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Originally published on 10/24/2019
Updated on 4/1/2023
Title funds are federal monies that are meant to supplement, not replace, existing state funding for education. Title funds were established by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 and amended in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015. These funds are released yearly from the federal government; State Educational Agencies (SEAs) and Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) then allocate a percentage to individual schools and districts.
If you still have funding to spend on programs and materials, you can greatly improve your students’ school experience! That’s why we created this handy guide that outlines each of the title funds (Title I, Title II, Title III, Title IV) as well as IDEA and ESSER funds. Keep reading to learn more about each federal grant, as well as the programs they support.
Title I, Part A (generally known as Title I) was established by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and amended in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Title I funds programming for students from low-income families. The money must go toward helping these learners meet challenging and relevant academic state standards.
The federal government distributes Title I funds to SEAs using formulas that are primarily based on census data. The amount of Title I funding allocated to your state and district is available through the Department of Education website on the ESEA Title I LEA Allocations page (most recently updated in 2020).
Title I usage is based on the makeup of your student body. It is important to note that Title I funds must go directly to low-income students, and the programs or materials cannot have been used in other classrooms first.
Examples of Title I initiatives include purchasing 1:1 devices, adding after school programs, or introducing additional curriculum in ELA and STEM. Explore a free computer science coding lesson built for grades 3-5 that may help in your search for Title I qualified curriculum.
Title II, Part A (generally known as Title II) was established by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and amended in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Title 2 funding supports teacher, principal, administrator, and staff professional development. The money should be used to boost the amount of qualified educators in the area; this includes teachers who are prepared to teach STEM curriculum in the classroom. Keep in mind, your state may choose to retain Title II funds to finance a state-wide professional development event instead of distributing the money to individual schools. You can find this information through the Title II page of your individual state Department of Education website.
ESSA defines professional development as activities that are “sustained, intensive, collaborative, job-embedded, data-driven, personalized or based on information from an evaluation or support system, and classroom focused” rather than “PD that stands alone and does not connect to a larger school-wide or individualized plan”. This includes:
Examples of Title II initiatives include teacher signing bonuses, conference costs (like CSTA or ISTE), and training associated with implementing new curriculum. Before deciding on your Title 2 programming, explore Ellipsis Education free computer science professional development opportunities available to download on demand.
Title III was established by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and amended in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Title 3 funding is for English language learners (ELL) and immigrant students. Title III requirements are strict; students must qualify as ELs and immigrant students under a specific definition. To receive ESSA funds, an ELL must:
It is important to note that programs funded by Title III must directly benefit ELL students; the programs/materials cannot be used in other classrooms with non-EL learners. This includes:
Examples of Title III initiatives include newsletters for parents of EL students only (cannot include any non-EL students or Title I families), English language instruction small groups for students and parents, as well as curriculum for English language classwork. See how Ellipsis Education provides resources to help ELLs access computer science curriculum.
Title 4, the newest of the title funds, was passed in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015.
The funding emphasizes three focus areas: “ (1) support a well-rounded education by incorporating advanced classes, fine arts, foreign languages, STEAM, and other innovative programming, (2) create safe and healthy schools through the utilization of social-emotional learning and healthy lifestyle habits, and (3) effectively utilize technology through properly preparing staff as well as provide high-quality digital learning experiences for underserved students”.
Title IV programs have far-reaching benefits for students. According to a report conducted by the DOE in 2020, states used Title IV funds to improve professional development around the use of educational technology (33 states) and build technological capacity and infrastructure (30 states). Clearly, STEM learning for both teachers and students is a focus for many states that receive Title IV funds. Other examples of allowable Title 4 expenses include:
IDEA funds were implemented as part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These grants support early intervention and special education services for children with disabilities and their families. students with special needs. The programs or materials purchased with IDEA funds must benefit students with Individualized Education Programs, or IEPs. You can find the Estimated American Rescue Plan IDEA Supplemental Grant Allocations by state through the Department of Education.
It is important to note that IDEA funds must go directly to students with special needs, and the programs/materials cannot have been used in other classrooms first. Examples of initiatives include:
In the IDEA resources below, find examples of state DOEs that have created IDEA allowable expenditure guides.
ESSER stands for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. ESSER originated as part of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in 2020. It has since been amended and updated to include three rounds of funding; as of 2022, the federal government is distributing ESSER III funds to state educational agencies (SEAs). You can find ESSER funding by state on the ESSER Awards page, courtesy of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.
ESSER 3 funds were established to provide additional financial support for schools during the COVID-19 pandemic; thus, the money can be used in various scenarios that contribute to COVID response efforts. These include professional development, technology (hardware and software), sanitization, and staff stipends.
The US Department of Education released a Frequently Asked Questions document to answer the question: what can ESSER funds be used for? Here is a non-exhaustive list:
Ellipsis Education curriculum qualifies for multiple title funds! Keep reading to see which grants we suggest:
Interested in using your title funds on Ellipsis Education curriculum? Learn more about our curriculum by scheduling a demo with our accounts team.