Title I and Music Education: Allowable Uses

Title I allowable uses

Title I and Music Education: Allowable Uses

The purpose of the Title I, Part A program under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is to provide “all children significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps.” (Sec. 1001) Throughout its implementation, Title I funds have been a valuable resource to fund opportunities for student growth. However, well-rounded subject areas such as music education experience limited or little access to Title I funds.  

The “Supplement not Supplant” Provision

The Title I program contains a provision known as “supplement, not supplant,” which requires that federal funding meant to support low-income students must be used in addition to, not in place of, state and local funds. The previous “Supplement not Supplant” provision was changed in 2019 by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to allow for more flexibility in the use of Title I funds. The previous restrictive compliance process has shifted to a broader use of funds based on a funding methodology called “Title I Neutral.” The new guidance outlines how ED will determine whether local educational agencies (LEAs) have supplanted state or local funds with Title I, Part A funds. Under ESSA, an LEA’s allocation of state and local funds to schools is examined to ensure that Title I, Part A funds supplement, and do not supplant, state and local funds. In other words, ED cannot require an LEA to identify whether any individual cost or service supported with Title I, Part A funds is supplemental. This provision applies to all Title I schools, including schoolwide-program and targeted assistance schools. It also applies with respect to Title I resources not allocated to schools.

Supporting student growth by utilizing Title I, Part A funds that target and enrich music education experiences varies depending on the needs of the students and school. Below are funding examples to support student growth; however, this is only a selection of examples. School administrators, music educators and advocates are encouraged to discuss other funding opportunities to support the needs of students that may not be listed below.  

Instructional/ Professional/ Support Staff Music education positions, Teaching Artist Residency
Professional Development PD opportunities for music educators including but not limited to:

Local/state/national workshops, conferences
Music/Arts Integration Professional Development
Training for working with special populations within music education (Economically Disadvantaged Students, Special Ed Populations, Multilingual Learners)
Contracted ServicesInstructors to support small groups or individual tutoring for students in music education
Guest Teaching Artist/ Artist In Residency
Supplies and Materials Music education consumables including but not limited to
Reeds, valve oil, cork grease, etc.
Sheet music, method books
Musical instruments
Software/Digital Technology PurchasesCurriculum software to support music education focused academic learning
Digital Equipment i.e. microphones, microphone stands and cables, etc.

*All funding opportunities must be connected to the schoolwide plan or targeted assistance program. 

*All materials/supplies purchased with Title I funds are subject to the standard Title I, Part A inventory reporting requirements.  


Title I neutral funding methodology is when an LEA does not consider federal funding when allocating state and local funds. Therefore, when LEAs do not include federal funds when allocating funding to schools, all federal funds are supplemental. For more information, please review: “Supplement Not Supplant Under Title I, Part A of The Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965 as Amended by Every Student Succeeds Act.  

March 15, 2022. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)