Title I provisions provide a mechanism for holding states, school districts, and schools accountable for improving the academic achievement of all students and turning around low-performing schools, while providing alternatives to students in such schools to enable those students to receive a high-quality education.
No Child Left Behind offers options to students in Title I schools that are “in need of improvement.” A school is identified as “in need of improvement” when it has not made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals for two years in a row or longer. These are goals set by the state to make sure that each school is making enough progress for all students to be proficient in reading and mathematics by 2014. “Proficient” means that the student is working at grade level.
The options for students depend on how long a school has not made AYP. They include Public School Choice and free tutoring called Supplemental Educational Services. Both of these options apply only to Title I schools that have been identified as “in need of improvement.”
NCLB requires each school district to set aside 20 percent of its Title I budget to pay for transportation for Public School Choice and Supplemental Educational Services. Of this set-aside, 5 percent is earmarked for transportation for Public School Choice and 5 %for Supplemental Educational Services. The remaining 10% can be used for either option.
Public School Choice gives parents the right to transfer children to another public school, which could be a public charter school, if your child attends a Title I school that has not made AYP for two years or longer or is unsafe. You school district must pay for the transportation for your child to attend the new school. Contact your child’s school district or Massachusetts PIRC to find out if your child is eligible or this opportunity.
To learn more about Public School Choice, please see these Mass PIRC publications:
• Mass PIRC Pointers: Public School Choice under NCLB. English, Spanish, or Portuguese.
• Mass PIRC Bulletin: Choosing a School for Your Child: Four Steps for Selecting a School, Parent Tip 1, Parent Tip 2, Steps for Choosing at a Glance (Volume 7 Issue 2 & 3) English, Spanish or Portuguese
• Mass DESE Questions and Answers on School Choice for Parents and Guardians. http://www.doe.mass.edu/nclb/parents.html?section=choice
Supplemental Educational Services (SES) — means free tutoring, homework help, or other extra help given to a student outside the regular school day. The help could be given before or after school, on weekends or in the summer. Your child may qualify if he or she is:
• eligible for free or reduced-price lunch,
• enrolled in a Title I school, and
• the school has not made AYP for three years or longer
• Mass PIRC Bulletin: Free Tutoring Available under the No Child Left Behind Act . English, Spanish, or Portuguese.
• Mass PIRC Pointer: Supplemental Educational Services Under NCLB. English, Spanish or Portuguese
To find out if your child qualifies for either of these options, contact your child’s school principal or Massachusetts PIRC.