DeLand, FL - Volusia County Schools officials are urging parents to complete the Free/Reduced Meal Application soon, as the deadline is just two weeks away, on February 12th. Fewer families have completed the application this year which could negatively affect funding for the 44 Title 1 schools in Volusia County. Title 1 means the schools have a high poverty ranking, which qualifies them for federal funds.
Officials say even if you're not sure your family qualifies for access to free/reduced-price meals, you should complete an application. The application is available in English and Spanish and should only take a few minutes to complete online. The application can be found at vcsedu.org. For those without access to a computer, all schools have a computer available for use. The schools also have paper applications.
Per a release, Title I is designed to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain an education of the highest quality and reach, at a minimum, proficiency on challenging state achievement standards and state assessments.
“Many of our families don’t have the financial resources to provide the same educational materials, preschool opportunities, tutoring, and extracurricular learning experiences as other families,” said Leticia Roman, VCS Director of Federal Programs and Grants Development Services. “In addition, Title I schools often have less community resources and support afforded to them.”
Federal Title I funding helps fill those gaps by supplementing VCS’ regular operating budget at Title I schools. The Title I school-wide program is designed to upgrade the entire educational program in a Title I school in order to improve the achievement of the lowest-achieving students.
Title I allocations can be used for additional textbooks and technology and for after-school programs, tutoring, and Saturday learning camps. Intervention teachers are funded through Title I, and schools can use their allocations to provide workshops to help parents become stronger partners in their child’s education.