Friday, April 24, 2009

Title One--Someone Please Explain It To Me Soon

Many years ago, I taught at a Title One school. It wasn't a very good school but there was lots of money around for special programs. I had math classes with less than 20 students and there was a para in the room. The kids worked individually on topics they needed help with.

Title One seems to be the wave of the future . I don't know if the Title One program today is the same program it was then. Since I know nothing about this, I tried to do some research. Everything I read looked good. Yet, some of my colleagues are dead set against this program. They claim it will bring the school down.

Please, if you understand this program, give me some feedback. If this program comes to my school, I'd like to make an informed decision before I vote to accept or reject this program. It seems too important a decision to make based on rumors and misinformation.


jan said...

I'm in a Title 1 elementary school.I know we get extra money that the principal seems to be able to use as she wants,for more teachers or assistants or supplies, etc. There is a lot of paperwork for the administrators which doesn't really affect me. But there is a large parent participation part. We have to offer various types of gatherings for the parents to learn about the math and reading programs and how to help their children. This sounds good, but we get very few parents (6/350) Tues. night, so it's very frustrating. All in all it has helped us.

Anonymous said...

I'm delurking on this topic. I love reading this blog. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I've been working on my school's proposal for the last two weeks. If your school is going to receive Title I monies, the decision is not between receiving and not receiving it. The decision is about how to spend it.

Option 1: Title I Targeted Assistance: All of the monies will be designated for children that are failing or are in danger of failing. Monies cannot be combined with Fair Student funding or any other funding stream to create programs.

Option 2: Title I School Wide Programs: The SLT works to create a school-wide program that meets the needs of those failing or in danger of failing, but may also include those who are successful. This could include enrichment programs or anything that the school needs to progress, as long as students who need extra assistance to succeed are receiving it. Monies can be combined with Fair Student Funding and other streams.

Long story short: In my small school, Targeted Assistance would allocate a significant amount to 30% of my total population. Due to the fact that it would exclude 70% of our students, we opted for SWP so 100% of our children can benefit. They won't benefit equally, as children at risk will receive more services, but we wanted the flexibility to run an afterschool program that includes some children who are successful academically but struggle socially.

If you have more questions, I'll pop back in to see if I can help out.

17 (really 15) more years said...

I have to agree with anonymous. We are now a Title One school (actually, it's a farce -but they changed the eligibility guidelines, and somehow, we now qualify).

The way it works is this: only the level 1 and 2 students who receive free or reduced price lunch would be eligible if we chose targeted assistance. In my school, that would be a very small percentage (probably < 3%)- and we voted in a schoolwide program. However, I do see the drawbacks, because I do know that this will involve a great deal of parental involvement, and G-d only knows, the last thing we need in my school is MORE parental involvement- they think they run the show already.

Anonymous said...

Title one is mostly about extra money. You used to need 60% of the student body to get free lunch to be eligible, but under the stimulus plan it's down to 49%. There's 2 million bucks for the building, which the principal wants to use for computers and things that will not need renewal, in case the money disappears next year. She would use the money for the whole building rather than targeting it. We will certainly face budget cuts from the city, which this could compensate for.

The downside could be the stigma of labeling, perhaps. Someone was upset that we were dialing up the national debt which we will pass onto our kids. Some people feel if we didn't take the money someone else would. Another says there must be a down side but can't yet figure what it is. There don't seem to be any obligations for teachers. If I recall correctly, student loans are forgiven for teachers working at title one schools. I remember being pissed off that the school I worked at was not so classified every time I made a payment.

Anonymous said...

The first Anonymous gets it right.

Title I means money, and if you qualify, it is yours. No questions, no options about getting the $$.

How you use it though...

Doing school-wide programs enables the money to be spent more 'flexibly' while not doing swp means that the money needs to be targeted to the poorer kids. I think swp also increases the money, slightly.

The decision (school wide programs) requires consent of the faculty - and the big questions are:

1. is there a plan to use the extra funding in a rational way, that actually does benefit the entire student population?

2. is the principal transparent enough with budgeting and per session and consultation, etc, etc, that we think we're setting up nice projects, reducing some class sizes, getting an extra adult into some key rooms, etc, and NOT just giving him more per session to slosh around to his favorites.

At my first school my predecessor never trusted the principal enough to allow SWP, and after he left, I harpooned the P's attempt to steamroller us into it.


Anonymous said...

Title 1 used to mean more money for special services like Math and Reading pull-out programs as well as after-school services.

I know the rules have changed and teachers were "encouraged" to make sure every student returned the lunch applications.

I think Hula sounds like someone who wants to use the money for the benefit of students and teachers alike.


skeptic said...

can any principal be trusted?

Pissed Off said...

Thanks for all the responses.

I guess I worry because nothing in life is free. There have got to be strings attached.