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“Title I” is a shorthand reference for a federal statute designed to improve the educational achievement of poor students by providing federal funds to impoverished school districts. While the amount of funding has fluctuated over the decades, Title I remains the single largest federal educational program for elementary and secondary school children. It reaches millions of students and tens of thousands of school districts.

The Law and Its Context

For most of our nation's history, federal involvement in education was limited. A major shift occurred during the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson. One of the components of President Johnson's “War on Poverty” included the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which Congress enacted in 1965. Title I of this act provided substantial funds to improve the ...

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