The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires local educational agencies (LEAs) to provide equitable participation to eligible private school children, teachers, and other educational personnel in programs under Title I Part A, Title II Part A, Title III Part A, and Title IV part A (20 U.S.C. §§ 6320(b) and 7881(d)).
Services provided by the LEA must be designed to meet the educational needs and supplement the services provided by the private school. In order to fully participate in services, private school officials will need to cooperate with public school officials to determine student eligibility; how the needs of the students will be identified; how the services (including family engagement activities) provided under each Title will meet those needs; and how services will be evaluated. Private school officials may choose not to participate in one or more the Titles under this Act (20 U.S.C. §§ 6320(b)(1) and 7881(c)(1)).
The school district must convene a meeting with nonpublic school officials to discuss all items specified in federal regulations. At this planning meeting, both public and nonpublic school officials must discuss program elements of equitable services and sign the Affirmation of Consultation with nonpublic school officials form prior to submission of the Consolidated Application. The district must upload a signed copy of the Affirmation of Consultation form after meaningful consultation has occurred or prior to submission of the Consolidated Application. Each district must complete and sign the forms in coordination with nonpublic school officials for each participating nonpublic school in equitable services for the ESEA programs (Title I, Title II, Title III, and Title IV). Districts should collect and compile the forms for all participating nonpublic schools in the ESEA programs and upload signed forms in the Consolidated Application in WebGrants. District and nonpublic school officials should keep a copy of the forms for maintaining records.
- Title I Private School Toolkit 2020
- ESSA Fiscal Changes and Equitable Services Requirements
- ESEA Title I, Part A Equitable Services Updated Non-Regulatory Guidance (October 7, 2019)
- ESSA Title II, Part A Guidance - Supporting Educators (2016)
- ESSA Title III Guidance - English Learners (2016)
- ESSA Title IV, Part A Guidance - Student Support and Academic Enrichment Program (2016)
- ESSA Early Learning Guidance (2016)
Outlined below are some key reminders regarding nonpublic school equitable services:
- Public school districts are required to provide equitable services to those nonpublic schools electing to participate in the program.
- Nonpublic schools that elect to pool Title I funds only have one lump sum indicated on the equitable services allocation chart. The district and private school officials should discuss the options and funds available to provide services during consultation.
- Title I Equitable Services: For large districts participating in the Title I Targeting process (rank and serve), nonpublic school equitable services proportionate share amounts are finalized through the district’s Title I targeting process.
- To ensure equitable services are provided in a timely manner, the district must obligate the funds allocated for equitable services under all applicable programs in the year funds are appropriated. Districts should strive to make every effort to spend the full equitable share and consult with nonpublic school officials regarding the best use of funds.
- Generally, the private school should not have any, and certainly, not significant carryover. The ESEA, however, does not prohibit carryover of funds for equitable services and, in most cases, requires it; therefore, carryover funds remain available for the provision of equitable services under each respecting program for the subsequent school year. It is the district’s responsibility to track and maintain accounting records of funds.
- The public school district must maintain fiscal control of the funds, and the services provided to the nonpublic school should reflect the funding amounts indicated. No payments can be made to the nonpublic school or nonpublic school district.
- From the Title I proportionate share of funds available to provide equitable services, the district may reserve an amount that is reasonable and necessary to administer equitable services. The district determines this amount separately from the funds needed to administer the Title I program for students in public schools. The district should discuss administrative costs for implementing equitable services during consultation with appropriate private school officials.
- According to USED guidance, Title II and Title IV equitable services are proportionally based on the public school enrollment and participating nonpublic school enrollment less administrative costs of the program (e.g., indirect cost). If the district intends on budgeting administrative costs for Title II or Title IV, please notify our office and we will re-run the equitable share.
- The district must document on the consolidated application the amount of funds dedicated to the nonpublic school program and specify how the district will utilize the funds to provide services that are equitable.
- Expenditures for equitable services to eligible nonpublic school children, teachers, other education personnel and families must be determined using a proportionate share calculation based on the total amount of Title funds received prior to any allowable expenditures or transfer of funds.
- General information and guidance is available for school districts and nonpublic schools electing to participate in the federal Title programs on the Equitable Services for Private Schools website.
- Districts with participating Title I private schools must complete STARS enrollment reports accurately and timely by reporting the number of students served in each grade.
The State Private School Ombudsman is the designated point of contact for addressing questions and concerns regarding these issues, enforcing requirements and monitoring.
If you have specific program questions, please contact the program specialists in the following areas: