Skip Navigation
National Assessment of Title I - Final Report

NCEE 2008-4012
June 2008

B. Key Findings - Title I Participants and Funding

Title I funds go to 93 percent of the nation's school districts and to 56 percent of all public schools. Most Title I funds (74 percent) go to elementary schools, and nearly three-fourths (72 percent) of Title I participants in 2004-05 were in pre-kindergarten though grade 6. Minority students accounted for two-thirds of Title I participants.

  • Fueled by a growing use of Title I schoolwide programs (see Exhibit 2), the number of students counted as Title I participants has tripled over the past decade, rising from 6.7 million in 1994-95 to 20.0 million in 2004-05. In 2004-05, 87 percent of Title I participants were in schoolwide programs.
  • The number of private school students participating in Title I has increased gradually over the past 20 years, to 188,000 in 2004-05, although it remains below the high of 213,500 reached in 1980-81. Private school students typically received Title I services from district teachers who traveled to the private school to serve students. Private school principals reported that districts usually consulted with private school representatives about Title I services, although they indicated that professional development, parent involvement, and student assessment were not always covered in those consultations.
  • Funding for Title I, Part A, has increased by 35 percent over the past seven years, after adjusting for inflation, from $9.5 billion in FY 2000 to $12.8 billion in FY 2007.
  • A majority of Title I funds were targeted to high-poverty districts and schools, but low-poverty districts and schools also received these funds. In 2004-05, about three-fourths (76 percent) of Title I funds went to high–poverty schools (with 50 percent or more students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch). Low-poverty schools (with less than 35 percent of students eligible for free or reduced price lunch ) accounted for 14 percent of Title I schools and received 6 percent of Title I funds.
  • At the district level, Title I targeting has changed little since 1997-98, despite the intent of NCLB to target more funds to high-poverty school districts by allocating an increasing share of the funds through the Targeted Grants and Incentive Grants formulas. The share of funds appropriated through the Targeted and Incentive formulas rose from 18 percent of total Title I funds in FY 2002 to 32 percent in FY 2004, while the less targeted Basic Grants formula declined from 85 percent to 57 percent of the funds. Despite these shifts, the share of funds actually received by the highest-poverty quartile of districts in 2004-05 (52 percent) was similar to their share in 1997-98 (50 percent).
  • At the school level, the share of Title I funding for the highest-poverty schools also remained virtually unchanged since 1997-98, and those schools continued to receive smaller Title I allocations per low-income student than did low-poverty schools. The average Title I allocation in the highest-poverty Title I schools was $558 per low-income student in 2004-05, compared with $563 in 1997-98 (see Exhibit 3). The middle two poverty groups of schools, however saw statistically significant increases in their per-pupil funding. Low-poverty schools did not see a significant change in their share of funding, but they continued to receive larger Title I allocations per low-income student than did the highest-poverty schools ($763 vs. $558).
  • Most Title I funds were used for instruction, supporting salaries for teachers and instructional aides, providing instructional materials and computers, and supporting other instructional services and resources. In the 2004-05 school year, nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of district and school Title I funds were spent on instruction, 16 percent were used for instructional support, and another 11 percent were used for program administration and other support costs such as facilities and transportation. About half (49 percent) of local Title I funds were spent on teacher salaries and benefits, with an additional 11 percent going for teacher aides.


1 Stullich, Stephanie, Elizabeth Eisner, Joseph McCrary. Report on the National Assessment of Title I, Volume I, Implementation of Title I, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, 2007.
2 An analysis of Title I choice options in nine large urban school districts provides more in-depth information about the characteristics of participating students in these districts; a survey of parents was also conducted in eight of the nine districts. Because this district sample was not nationally representative, findings cannot be generalized to the nation.
3 A survey of 125 supplemental services providers in 16 school districts provides additional information about the services provided in these districts. Because the district sample was not nationally representative, findings cannot be generalized to the nation.