Waiver of Requirements to Serve and Allocate Funds to Title I Schools in Rank Order of Poverty Comment

Sections 1113(a)(3)-(4) and 1113(c)(1) of the ESEA and the corresponding regulations require  a district to serve eligible schools under Title I in rank order of poverty and to allocate Title I, Part A funds based on that rank ordering.  The NJDOE is seeking to waive this requirement.  Under a waiver, districts would be able to use their Title I, Part A funds to serve  a Title I-eligible high school with a graduation rate below 60 percent that the NJDOE has identified as a priority school, even if that school does not rank sufficiently high to be served in accordance with section 1113(a)(3)-(4).  This waiver would benefit those high schools identified as the lowest performing in the state even though their poverty percentage may not be as high as other Title I schools that are eligible to be served.  The infusion of Title I, Part A funds would enable these high schools to better increase the quality of their instruction and improve the academic achievement of all their students, concurrently increasing their graduation rates.