In 1965, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) established a series of educational resources that provide federal funding to elementary and secondary programs around the country. Reauthorized several times over the last 60 years, most recently in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015, ESEA funding provides vital resources to local educational agencies (LEA) to support specific programs and resources. 

Title V Part B, specifically, consists of two programs—the Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) and the Rural and Low-Income Schools (RLIS) programs. These programs are designed to provide necessary resources and support for rural and small school districts that may not otherwise have the resources needed to compete for federal funding. The resulting funding flexibility makes it possible for districts with limited staff and resources to access the larger pool of ESSA grants, and support their students as best as they can. 

Recent changes in the ESSA allow districts to apply for both SRSA and RLIS funding, and the RLIS funds can be used for anything currently allowable under Title I, Title II, Title III, or Title IV. That flexibility has made it possible for smaller districts to implement broad programs to support student well-being and achievement at scale. Boardworks has partnered with many rural school districts as a result, helping them leverage Title V funding to implement a broad curriculum supplement. 

Maximizing Title V Funds to Support Rural and Low-Income School Districts

The most important thing Title V offers is access to federal funding that would be otherwise out-of-reach for smaller districts, either due to a lack of resources to apply for those funds or because of the seeming barriers to using those funds that existed before the ESSA reauthorization. Relevant Title V initiatives for which Boardworks is a good match include:

Support Parent Involvement – Without a central portal through which resources can be accessed, it can be difficult for parents to fully support their child’s academic achievement. Boardworks addresses this by providing a central resource that can be accessed remotely without a student username or password. This means parents can use the access link provided by teachers to pull up and review materials with their children at home, supporting their school performance and addressing individualized learning objectives. 

Improve Student Achievement – Rural schools are required to meet the same student achievement standards set by State and Federal governments, but they often lack the same resources or access to materials that larger districts have. Title V requires that the Secretary of Education perform proactive outreach to offer grant opportunities, reduce the paperwork burden to apply for these grants, and provide technical assistance in the grant process. This cuts down several barriers to accessing these funds. Boardworks, similarly, is designed for optimal ease of use and a large library of high-quality content to support student success. 30,000 slides of visual content, easy-to-digest and navigate, and quickly sharable without logins make it an ideal fit for time and resource-strapped rural districts. 

Flexible Funding Allocation – REAP and RLIS can both be eased with the flexibility to enhance other Title programs. This means that funding can be allocated however the district sees fit within the confines of the ESSA funding protocols. Boardworks is designed with these programs in mind, ensuring students and teachers can access content above and below grade level to supplement the existing curriculum. Additionally, Boardworks is provided with a district-wide license, meaning that the system can be implemented to address Title program students, but it can also be used across the entire district to support and improve instruction for all teachers. This means it can be used to support high-achieving students needing enrichment, learners struggling with on-grade-level concepts, or even remote students. Boardworks also helps support summer programs and special education programs. 

Using Title V Funds for Boardworks in Your District

Boardworks is a trusted partner for rural and low-income school districts throughout the country, working with 728 rural districts comprised of 2,930 rural schools since 2011. Dana Unruh, Superintendent for Plainview School District in Sheridan Lake, Colorado notes that “We’re a very small school district, so we can shift students to hybrid if needed. Recently, a student whose grandparent was in hospice care traveled to Illinois with his family, but instead of missing those days and the work he needed to stay caught up in class, we were able to shift him to hybrid and he did his lessons online. He stayed up to date during a difficult time, ensuring he didn’t end up in summer school when he would be working to help support his family. Being able to offer such an option had an immediate economic and educational impact on this student and his family.

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The flexibility to leverage Boardworks to support students forced to go remote, supplement learning materials for high achievers and those struggling alike, and provide teachers with valuable, easy-to-use resources to support dynamic lesson planning, makes it a great fit for rural districts. 

With a lifetime license to Boardworks, rural districts can ensure all teachers and students have the resources they need for years to come, without the risk of losing access in a future year if funding changes. If you are interested in learning more about how Boardworks can help maximize your use of Title V funds, request a demo or reach out to a member of our team to discuss how the platform can support your efforts.