Non-Public Schools & Federal Programs
Title I - Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantages
Under Title I, Local Education Agencies (LEAs) are required to provide services for eligible private school students, as well as eligible public school students. In particular, Section 1120 of Title I, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), requires a participating LEA to provide eligible children attending private elementary and secondary schools, their teachers, and their families with Title I services or other benefits that are equitable to those provided to eligible public school children, their teachers, and their families. These services must be developed in consultation with officials of the private schools. The Title I services provided by the LEA for private school participants are designed to meet their educational needs and supplement the educational services provided by the private school. For additional information on services to eligible private school children, see the U.S. Department of Education Office of Non-Public Education Website or contact a Non-Public School Principal.
How ESSA Benefits Non-Public School Students
Through Federal Programs / Title I
- Removes school district set-asides so a proportional share of all funds received by the local education agency must help the non-public school students in the community. This fixes the past practice of public entities setting aside up to 50% of the total funds for several different categories of funding (under-achieving, unsafe, or financially challenged public schools, or even preschool/kindergarten programs) thus limiting the proportionate share to private schools.
- Requires state education agencies to hire an ombudsman to monitor and enforce all federal program requirements and ensure equity for private school students and teachers.
- Strengthens the consultation requirements for public school agencies that provide federal proportional share services to non-public school students. After reaching an equitable and effective service plan for an individual student by both the public and private school stakeholders, the plan must be transmitted to the ombudsmen for review. This will allow the non-public school student’s advocates to play a greater role in developing the best plan for his/her education.
- Removes decades of red tape that has burdened the participation of non-public students and teachers in federal education programs. ESSA will protect non-public schools by strengthening the safeguards designed to ensure equity.