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Request for Waiver of Provisions Support Letter 2

Support letter from Miriam Prum Hess requesting a waiver of provisions of sections of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Accessible Alternative Version of the letter from Miriam Prum Hess, page 9-10 of the Waiver Support Letters (PDF; 4MB).
This document provides text translation of the letter of support from Miriam Prum Hess regarding the Request for Waiver of Provisions letter.


{Logo of the California Private School Advisory Committee.}

CALIFORNIA PRIVATE SCHOOL ADVISORY COMMITTEE, K-12

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Advisory to the
Superintendent of Public Instruction

MIRIAM PRUM HESS, Chair

Director, Center for Excellence in Day School Education
BJE: Builders Jewish Education

SR. BARBARA BRAY

Superintendent
Department of Catholic Schools
Diocese of Oakland

JERRY HADDOCK

Regional Director
Association of Christian Schools International

RACHEL KLITZING

Executive Director, School Ministries
Lutheran Church -Missouri Synod

JIM MCMANUS

Executive Director
Califomia Association of
Independent Schools

RON REYNOLDS

Executive Director, CAPSO
California Association of Private
School Organizations

JANETH RODRIGUEZ

Executive Director, CAPSES
California Association of
Private Special Education Schools

SR. PATRICIA SUPPLE

Director, Federal & State Programs
Department of Catholic Schools
Archdiocese of Los Angeles

BERIT VON POHLE

Director of Education
Pacific Union Conference
Seventh-day Adventists

MAILING ADDRESS:

BJE: Builders of Jewish Education
Miriam Prum Hess, Director,
Center for Excellence in
Day School Education
6505 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90048
323-761-8334
mprumhess@bjela.org

May 23, 2011

Dr. Michael W. Kirst, President
California State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Suite #5111
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Dr. Kirst,

I am writing to you again as the Chair of the California Private School Advisory Committee of the California Department of Education (CPSAC), the state's official SEA level Private School Consultative body for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

We want to further clarify our previous correspondence of March 22, 2012 and share with you CPSAC's concerns regarding the state-defined waiver that California intends to submit to the U.S. Department of Education and its implications for the equitable participation of private school students in programs authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

Since 1965 when ESEA was first signed into law, the principle of equitable services was firmly established; ESEA has upheld this principle throughout the years. However, under No Child left Behind (NCLB), equitable participation became more difficult to achieve as the programs authorized under NCLB began to focus more on public school reform rather than direct services to students. The waiver authority--and the state-defined waiver that California is proposing--can further threaten equitable participation.

While we are aware that the equitable participation of eligible private school students cannot be waived, various flexibility arrangements, potentially permitted by waivers, can negatively impact private school children at risk of failing and who currently benefit from Title I services.

If, for example, funds currently reserved for SES, public school choice, and professional development in districts designated as being in need of improvement are freed up and set aside as a reserve to benefit only the lowest performing public schools, this will negatively impact private school students in need of services, as well as other Title I public school attendance areas.

We therefore request that any freed up funds should be allocated via an increased per-pupil allocation rather than from an off-the-top reserve. Furthermore, we ask the California Department of Education to remind their local districts of the requirements governing timely and meaningful consultation with appropriate private school officials and instruct their local districts to ensure that the additional focus on failing schools does not detract from the services to educationally needy private school students.

If districts use the per pupil allocation to direct additional funding to its most needy schools, private school students residing in those attendance areas would equally benefit from the additional funding.

The principal concern of private school leaders is that the waivers arrangement that is ultimately secured not negate the longstanding principle that dollars generated by private school students accrue to the benefit of private school students.

As always, I and my colleagues are ready and willing to work with you and your local districts to ensure that all students are treated fairly and equally under the state-defined waiver, should it be granted by the U.S. Department of Education. We hope that you will consider us a partner and stakeholder.

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to hearing the results of California's waiver request.

Sincerely,

{Signature of Miriam Prum Hess}

Miriam Prum Hess, Chair
California Private School Advisory Committee
California Department of Education
O: 323-761-8334
C: 323-459-4377
F: 323-761-8640
mprumhess@bjela.org

cc: Jeff Breshears, Administrator I, Title I Policy and Program Guidance Office

Questions:   State Board of Education | 916-319-0827
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