Federal Programs » Important Information

Important Information

Title I, Part A (Basic)
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides financial assistance through state education agencies (SEAs) to local education agencies (LEAs) and public schools with the highest percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards.


Title I funds may be used for children from preschool through grade 12.  LEAs target the Title I funds they receive to public schools with the highest poverty rates.  Public schools with poverty rates of at least 40 percent may use Title I funds, along with other federal, state, and local funds, to operate a schoolwide program to upgrade the entire educational program. Schools with poverty rates below 40 percent, or those choosing not to operate a schoolwide program, offer a targeted assistance program. In a targeted assistance program, the school serves Title I-
eligible students who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet challenging state academic standards.  The school then designs, in consultation with parents, staff, and district staff, an instructional program to meet the needs of those students. Both schoolwide and targeted assistance programs must be based on effective means of improving student achievement and include strategies to support parent and family engagement.

Title II, Part A (Effective Instruction)

The purpose of Title II, Part A is to increase student academic achievement consistent with the challenging state academic standards; improve the quality and effectiveness of teacher, principals, and other school leaders; increase the number of teachers, principals, and other school leaders who are effective in improving student academic achievement in schools; and provide low-income and minority students greater access to effective teachers, principals, and other school leaders.

Title lV, Part A (Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants)

The Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) program is used to improve student academic achievement by increasing the capacity of States, local educational agencies, schools, and local communities to:

1) provide all students with access to a well-rounded education;
2) improve school conditions for student learning; and
3) improve the use of technology to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students.

Title V, Part B (Rural Education)

The purpose of the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) grant program is to provide rural districts with financial assistance for initiatives aimed at improving student achievement. The grant is non-competitive, and eligibility is determined by statute.

LEAs that receive RLIS grants may use the funds to carry out the following types of activities:
 Parental involvement activities
 Improving Basic Programs Operated by local education agencies
 Supporting Effective Instruction
 Language Instruction for English Learners and Immigrant Students
 Student Support and Academic Enrichment

Foster Care

Ken McGaha serves as the Okolona Municipal Separate School District's Foster Care Point of Contact. He can be reached at 662-447-2353 ext. 1009 or [email protected].


On June 23, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released joint guidance to states, school districts and child welfare agencies on the new provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for supporting children/youth in foster care. The guidance aims to assist state and local partners in understanding and implementing the new law, and to inform state and local collaboration between educational and child welfare agencies across the nation for the well-being of children in foster care.


MS Department of Education Foster Care Resources


 Homeless and Unaccompanied Youth Information


Ken McGaha serves as the Okolona Municipal Separate School District's Homeless Liaison. He can be reached at 662-447-2353 ext. 1009 or [email protected].


All school districts are required to maintain compliance with the McKinney-Vento Act which provides specific rights for homeless students. Every school district must designate a McKinney-Vento Liaison to assist in identifying, supporting, and ensuring the rights of homeless students and families.  These rights include waiving certain requirements, such as proof of residency, when students are enrolling and allowing categorical eligibility for certain services, such as free lunch. The Act also states:

  • Students who are homeless may attend their school of origin or the school where they are temporarily residing.
  • Parents or guardians of homeless students must be informed of educational and related opportunities.
  • Students who are homeless may enroll without school, medical, or similar records.
  • Students who are homeless and their families receive referrals to health, dental, mental health, substance abuse, housing, and other needed services.
  • Students who are homeless have a right to transportation to school.
  • Students must be provided a statement explaining why they are denied any service or enrollment.
  • Students must be enrolled in school and receive services, such as transportation, while disputes are being settled.
  • Students are automatically eligible for Title I services.
  • School districts must reserve a portion of Title IA funds to serve homeless students.
  • School districts must review and revise policies that serve as barriers to homeless students.
  • Schools must post information in the community regarding the rights of homeless students and unaccompanied youth in schools and other places where homeless families may frequent and written in a language they can understand.
  • School districts must identify a McKinney-Vento Liaison 



To protect against waste, fraud and abuse of district and federal funds, please report suspected waste, fraud or abuse to the Superintendent, Business Manager or Federal Programs Director at 662-447-2353 or by emailing [email protected]


Additionally, you may view information by the US Department of Education at https://www.pcsd.ms/cms/lib/MS02210770/Centricity/Domain/124/FraudWasteandAbuse%20brochure.pdf, or report directly to the State Auditor's Office at https://www.osa.ms.gov/fraud/

Ken McGaha - Director
662-447-2353 ext. 1009
Tonya Little - Secretary
662-447-2353 ext. 1000