Funding the various programs and initiatives in a school can sometimes be a daunting task. Income from the local tax base can vary widely from district to district. Many schools supplement their local funding sources with monies distributed by state and federal sources. Can Title I funds for schools pay for PBIS Rewards?
The Basics of School Funding
Typically, funding for schools comes from three sources: local tax revenue, state tax revenue, and federal grants and funds. This funding can very from state to state and district to district. In general, nearly half (48%) of school funding comes from state resources such as income taxes, sales tax, and fees. Another 44% of funding comes from local sources, such as local property taxes. The smallest portion of funding (8%) comes from sources at the federal level. Title I funding is part of the federal contribution to budgets at the individual school level.
How Title I Funding for Schools Works
As part of the massive and far-reaching Elementary and Secondary Education Act 0f 1965, Title I seeks to improve the academic achievement of disadvantaged students. Funding through Title I provides financial assistance to schools with a high percentage of students from low-income families. The formulas for determining this are set forth by the federal government, and upward of 58% of public schools receive Title I funding.
Title I helps to identify at-risk students and provide them with the means to succeed, regardless of their disadvantages.
Title I Funding and PBIS Rewards
There are often misconceptions about how to spend Title I funds, due to the complicated compliance requirements set forth in the language of the Title I federal law. As a result, many schools don’t take full advantage of the Title I funds available to them.
These common misconceptions include:
- MYTH 1: Title I can only be used to support instruction in specific subjects, such as math and reading.
- FACT: Title I DOES NOT limit use of funds to specific subjects.
- MYTH 2: Title I is limited only to instructional costs.
- FACT: Schools CAN use Title I funds for non-instructional costs if these costs will help improve student achievement.
- MYTH 3: Title I funds cannot fund comprehensive schoolwide programs.
- FACT: Comprehensive activities that improve the school as a whole, especially for disadvantaged and struggling students, ARE allowable under Title I funding guidance.
Under Title I, schools can institute schoolwide initiatives to improve school climate, including Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). That means that you CAN use Title I funds to foster and promote positive school culture, particularly since school culture can be the foundation for student success and academic achievement.Yes, that means your school can use Title I funds to purchase PBIS Rewards!
Under Title I regulations, expenses that go toward the improvement of the school as a whole are allowable and can be supported with Title I funds. This includes schoolwide programs that improve behavior, climate, and culture, like PBIS. As a schoolwide initiative, PBIS can improve school culture through a focus on positive behaviors. The benefits of improved behavior, culture, and climate affect all students, not just those identified as disadvantaged.
How Does PBIS Rewards Qualify as a Title I Expenditure?
Schools that receive Title I monies must use these funds for schoolwide programs that improve student achievement through the entire school, not just for the disadvantaged student population. These schoolwide interventions must be research-based in order to qualify for Title I funding. PBIS initiatives meet this criteria! A focus on teaching and supporting positive behaviors schoolwide can result in improved attendance rates, greater academic achievement, and higher graduation rates.
Manual PBIS initiatives can be labor-intensive to manage and difficult to assess. A digital token economy can be easier to manage and evaluate. PBIS Rewards makes it easy for staff to recognize students anywhere, anytime. Our software tracks points earned, points redeemed, referrals, trends, and dozens of other data details. Understand how well your PBIS initiative is working and what areas need adjustment in order to be more effective.
The language of Title I encourages spending on initiatives and interventions that improve school climate, school culture, schoolwide student achievement, and more. PBIS and PBIS Rewards qualify as expenditures in Title I. For more information about how to use Title I funds to purchase PBIS Rewards, contact us! We can help!