What is Categorical Programs?
The Categorical Programs Department is responsible for managing the categorical program budgets (Title I, Title II, Title III-EL and Title III-Immigrant) and Supplemental Programs.
The categorical programs are included in the Consolidated Application and Reporting System (CARS) and all local educational agencies are eligible to participate to the extent they provide services to English learners and economically disadvantaged students.
The following is a description of the various categorical programs:
Title I, Part A - Improving Academic Achievement
The Title I program supports effective, research-based educational strategies that close the achievemnt gap between high and low-performing students and enables students to meet the state's challenging academic standards. Title I funds/services are provided to Title I schools identified as targeted assistance or schoolwide program schools.
Targeted assistance schools are those where services are provided to eligible Title I students who have been identified by the school as failing or most at-risk of failing to meet state academic content standards.
Schoolwide Program schools are those where 40 percent of the students in the school attendance area are from low-income families. These schools must develop a comprehensive plan that describes how the school will be improved academically so that all students attain proficiency.
Title II - Teacher and Principal Training and Recruiting
The Title II program is used to increase the academic achievement of all students by helping schools and district (1) improve teacher and principal quality through professional development and other activities and (2) ensure all teachers are highly qualified. These funds focus strategies for recruiting, hiring, training and retaining highly qualified teachers and principals.
Title III - English Learners
The purpose of this program is to ensure that all English learner students attain English proficiency, develop high levels of academic achievement in English and meet the same challenging state academic standards as all other students. To support this goal, the United States Department of Education allocates Title III funds to state educational agencies, such as the California Department of Education, to provide subgrants to eligible local educational agencies based on the number of EL students enrolled.
Funds must be used for supplementary services as part of the language instruction program for EL students to support English language development instruction, enhance instruction in the core academic subjects and provide high-quality professional development for teachers and other staff. Title III-EL student program funds may also be used to upgrade program objectives and instructional strategies, identify and improve curricula, materials and assessments, provide tutorials for academic and/or vocational education, intensify instruction, acquire or develop educational technology, coordinate language instruction programs with other programs and services, provide community participation programs and parent outreach.
Title III - Immigrant
The term "eligible immigrant student" is defined in Title III, Section 3301(6) as an individual student who (a) is aged three through twenty-one; (b) was not born in any state (each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico); and (c) has not been attending any one or more schools in the United States for more than three full school years. The purpose of the Title III Immigrant subgrants is to pay for enhanced instructional opportunities to immigrant students and their families such as family literacy, parent training and community outreach, educational personnel, tutorials, mentoring, counseling, identification and acquisition of educational materials and technology and basic instructional services.
Most of the funding is allocated to "direct" services and must be included in the Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA). Examples of common uses include, but are not limited to:
- Supplemental Resources Teachers
- Supplemental materials
- Extra assistance for low-income and/or EL students
- Training for teachers to support the needs of low income and/or EL students
Senate Bill (SB574-Chapter 573, Statutes of 2012) requires school district to post expenditure and related fiscal information on their websites in order to receive categorical funds.
Title IV - Student Support & Academic Enrichment
The Title IV Program is intended to increase the capacity of local educational agencies (LEAs) to meet the goals of the ESSA by providing all students with access to a well-rounded education, improving school conditions for student learning, and improving use of technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students.