DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
CFDA 84.010 TITLE I, PART A of ESEA - IMPROVING BASIC PROGRAMS
OPERATED BY LOCAL EDUCATION AGENCIES (LEAs)
In June 1996, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) published a Compliance Supplement which
includes the compliance requirements and associated audit guidance for the following programs:
(1) Title I, Grants to Local Educational Agencies (CFDA 84.010), (2) Migrant Education - Basic
State Grant Program (84.011), (3) Eisenhower Professional Development State Grants (84.281),
(4) Safe and Drug- Free Schools - State Grants (84.186), (5) Innovative Education Program
Strategies (84.298), (6) Bilingual Education (84.288, 84.290, and 84.291), and (7) Impact Aid
(84.041). The Title I (CFDA 84.010) is also included in Part 4 of this Supplement. Each of the
other ED programs ultimately will be included. In the interim, for audits under OMB circular
A-133, the agency program requirements (which would otherwise be listed in Part 4 of this
Supplement are provided in the ED Supplement. However, when Title I (84.010) is a major
program and none of the other ED programs listed above are major, the guidance listed in Part 4
of the Supplement should be used for audits of Title I.
The ED Supplement is currently available on the Internet at the ED/OIG Non-Federal Audit Team
Home Page (http://home.gvi.net/~edoig/) under the listing for "Compliance Supplement for ESEA
Programs." Copies may also be requested by sending a fax to the ED/OIG Non-Federal Audit
Team at 202-205-8238.
I. PROGRAM OBJECTIVES
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Improving
America's Schools Act (IASA) (P.L. 103-382), provided for a comprehensive overhaul of
programs providing more than $10 billion a year of Federal support for education, and
restructured how these programs provide services.
Title I, Part A of ESEA, as amended, provides supplemental financial assistance to local
educational agencies (LEAs) through State educational agencies (SEAs) to improve the teaching
and learning of children who are at risk of not meeting challenging academic standards and who
reside in areas with high concentrations of children from low-income families.
II. PROGRAM PROCEDURES
ED provides Title I, Part A funds to each SEA through a statutory formula based primarily on the
number of children ages 5 through 17 from low-income families. This number is augmented by
annually collected counts of children ages 5 through 17 in foster homes, locally-operated
institutions for neglected or delinquent children, and families above poverty that receive assistance
under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program or the successor State
programs and adjusted to account for the cost of education in each State. To receive funds, an
SEA must submit to ED for approval either (1) an individual State plan as provided in Section
1111 of the ESEA (20 USC 6311) or (2) a consolidated plan that includes Part A, in accordance
with Section 14302 of the ESEA (20 USC 8852). The individual or consolidated plan, after
approval by ED, remains in effect for the duration of the State's participation in Title I, Part A.
The plan must be updated to reflect substantive changes.
SEAs allocate funds to LEAs based on the best available data that reflect the current distribution
of children from low-income families. To receive Title I funds, LEAs must have on file with the
SEA an approved plan that includes descriptions of the general nature of services to be provided,
how program services will be coordinated with the LEA's regular program of instruction,
additional LEA assessments, if any, used to gauge program outcomes, and strategies to be used to
provide professional development. An LEA may also include Part A as part of a consolidated
application submitted to the SEA under Section 14305 of ESEA (20 USC 8855).
LEAs allocate Title I funds to eligible school attendance areas based on the number of children
from low-income families residing within the attendance area. A school above 50 percent poverty
may use its Part A funds, along with other Federal, State, and local funds, to operate a schoolwide
program to upgrade the instruction program in the whole school. Otherwise, a school operates a
targeted assistance program in which the school identifies students who are failing, or most at risk
of failing, to meet the State's challenging performance standards and who have the greatest need.
The school then designs, in consultation with parents, staff, and the LEA, an instructional
program to meet the needs of those students.
Under Title XIV of ESEA, States, LEAs, and schools through an LEA may request waivers from
ED of many of the statutory and regulatory requirements of programs authorized in ESEA,
including Title I, Part A. The Goals 2000: Educate America Act and the School to Work
Opportunities Act also provide waiver authority. In addition, under the educational flexibility
(Ed-Flex) demonstration program of Goals 2000, the Secretary delegated to some SEAs the
authority to waive certain Federal statutory or regulatory requirements affecting the State and its
districts and schools. In planning an audit, auditors should ascertain from the audited SEA and
LEAs whether ED (or an SEA, if an Ed-Flex State) granted any written waivers to the State or
III. COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS
A copy of the Improving America's Schools Act with a hypertext index can be accessed on the
In developing the audit procedures to test compliance with the requirements for a Federal
program, the auditor should first look to Part 2, Matrix of Compliance Requirements, to
identify which of the 14 types of compliance requirements described in Part 3 are
applicable and then look to Parts 3 and 4 for the details of the requirements.
A. Activities Allowed or Unallowed
1. Allowability of Specific Transactions and Activities
a. LEAs (Targeted assistance programs only. See special tests and provisions for schoolwide
In a targeted assistance school, funds available under Part A may be used only for programs that
are designed to help participating children meet the State's student performance standards
expected of all children. Allowable activities in these schools include, but are not limited to,
instructional programs, counseling, mentoring, other pupil services, college and career awareness
and preparation, services to prepare students for the transition from school to work, services to
assist preschool children in the transition to elementary school programs, parental involvement
activities, and professional staff development. If health, nutrition, and other social services are
not otherwise available from other sources to participating children, Part A funds may be used to
provide such services. The LEA's plan will provide a description of the general nature of the
services to be provided with Part A funds. However, each Title I school determines the actual
program it will provide (Title I, Section 1115 of ESEA (20 USC 6315)).
The auditor should be aware that Part A funds may also be used for administrative costs or
contributions to a consolidated administrative cost pool, LEA contributions to a consolidated
services project (when approved), and provision of equitable services to eligible private school
children and their teachers. The testing of these requirements is included elsewhere in this
SEAs can use funds to provide subgrants to LEAs, for State administration, and for program
improvement projects in accordance with the State plan (Title I, Part A, Sections 1003, 1111 and
1603) (20 USC 6303, 6311, and 6513).
2. Allowable Activities for Subrecipients
a. Approval of LEA plans
The LEA's plan will provide a description of the general nature of the services to be provided with
Part A funds. However, each Title I school determines the actual program it will provide (Title I,
Part A, Section 1112 (b)(7)) (20 USC 6312(b)(7)).
B. Allowable Costs/Cost Principles
If indirect costs are claimed, a "restricted rate" must be used (34 CFR section 76.563). The
details of calculating a restricted rate are contained in 34 CFR sections 76.564 through 76.569.
C. Cash Management
The Department of Education is in the process of implementing a new comprehensive financial
management system (EDCAPS) which will result in a change to its drawdown and reporting
requirements. In essence, this will require drawdown and reporting on an individual award basis
rather than on a grantee-wide pool basis. This means for example, that if a grantee draws down
$1000 specifically for the Title I program, the funds must be expended within the required time
frame on the Title 1 program. This change is expected to occur during the second quarter of
Federal fiscal year 1998.
1. Eligibility for Individuals
a. Eligible Children (LEA targeted assistance programs only - see Special Tests and Provisions
for schoolwide programs)
Title I, Part A funds are to be used to provide services and benefits to eligible children residing or
enrolled in eligible school attendance areas. Once funds are allocated to eligible school
attendance areas (see E.2.a and E.2.b. below), a school operating a targeted assistance program
must use Title I funds only for programs that are designed to meet the needs of children identified
by the school as failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet the State's challenging student
performance standards. In general, eligible children are identified on the basis of multiple,
educationally-related, objective criteria established by the LEA and supplemented by the school.
Children who are economically disadvantaged, children with disabilities, migrant children, and
limited English proficient (LEP) children are eligible for Part A services on the same basis as other
children who are selected for services. In addition, certain categories of children are considered at
risk of failing to meet the State's student performance standards and are thus eligible for Title I
services because of their status. Such children include: children who are homeless; children who
participated in a Head Start or Even Start program at any time in the two preceding years;
children who received services under a program for youth who are neglected, delinquent, or at
risk of dropping out under Title I, Part D (or its predecessor authority) at any time in the two
preceding years; and, children who are in a local institution for neglected or delinquent children or
attending a community day program. From the pool of eligible children, a targeted assistance
school selects those children who have the greatest need for special assistance to receive Part A
services (Title I, Section 1115 of ESEA (20 USC 6315)).
2. Eligibility for Group of Individuals or Area of Service Delivery
a. School Attendance Areas (LEAs with either Schoolwide programs or targeted assistance
An LEA must determine which school attendance areas are eligible to participate in Part A. A
school attendance area is generally eligible to participate if the percentage of children from
low-income families is at least as high as the percentage of children from low-income families in
the LEA as a whole or above 35 percent poverty. An LEA may also designate and serve a school
in an ineligible attendance area if the percentage of children from low-income families enrolled in
that school is equal to or greater than the percentage of such children in a participating school
attendance area. When determining eligibility, an LEA must select a poverty measure from
among the following data sources: (1) the number of children ages 5-17 in poverty counted in the
most recent census; (2) the number of children eligible for free and reduced priced lunches; (3) the
number of children in families receiving AFDC or the successor State program; (4) the number of
children eligible to receive Medicaid assistance; or (5) a composite of these data sources. The
LEA must use that measure consistently across the district to rank all its school attendance areas
according to their percentage of poverty.
An LEA must serve eligible schools or attendance areas in rank order according to their
percentage of poverty. An LEA must serve those areas or schools above 75 percent poverty,
including any middle or high schools, before it serves any with a poverty percentage below 75
percent. After an LEA has served all areas and schools with a poverty rate above 75 percent, the
LEA may serve lower-poverty areas and schools either by continuing with the district-wide
ranking or by ranking its schools below 75 percent poverty according to grade-span grouping
(e.g., K-6, 7-9, 10-12). If an LEA ranks by grade span, the LEA may use the district-wide
poverty average or the poverty average for the respective grade span grouping.
An LEA may elect not to serve an eligible area or school that has a higher percentage of children
from low-income families if: (1) the school meets the Title I comparability requirements; (2) the
school is receiving supplemental State or local funds that are spent according to the requirements
in sections 1114 or 1115 of Title I; and (3) the State and local funds expended in the area or
school equal or exceed the amount that would be provided under Part A. An LEA with an
enrollment of less than 1000 students or with only one school per grade span is not required to
rank its school attendance areas (Title I, Section 1113(a)-(b) of ESEA (20 USC 6313(a)-(b)); 34
CFR section 200.28(a) (3)).
b. Allocating funds to eligible school attendance areas and schools:
An LEA must allocate Part A funds to each participating school attendance area or school, in rank
order, on the basis of the total number of children from low-income families residing in the area
or attending the school. In calculating the total number of children from low-income families, the
LEA must include children from low-income families who reside in a participating area and attend
private schools, using the same poverty data, if available, as the LEA uses to count public school
children. If the same data are not available, the LEA may use comparable data. If complete actual
poverty data are not available on private school children, an LEA may extrapolate, from actual
data on a representative sample of private school children, the number of children from
low-income families who attend private schools. An LEA may also correlate sources of data. If
an LEA selects a public school to participate on the basis of enrollment, rather than because it
serves an eligible school attendance area, the LEA must, in consultation with private school
officials, determine an equitable way to count poor private school children in order to calculate
the amount of Title I funds available to serve private school children.
If an LEA serves any attendance area with less than a 35 percent poverty rate, the LEA must
allocate to all its participating areas an amount per poor child that equals at least 125 percent of
the LEA's Part A allocation per poor child. (An LEA's allocation per poor child is the total LEA
allocation under subpart 2 of Part A divided by the number of poor children in the LEA according
to the poverty measure selected by the LEA to identify eligible school attendance areas. The LEA
then multiplies this per-child amount by 125 percent.) If an LEA serves only areas with a poverty
rate greater than 35 percent, the LEA must allocate funds, in rank order, on the basis of the total
number of poor children in each area or school, but is not required to allocate a per-pupil amount
of at least 125 percent. An LEA may not allocate a higher amount per child to areas or schools
with lower percentages of poverty than to areas with higher percentages. If an LEA serves areas
or schools below 75 percent poverty by grade span groupings, the LEA may allocate different
amounts per poor child for different grade span groupings as long as those amounts do not exceed
the amount per poor child allocated to any area or school above 75 percent poverty. Amounts
per poor child within grade spans may also vary as long as the LEA allocates higher amounts per
poor child to higher poverty areas or schools within the grade span than it allocates to lower
poverty areas or schools.
The LEA must reserve the amounts generated by poor private school children who reside in
participating public school attendance areas to provide services to eligible private school children
(Title I, Section 1113(c) of ESEA (20 USC 6313(c)); 34 CFR sections 200.27 and 200.28).
3. Eligibility for Subrecipients - Not Applicable
G. Matching, Level of Effort, Earmarking
1. Matching - Not applicable
2.1 Level of Effort - Maintenance of Effort
An LEA may receive funds under an applicable program only if the SEA finds that the combined
fiscal effort per student or the aggregate expenditures of the LEA from State and local funds for
free public education for the preceding year was not less than 90 percent of the combined fiscal
effort or aggregate expenditures for the second preceding year, unless specifically waived by ED.
For purposes of Title I, Part A, an LEA's expenditures from State and local funds for free public
education include expenditures for administration, instruction, attendance and health services,
pupil transportation services, operation and maintenance of plant, fixed charges, and net
expenditures to cover deficits for food services and student body activities. For school years prior
to 1997-98, they do not include the following expenditures: (1) any expenditures for community
services, capital outlay, and debt service; and, (2) any expenditures made from funds provided by
the Federal Government for which the LEA is required to account to the Federal Government
directly or through the SEA. For school year 1997-98 and subsequent school years, they also do
not include supplementary expenses as a result of a Presidentially-declared disaster and any
expenditures made from funds provided by the Federal Government.
If an LEA fails to maintain fiscal effort, the SEA must reduce the amount of the allocation of funds under Title I, Part A in any fiscal year in the exact proportion by which the LEA fails to maintain effort by falling below 90 percent of both the combined fiscal effort per student and aggregate expenditures (using the measure most favorable to the LEA (Section 14501 of ESEA (20 USC 8891))).
In some States, the SEA prepares the calculation from information provided by the LEA. In other
States, the LEAs prepare their own calculation. The audit procedures contained in the Part 3,
section G2.1 should be adapted to fit the circumstances. For example, if auditing the LEA and
the LEA does the calculations, the auditor should perform steps a., b. and c. If auditing the LEA
and the SEA does the calculation, the auditor should perform step c. for the amounts reported to
the SEA. If auditing the SEA and the SEA performs the calculation, the auditor should perform
steps a. and b. and amend step c. to trace amounts to the LEA reports. If auditing the SEA and
the LEA performs the calculation, the auditor should performs step a. and, if the requirement was
not met, determine if the funding was reduced appropriately.
2.2 Level of Effort - Supplement not Supplant
An SEA and LEA may use program funds only to supplement and, to the extent practical,
increase the level of funds that would, in the absence of the Federal funds, be made available from
non-Federal sources for the education of participating students. In no case may an LEA use
Federal program funds to supplant funds from non-Federal sources (Title I, Part A, Section
1120A(b) (20 USC 6322(b)).
In the following instances, it is presumed that supplanting has occurred:
- The SEA or LEA used Federal funds to provide services that the SEA or LEA was required to
make available under other Federal laws or State or local laws.
- The SEA or LEA used Federal funds to provide services that the SEA or LEA provided with
non-Federal funds in the prior year.
- The SEA or LEA used Federal funds to provide services for participating children that the SEA
or LEA provided with non-Federal funds for nonparticipating children.
These presumptions are rebuttable if the SEA or LEA can demonstrate that it would not have
provided the services in question with non-Federal funds had the Federal funds not been available.
An SEA and LEA may exclude, from determinations of compliance with the supplement, not
supplant requirement, supplemental State or local funds spent in any school attendance area or
school for programs that meet the intent and purposes of Title I, Part A (Title I, Part A of ESEA,
Section 1120A(d) (20 USC 6322(d)).
When auditing a schoolwide program: In a Title I schoolwide program, a school is not required
to provide supplemental services to identified children. However, the school may only use
Federal funds to supplement the amount of funds that would in the absence of the Federal funds
be made available to the school from non-Federal sources, including funds needed to provide
services required by law for children with disabilities and children with LEP (Title I, Part A,
Section 1114(a)(3) (20 USC 6314(a)(3))).
An SEA may reserve for the administration of Title I programs no more than one percent from
each of the amounts allocated to the State under Title I, Part A (except Capital Expenses under
section 1002(e) and School Improvement funds under section 1002(f))(20 USC 6302), MEP
(Title I, Part C)(20 USC 6391), and Title I, Part D, Subpart 1 (State Agency Neglected or
Delinquent Program)(20 USC 6421). The one percent reservation is a maximum. An SEA may
reserve less than one percent from each of Parts A, C, and D (Subpart 1). Moreover, an SEA
does not need to reserve the same percentage from each part. However, the amounts reserved
from Part A Basic, Concentration, and Targeted Grants must be proportionate. If the amount
reserved through this process totals less than $400,000, an SEA may reserve up to $400,000 for
State administration. For any SEA reserving $400,000, the amount taken from each of Title I,
Parts A, C, and D (Subpart 1) must be proportionate. An SEA is not required to use the same
proportion of funds reserved from Parts A, C, and D for administrative activities related to those
An LEA may, with the approval of the SEA, also consolidate local administrative funds under
applicable programs. The amount set aside under each covered program for consolidation may
not be more than the percentage, if any, authorized for local administration under that program. In
addition, an LEA may not use any other funds under the programs included in the consolidation
for administration. Each SEA shall, in collaboration with the LEAs in the State, establish
procedures for responding to requests from LEAs to consolidate administrative funds.
An SEA or LEA that consolidates administrative funds is not required to keep separate records by
individual programs to account for costs relating to the administration of programs included in the
consolidation (Sections 14201 and 14203 of ESEA (20 USC 8821 and 8823)).
b. Coordinated services projects (LEAs)
An LEA, upon application to and approval by ED, may use a total of not more than 5 percent of
its funds received under ESEA (including Title I, Part A) to develop, implement, or expand a
coordinated services project. ED will notify an SEA of its approval of any coordinated services
projects within the State.
Funds reserved for a coordinated services project may be used for any activity relevant to the
project, except that those funds may not be used for the direct provision of health or
health-related services. Acceptable uses of funds may include, but are not limited to, hiring a
coordinator, making minor renovations to existing buildings, purchasing basic operating
equipment, improving communications and information sharing among participating entities,
teacher and staff training, and conducting a statutorily-required needs assessment. Funds used for
this purpose must be obligated within the period of availability of funds for the program from
which funds were taken (Title XI and Section 14206(b) of ESEA (20 USC 8401 et seq. and
H. Period of Availability of Federal Funds
LEAs and SEAs must obligate funds during 27 months, extending from July 1 through September
30 of the second following fiscal year. This maximum period includes a 15 month period of initial
availability plus a 12 month period for carryover. For example, funds from the fiscal year (FY)
1995 appropriation initially became available on July 1, 1995, and can be obligated by the grantee
and subgrantee through September 30, 1997.
In addition, an LEA that receives $50,000 or more cannot carryover more than 15 percent of the
funds awarded after the initial 15 months of availability. An SEA may grant a waiver of the
percentage limitation once every three years if the SEA determines that the request is reasonable
and necessary. An SEA may also grant a waiver in any fiscal year in which supplemental
appropriations for Title I become available for obligation (Title I, Section 1127 of ESEA (20 USC
Funds transferred to consolidated administrative cost pools and coordinated services projects are
subject to the above requirements. Because expenditures in a consolidated administrative fund or
a coordinated services project are not tracked by the Federal program, an SEA or LEA may use a
first-in, first-out method for determining when funds were obligated.
Definition of Obligation: An obligation is not necessarily a liability in accordance with Generally
Accepted Accounting Principles. When an obligation occurs (is made) depends on the type of
property or services that the obligation is for:
|IF AN OBLIGATION IS FOR --||THE OBLIGATION IS MADE --|
|(a) Acquisition of real or personal property.||On the date on which the State or subgrantee makes a binding written commitment to acquire the property.|
|(b) Personal services by an employee of the State or subgrantees.||When the services are performed.|
|(c) Personal services by a contractor who is not an employee of the State or subgrantees.||On the date on which the State or subgrantee makes a binding written commitment to obtain the services.|
|(d) Performance of work other than personal services.||On the date on which the State or subgrantee makes a binding written commitment to obtain the work.|
|(e) Public utility services.||When the State or subgrantee receives the services.|
|(f) Travel.||When the travel is taken.|
|(g) Rental of real or personal property.||When the State or subgrantee uses the property.|
|(h) A preagreement cost that was properly approved by the State under the applicable cost principles.||On the first day of the subgrant period.|
The act of an SEA or other grantee awarding Federal funds to an LEA or other eligible entity
within a State does not constitute a final obligation. Also, an obligation of Federal funds only
occurs if the obligation is for an allowable program cost (GEPA Section 421(b)) (20 USC
1225(b)) (34 CFR sections 76.704 through 76.707)).
1. Financial Reporting
a. SF-269(a), Financial Status Report (short form)- Applicable
b. SF-270, Request for Reimbursement - Not Applicable
c. SF-271, Outlay Report and Request for Reimbursement for Construction Program - Not
d. SF-272, Federal Cash Transaction Report - Not applicable
e. LEAs and other subrecipients are generally required to report financial information to the
pass-through entity that is similar to the information that recipients report to ED. These reports
should be tested during audits of LEAs.
2. Performance Reporting - Not Applicable
3. Special Reporting
State Per Pupil Expenditure (SPPE) Data (Audits of LEAs and SEAs) (OMB No. 1850-0067)
Each year, an SEA must submit its average State per pupil expenditure (SPPE) data to the
National Center for Education Statistics. (The SPPE data are used by ED to make allocations
under several ESEA programs, including Title I, Part A.) SPPE data are reported on the National
Public Education Finance Survey. SPPE data comprise the State's annual current expenditures for
free public education, less certain designated exclusions, divided by the State's average daily
attendance. The SEA's report is based on data submitted to it by the LEAs in the State.
Current expenditures to be included are those for free public education, including administration,
instruction, attendance and health services, pupil transportation services, operation and
maintenance of plant, fixed charges, and net expenditures to cover deficits for food services and
student body activities. Current expenditures to be excluded are those for community services,
capital outlay, debt service, and expenditures from funds received under Title I and Title VI of
ESEA (Section 14101(11) of ESEA) (20 USC 8801, definition 11).
Except when provided otherwise by State law, average daily attendance generally means the
aggregate number of days of attendance of all students during a school year divided by the
number of days school is in session during such school year. For purposes of ESEA, average
daily membership (or similar data) can be used in place of average daily attendance in States that
provide State aid to LEAs on the basis of average daily membership or such other data. When an
LEA in which a child resides makes a tuition or other payment for the free public education of the
child in a school of another LEA, the child is considered to be in attendance at the school of the
LEA making the payment, and not at the school of the LEA receiving the payment. Similarly,
when an LEA makes a tuition payment to a private school or to a public school of another LEA
for a child with disabilities, the child is considered to be in attendance at the school of the LEA
making the payment.
N. Special Tests And Provisions
1. Participation of Private School Children (All grantees)
Compliance Requirement - An SEA, LEA, or any other educational service agency (or
consortium of such agencies) receiving financial assistance must provide eligible private school
children and their teachers or other educational personnel with equitable services or other benefits
under these programs. Before an agency or consortium makes any decision that affects the
opportunity of eligible private school children, teachers, and other educational personnel to
participate, the agency or consortium must engage in timely and meaningful consultation with
private school officials.
The LEA must reserve the amounts generated by poor private school children who reside in
participating public school attendance areas to provide services to eligible private school children
(Section 14503 of ESEA (20 USC 8893); Title I, Section 1120 of ESEA (20 USC 6321); 34 CFR
sections 200.10 through 200.13; and Title VI, Section 6402 (20 USC 7372)).
Audit Objective - Determine whether (1) the LEA, SEA, or other agency receiving ESEA funds
has conducted timely consultation with private school officials to determine the kind of
educational services to provide to eligible private school children, (2) the required amount was set
aside for private school children, and (3) the planned services were provided.
Suggested Audit Procedures
a. Verify, by reviewing minutes of meetings or other appropriate documents, that the SEA or
LEA conducted timely consultation with private school officials in making their determinations
and set aside the required amount for private school children.
b. Review program expenditure and other records to ascertain if educational services that were
planned actually were provided.
2. Comparability (SEA and LEA)
Compliance Requirement - An LEA may receive funds under Title I, Part A only if State and
local funds will be used in participating schools to provide services that, taken as a whole, are at
least comparable to services that the LEA is providing in schools not receiving Title I, Part A
funds. An LEA is considered to have met the statutory comparability requirements if it has
implemented: (1) an LEA-wide salary schedule; (2) a policy to ensure equivalence among schools
in teachers, administrators, and other staff; and (3) a policy to ensure equivalence among schools
in the provision of curriculum materials and instructional supplies. An LEA may also use other
measures to determine comparability, such as comparing the average number of students per
instructional staff or the average staff salary per student in each school receiving Title I, Part A
funds with those in schools that do not receive Title I, Part A funds. If all schools are served by
Title I/Part A, an LEA must use State and local funds to provide services that, taken as a whole,
are substantially comparable in each school. Determinations may be made on either a
district-wide or grade-span basis.
An LEA may exclude schools with fewer than 100 students from its comparability determinations.
The comparability requirement does not apply to an LEA that has only one school for each grade
span. An LEA may exclude from determinations of compliance with this requirement State and
local funds expended for: (1) bilingual education for children with LEP; (2) excess costs of
providing services to children with disabilities, as determined by the LEA; and (3) supplemental
State or local funds for programs that meet the intent and purposes of Title I/ Part A (Title I,
Section 1120A(c) (20 USC 6322(c)).
Each LEA must develop procedures for complying with the comparability requirements and must
maintain records that are updated biennially documenting compliance with the comparability
The SEA, however, is ultimately responsible for ensuring that LEAs remain in compliance with
the comparability requirement (Title I, Section 1120A(c) of ESEA) (20 USC 6322(c)).
Audit Objective (SEA) - Determine whether the SEA is determining if LEAs are complying with
the comparability requirements.
Suggested Audit Procedures (SEA)
For a sample of LEAs, review SEA records that document SEA review of LEA compliance with
the comparability requirements.
Audit Objective (LEA) - Determine whether the LEA has developed procedures for complying
with the comparability requirements and maintained records that are updated at least biennially
and which document compliance with the comparability requirements.
Suggested Audit Procedures (LEA)
a. Through inquiry and review, ascertain if the LEA has developed procedures and measures for
complying with the comparability requirements.
b. Review LEA comparability documentation to ascertain (1) if it has been updated within two
years of the end of the audit period and (2) that it documents compliance with the comparability
c. Test comparability data to supporting records.
3. Schoolwide programs (LEA)
Compliance Requirement - A school participating under Title I, Part A may, in consultation
with its LEA, use Title I, Part A funds to upgrade the school's entire educational program in a
schoolwide program. To qualify, at least 50 percent of the children enrolled in the school or
residing in the school attendance area for the initial year of the schoolwide program must be from
low-income families. (For school year 1995-96, the eligibility poverty threshold was 60 percent.)
To operate a schoolwide program, a school must develop, in consultation with the LEA and its
school support team or other technical assistance provider, a comprehensive plan to upgrade its
total instructional program.
Each schoolwide program must include a number of specific components that are provided in the
statute and regulations. The major components include: (1) a comprehensive needs assessment
of the entire school to determine the performance of its children in relation to the State's
challenging content and performance standards; (2) schoolwide reform strategies that are based
on effective means of improving the achievement of children and that address the needs of all
children in the school; (3) instruction by highly qualified professional staff; (4) professional
development for teachers and other staff; and, (5) strategies to increase parental involvement.
In addition to funds and services available under Title I, Part A, a schoolwide program school may
use funds it receives under any Federal education program administered by the Secretary (other
than programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and a few other
programs listed in the Federal Register notice published on September 21, 1995 (60 FR 49174))
to support its schoolwide program. If funds from other Federal education programs are
combined, a schoolwide program does not need to meet most of the statutory and regulatory
requirements of those programs, as long as the intent and purposes of those programs are met. A
schoolwide program school and its LEA, however, must still comply with requirements applicable
to those programs relating to: health and safety; civil rights; gender equity; parental involvement;
equitable participation of private school children, teachers, and other educational personnel;
maintenance of effort; and comparability.
In combining funds, a schoolwide program school must also ensure that its schoolwide program
addresses the needs of children who are members of the target population of any Federal program
that is included in the schoolwide program. When combining funds or services received under the
Title I, Part C, Migrant Education Program, a schoolwide program must: (1) in consultation with
parents of migratory children or organizations representing those parents, address the identified
needs of migratory children that result from the effects of their migratory lifestyle or are needed to
permit migratory children to participate effectively in schools, and (2) document that services
addressing those needs have been provided. Similarly, a schoolwide program must have the
approval of the Indian parent advisory committee established in section 9114(c)(4) of ESEA (20
USC 7814(c)(4)) before funds received under the Title IX, Part A, Subpart 1 (Indian Education)
program can be combined.
A school operating a schoolwide program does not have to: (1) show that Federal funds used
within the school are paying for additional services that would not otherwise be provided; (2)
demonstrate that Federal funds are used only for specific target populations; or (3) separately
track Federal program funds once they reached the school. Such a school, however, is required
to use funds available under Title I and under any other Federal programs that are combined to
support its schoolwide program to supplement the total amount of funds that would, in the
absence of the Federal funds, be made available from non-Federal sources for that school,
including funds needed to provide services that are required by law for children with disabilities
and children with limited-English proficiency (Title I, Part A, Section 1114 (20 USC 6314); MEP,
Section 1306(b)(3) of ESEA (20 USC 6396(b)(3)); 34 CFR section 200.8; and 60 FR 49174).
Audit Objective - Determine whether: (1) the schools operating schoolwide programs were
eligible to do so; and, (2) the schoolwide programs were based on a comprehensive plan that
included the required elements.
Suggested Audit Procedures
a. For schools operating a schoolwide program, review records and ascertain if the school met the
poverty eligibility requirements.
b. Review the procedures and documentation used by the LEA to distribute State and local
funded resources to each schoolwide program school and compare to the process used for
c. Review the schoolwide plan and ascertain if there is documentation to support:
- Consultation with parents including, when MEP funds are combined, the parents of migratory
children or organization representing those parents; and, when Title IX, Part A, Subpart 1(Indian
Education) are combined, approval by the Indian parent advisory committee.
- Identification of what appear to be schoolwide reform strategies for improving the achievement
of children and addressing how the program will meet the needs of all children in the school,
particularly the needs of children who are members of the target population of any program
included in the schoolwide program.
d. If MEP funds are combined in the schoolwide program, ascertain if there is documentation that services addressing the identified needs of migratory children were provided by the schoolwide program.