November 11, 2019 — The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston works with our city’s seven Jewish Day Schools to ensure students receive the help they need and the services they are entitled to to foster success in school. One of the ways the Federation does this is by helping schools access Federal Title services. These services are available for every child, regardless if they attend a public or private school.
For the 2019-2020 school year, Houston’s seven participating Day Schools are receiving $500,440 in programs and services utilizing Title funds.
It is important to note that for Houston’s private schools, Title money flows from the Federal government to the Texas Education Agency to the local Independent School Districts. The Federation and Houston’s Day Schools work with HISD to receive their entitled share of services. The schools never receive money, only services which are provided by HISD-contracted third-party, Catapult Learning.
“The services that our schools receive through their Title Funding, are extraordinary. Without this assistance, schools would need to utilize their own budgets to pay for these essential services. Yet there are very strict Federal, state and local guidelines on how to access the funds,” said Federation Vice President of Education Elaine Kellerman. “As the Jewish School Consortium Leader for HISD and Catapult Learning, the Federation steps in to assist the schools in creating professional development, tutoring and counseling programs that benefit their students while also complying with all of the rules. We want the schools to receive a plethora of services, using all of the funds they have generated and are entitled to.”
In addition to helping the schools obtain and use the funds, the Federation regularly coordinates meetings for representatives of the Day Schools to network with each other and with HISD, and to hear from speakers who provide useful information on how to work effectively within the Title Funding process.
Each Day School decides which of four Title Funds they will apply for based on the needs of their teachers and students:
- Title 1 provides tutoring services for English and Math and pull out assistance, including Hebrew tutoring, and parent involvement programs. These funds are generated by students who live in neighborhoods where the public-school students are economically disadvantaged.
- Title 2 provides professional development for teachers. These funds are generated on a per capita basis.
- Title 3 provides English language learning support, which in the Jewish schools can be helpful for Israeli students. Students must qualify for these services.
- Title 4 provides social, emotional and educational enrichment programs for all students including field trips, technology support and college prep such as ACT boot camp. These funds are generated on a per capita basis.
“Without the support of the Federation and their knowledge of Title Funds I don’t believe that Title Funds and services would be utilized,” said Casey Suter, Elementary Principal at The Shlenker School.
“The Federation is very supportive and always willing to help walk schools through the timeline and paperwork requirements in order for schools to participate in Title programs. The Federation plays a critical role in this huge process that allows schools access to funds to provide professional development for our staff, for English language learners, support for students struggling in math and/or reading, counseling services, and experiential learning opportunities for our students through field trips,” Suter said. “Title Funds are a great help to our school budgets because it allows us to have opportunities that might not be possible without the resources that Title funds provide.”
“Title funds are an essential source of student services at Torah Day School. We utilize Title I funding for intervention services for struggling students who need extra time and resources to understand our curriculum, but who do not necessarily qualify for Special Education services. We use Title II funding to provide professional development to our teachers that would otherwise not be available due to our limited budget. Our Title IV funding provides a variety of content-rich events, field trips, and special activities that our school cannot afford to provide on a regular basis,” said Roben Lepore, General Studies Coordinator and Science Specialist at Torah Day School.
“The Federation is our integral partner in all things related to HISD Title funding. They are present at all of the HISD meetings, providing insight and oversight during training sessions. They are an essential part of communication between our school and the third-party HISD provider, Catapult Learning,” Lepore said. “When issues arise with intervention, professional development or special event funding, we often elevate the concern to Lisa Klein, who is always prompt to respond to any concern we have. Not only does the Federation serve as an unbiased conduit through which we can communicate to HISD, they also provide unwavering support in all matters which affect our school with the understanding of our unique needs as a Jewish Day School.”
For more information on the Federation’s Education Department, contact Elaine Kellerman at 713-729-7000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through the generosity of our donors and working with our network of affiliates and partners, the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston mobilizes a collective response to improve the lives of Jews here at home, in Israel and around the world. We are dedicated to supporting and sustaining our vibrant and caring community, and to ensuring that our shared traditions endure. Focusing on growing and changing needs in our community, we cultivate new and ongoing programs that nurture and strengthen Jewish life.