The Title 1 Schools

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The title 1 schools are federal program that was rolled out in the United States to provide educational support to students living in poverty. For long, the program has funded the district schools within the U.S., aiding them to meet the needs of students from low-income households. Despite this, a number of schools in New Jersey are presenting a lot of deficit in the education that they provide. This essay is a literature review that seeks to identify the reasons for this deficit by identifying the schools classified as title institutions, identifying the most significant challenges faced by these institutions, why they are associated with low-income families and what the state has done to confront these problems.

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Title 1 Institutions

Generally, title 1 schools are institutions that need federal funding to facilitate the smooth running of their educational programs. As such, they are eligible to receive financial aid from local education agencies (U.S. Department of Health, Education & Welfare). The commissioner of education assumes the responsibility of conducting the programs and determining the allocations of the title 1 funds to the relevant agencies. The office of education makes these funds available to the state education agencies on behalf of the commissioner. They also approve applications for participation in the programs thereby determining the eligibility of an institutions to be classified as a title 1 school. Through this, areas with large concentrations of children from low-income families and are disadvantaged educationally are able to access these federal funds.

Institutions classified as title 1 schools use special educational programs to meet the needs of the educationally deprived students across the United States. To this effect, the local education agencies are tasked to identify the educationally destitute children to the full intent of the title 1 program. Further, they determine their specific educational needs and devise special projects for these children. Using those special proposed projects, the local education agencies then submit applications to the relevant state education agencies for funding (Malburg). An institution then assumes the status of title 1 schools once the funds have been granted. Also, most of the students enrolled in this program emanate from financially disadvantaged families.

Additionally, title 1 schools are associated by the similarity in their objectives. Their primary objective is to do away with the gap between the qualities of education that students from low-income families receive compared to that which students from other district schools receive. As such, each student obtains a high-quality education and proficiency that is up to standard with the state assessments. Auxiliary funding is, therefore, availed to the local district schools to meet this standard and achieve uniformity with schools in other developed cities (U.S. Department of Health, Education & Welfare). Given this, the department of education in New Jersey ensures that schools comply with all the requirements as dictated by the title 1 program.

Significant Challenges

Despite the intent of title 1 program in addressing the educational gaps, the majority of schools in New Jersey have reported a deficit in the education that they provide. This may be closely associated with a number of significant challenges that these institutions are faced with in the course of implementation.

Level of Education of Parents in Title 1 Schools

As the gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow in the United States, the majority of parents are left grounded economically and therefore, incapable of educating their children on their own. Due to this, the number of students joining the title one program has been on the rise. Reports have also indicated that most of the children joining this program come from poor families, with most parents having a low level of education. In the U.S., close to 7.3 million children from low-income families have parents without a college education (National Centre for Children in Poverty, 2015). Given this, it proves difficult for them to put their children through the education system from their own pocket. This has posed a major challenge as the number of enrollments to the programs continues to rise significantly while the funds remain limited.

High Percentage of Free Lunch Students

Having a high percentage of free lunch students also gives rise to challenges when implementing the program. The majority of schools in New Jersey now offer free or subsidized lunch even to students who are not eligible for the program and to those who do not live in poverty. Child from a family of four capable of earning $43,600 may be considered eligible for the subsidized lunch by the federal agricultural department. However, the number of students eligible for lunch, on its own, has been on the rise (Malburg, 2016). As the number of districts that serves poor people continues to grow, difficulties arise as the taxpayers money available may no longer be capable of catering for everybodys educational needs as well as other special needs.

Comparison with Schools with Low Percentages of Students Receiving Free Lunch

Schools that have a low percentage of students receiving lunch are deemed to have an advantage over those with a higher percentage. This is true as the extra funds may be used to serve the educationally deprived students effectively and for a much longer time. Also, funds that may otherwise be allocated for lunch subsidization purposes are deployed to serve the distinctive special needs of a few students in terms of education. This would guarantee better education standards for these students.

Diversity of Culture

Cultural diversity in title 1 schools also poses a major threat to the program. It is an important aspect as it denotes the existence of different attitudes, beliefs and values of different communities coexisting in a single setting (Ahram, Fergus & Noguera). Research indicates that children from minor ethnicities/race often struggle in a classroom setting owing to their cultural background. This may be exhibited in terms of general attitudes, the atmosphere within the school, a culturally receptive curriculum or even the community involvement. Apart from these, the students academic as well as personal relationship with the teachers may be the most significant. If unhealthy, it may undermine the efforts of title 1 programs in imparting knowledge to all children.

Why Title 1 Schools are Related to Low Income Families

Title 1 schools are closely associated with low-income families due the principles that underlie their status. One of the basic principles dictates that for an entire school to be considered eligible for the receipt of the title 1 fund, more than forty percent of the students must be registered in the free and subsidized lunch program (National Centre for Children in Poverty). Also, the majority of students in the title 1 schools are from low-income families. This number is usually determined by the number of students that have enrolled in the federal program. Such students receive supplemental funds from the country to aid them to meet their special educational needs.

Secondly, there exists a close relationship between the level of education attained by the parents and the level of earnings. Parents who have achieved higher education are easily capable of realizing a higher income. Therefore, they possess the economic means to funds their childrens education. This is contrary to parents who possess a lower level of education as they lack the economic means to educate their children due to their low incomes. However, educational policies such as that offered by the title 1 programs provide a long-term solution for low-income families (Malburg). Through this, children from low-income families are able to acquire the special education they need. To this effect, a large number of students from low-income families, who are enrolled in these federal programs have parents with no college education, hence the low income (National Centre for Children in Poverty).

What the State Has Done to Confront These Problems

The state of New Jersey has indeed put in some effort to counter this challenges faced by title 1 school. For instance, the state has rolled out a research program which is meant to study the educational background of low-income families in the districts (DOE New Jersey). It is conducted hand in hand with families from districts with a high concentration of population that possesses college degrees, masters as well as PhDs. The study will prove vital as it will be used to formulate some of the solutions that will be implemented to improve the quality of education offered in title 1 institutions in the state of New Jersey.

Secondly, the department of education has devised policies that are aimed at involving parents in the development and execution of schools programs for title 1 students in both public and private schools. Annual reviews of the programs will also be carried out on an annual basis to check on the progress and make alterations where necessary. These policies will further require both the parents and schools to maintain regular communication pertaining to the academic issues and other relevant school activities (DOE New Jersey). Some of the association requirements will include the District Parent Involvement Policy, the school-parent compact and an annual meeting for the title 1 parents.


Annotated Bibliography

Ahram, R., Fergus, E., & Noguera, P. (2011). Addressing 0racial/ethnic disproportionality in special education: Case studies of suburban school districts. Teachers College Record.

In this article, some of the significant problems that are experienced in schools receiving federal aid have been detailed after the appropriate research was conducted. The authors have attempted to explain the disproportionality in providing education to students hailing from different and distinct cultural/ethnic backgrounds in suburban school districts. The struggles which the students undergo as they attempt to fit into the classroom environment that exhibits a level of cultural diversity have also been discussed in detail.

This source proved useful for the research as it offered a deeper understanding of cultural diversity in the schools setting as challenge to title 1 institutions. The authors were also forthcoming regarding their methods of research and supplemented their work with information from other valid sources.

DOE New Jersey, (2016). School/Family/Community Involvement. Retrieved 4 April 2016, from

This website gives an insight into the steps that the state of New Jersey has taken to counter the challenges they face in implementing the title 1 programs. It lists the types of policies that that have been established between the parents and both public and private schools as a means of improving the performance of title 1 schools in New Jersey.

This source proved helpful in explaining the steps that have been developed, clearly demonstrating their purpose, which would drive these schools back to their original intent of providing quality education to educationally disadvantaged students in New Jersey

Malburg, S. (2016). What is a Title 1 School? Meeting the Needs of Low-Income Students. Bright Hub Education. Retrieved 4 April 2016, from

Sarah articles provides a thorough understanding into the basics of the title funds. She describes their purpose as part of the title 1 program for children who are educationally disadvantaged. An in-depth exploration into the use of these funds and how they are managed through the...

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