Portland Public Schools accepts funding through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, amended in 2001 as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.
Title IA supports programs and resources for disadvantaged students. Title IA funding is designed to aid districts in closing the achievement gap by placing highly qualified teachers in classrooms and by providing supplemental services to students. Funds are available to school districts and schools based on a measure of poverty. Title IA identified schools can operate school-wide Title IA programs (SWP) or Title IA targeted assistance programs (TAS). In Title IA school-wide programs, Title IA funds can be combined with state, local, and other federal funds to serve all students in the school. In Title IA targeted assistance programs, Title IA staff provides research-based supplemental instruction to serve students who have been identified as most at-risk of not meeting state standards.
Federal law requires that a portion of Title IA funds be set aside to engage parents as partners in education, provide services to homeless youth, ensure that all teachers of core subjects meet the federal definition of highly qualified, and provide equitable services to eligible youth in private schools within the district.
- Parent Involvement: Parents are encouraged to participate in regular and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities, including ensuring—
- that parents play an integral role in assisting their child’s learning;
- that parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s education at school; and
- that parents are full partners in their child’s education and are included, as appropriate, in decision-making and on advisory committees to assist in the education of their child.
- Homeless: The district must reserve funds for homeless children who do not attend participating Title I schools and may, for instance, provide support services to children in shelters and other locations where homeless children live. Services should be provided to assist homeless students to effectively take advantage of educational opportunities.
- Highly Qualified: Teachers of core academic subjects in all schools must meet the state’s criteria for being highly qualified. They must be fully certified and have evidence of expertise in the core subject to which they are assigned. For more information: http://www.maine.gov/education/nclb/titleii.htm
- Private Schools: Title IA funds are set aside to provide Title IA eligible students at eligible private schools the educational services deemed equitable to services they would receive in their neighborhood public schools.
- Accountability Set-Aside: Schools which have been identified as a Monitor or a Focus school based on student achievement data are provided additional resources and technical assistance to make gains in student achievement.
Title IIA provides resources for improving teacher and principal quality focused on preparing, training, and recruiting high-quality teachers and principals. Additionally, equitable resources must be provided to eligible private schools to address the professional learning needs of the staff. Seven of Portland’s private schools receive funds to provide staff training to enhance teachers’ content knowledge and instruction. Practices supported by Title IIA include: immersion into the world of mathematics and/or science; immersion in problem-solving and/or inquiry; curriculum implementation; action research; case discussions; examining student work; partnerships with professionals in business, industry, and universities; coaching and mentoring; study groups; workshops, institutes, courses, and seminars; technology for professional learning; and developing professional developers.
Title III provides resources to assist school districts in: increasing English proficiency and student academic achievement of children who are limited English proficient; and providing high-quality professional development to classroom teachers, principals, and administrators involved in their education.