve only children who have been selected to participate in a Part A program. This may be particularly true if a school is providing Part A services in the regular classroom. A school may provide, on an incidental basis, Part A services to children who have not been selected to participate in the Part A program. This would be allowable only if the Part A program--

Comprehensive Services

If health, nutrition, and other social services are not otherwise available to participating children in a targeted assistance school, and the school, if appropriate, has conducted a comprehensive needs assessment and established a collaborative partnership with local service providers, and if funds are not reasonably available from other public or private sources, then a portion of Part A funds may be used to provide these services, including--

Assignment of Personnel

To promote the integration of Part A staff and participants into the regular school program and overall school planning and improvement efforts, Part A-paid personnel may--

The purpose of this provision is to involve Part a staff in shared responsibilities to promote a coherent and well-coordinated program for participants. The provision is not meant to result in Part A staff being assigned a disproportionate share of special duties at a school. In assigning Part A staff to such duties, a school and LEA should ensure that the Part A program is not harmed.

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