Fiscal Requirements

In 1969, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) issued a report detailing district misuse of Title I funds. School districts were not funneling the money to needy Title I eligible students and schools. Instead, in many cases they used funds for general services or supplies available to all schools in the district. Rather than enhancing funding for high-poverty schools, Title I funds were replacing deficient state and local aid.

The NAACP's report led to changes in the Title I legislation, specifically the addition of “fiscal requirements” for districts and states. The U.S. Department of Education proposed three provisions governing Title I funding allocation practices, which legislators eventually incorporated into the statute: “maintenance of effort,” “supplement, not supplant,” and “comparability of services.”

Maintenance of Effort

The Title I program contains a “maintenance of effort” provision requiring districts to continue investing at least 90 percent of what they spent for the previous year in state and local funds for the current year.

Supplement, Not Supplant

The Title I program contains a provision known as “supplement, not supplant,” which requires that federal funding to support low-income students must be used in addition to, not in place of, state and local funds.

Comparability of Services

The Title I program contains a school funding "comparability" provision that requires school districts to use state and local funds to provide comparable services to needy Title I schools and less needy, non-Title I schools.