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Title I

Letter Head: Jack O'Connell, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Phone number 916-319-0800

January 2, 2008

Dear County and District Superintendents, Categorical Program Directors, District Business Officers:

Title I Services to Eligible Private School Children

During the week of August 13-17, 2007, a team from the Student Achievement and School Accountability Programs (SASA) Office, United States Department of Education (ED) visited four California local educational agencies (LEAs) as part of their review of the California Department of Education’s (CDE’s) implementation of selected No Child Left Behind (NCLB) programs.

Title I, Part A was among the several programs selected for the monitoring visit. The final report issued by the ED team identified five findings regarding Title I, Part A services for eligible students in private schools. The purpose of this letter is to provide guidance to the LEAs regarding implementation of the Title I, Part A program for eligible children who attend private schools.

The following legal citations and guidance for implementing the Title I, Part A program for students in private schools should assist you to properly and effectively implement these services.

Public Control of Funds

LEAs receiving Title I, Part A funds and providing services to students in private schools have the administrative responsibility for those funds. LEAs must maintain control over funds and any materials, equipment, or property purchased with such funds [Section 1120(d)(1)]. This requirement also applies to services provided through a third party contractor.

An LEA may obligate and expend Title I, Part A funds for services to the participating students, their teachers, and families, but it may not disburse those funds directly to the private schools. Any equipment and materials purchased with these funds remain the property of the LEA and are included in the LEA’s inventory records, regardless of where they are physically located. In order to exercise proper control over these funds, equipment, materials and supplies, the LEA must:

  • Establish a control system for the LEA staff to properly label all property and equipment purchased with Title I funds.
  • Ensure that all equipment located at private schools are identified with program designation and district name using labels that cannot be either erased or removed, for example: Title I program, Property of (name of district)

LEAs should not approve payment of invoices for any activities that the private school officials directly arranged for with a vendor or a third party provider, such as professional development or parent involvement activities.

Third Party Provider Contracts

If an LEA enters into a contract with a third party provider for the delivery of Title I services to the private school participants, their teachers, or families, such contracts must provide technical descriptions of the Title I services with detail sufficient to enable LEAs to determine that all Title I statutory and regulatory requirements will be met [NCLB Section 9306(a)(1) and (2)].

LEAs receiving Title I, Part A funds are allowed to reserve and expend Title I funds to administer the program. Any administrative costs should be identified in the contract and budgeted by the third party provider in the provision of services, but must be paid out of the funds reserved by the LEA for administrative costs and must not be charged to the funds allocated for services for the private school students, their teachers, and families.

The third party provider contracts that cover more than one type of service (for example, services to private school students, family involvement, and/or professional development activities) must delineate specific amounts for each type of activity.

Example budget detail for the third party provider contract:

(a) Tutoring Services:  (description)                          $__________

(b) Professional Development: (description)           $__________

(c) Parent Involvement: (description)                          $__________

Total (a+b+c)                                                             $__________

(to be paid from funds generated by the low-income count at the private school)

(d) Administrative costs                                                $__________  

(must be paid from funds reserved by the LEA for the administration of the Title I program)

Reimbursement to Third Party Providers

Federal law requires LEAs to use fiscal controls and to establish accounting procedures to ensure proper disbursement of, and accounting for, federal funds paid to the LEA [NCLB Section 9306 (a)(5)]. LEAs must review and if necessary update their accounting procedures to ensure that all invoices submitted under third party contracts include adequate descriptions of the activities for which the payments are authorized and approved. The invoices must list expenditures in at least two categories: instructional activities (paid with funds allocated for services at the private schools) and administrative costs (paid with funds reserved by the LEA for administration of the Title I program). Within each category, the contractors must provide detail sufficient to enable the LEA to determine that the requested invoices are in accordance with Title I requirements and the General Provisions Education Act (GEPA). Information could include the name and salary of each teacher, the instructional materials purchased, and the specific administrative costs, such as supervisor’s salary, office expenses, travel costs, capital expense type costs, and fees. 

Invoices that are for more than one type of service, for example, direct services for private school students, parental involvement activities for their parents, or professional development for their teachers must itemize the charges for instruction, family involvement, and professional development. LEAs have the authority under the GEPA to require documentation to support requested expenditures.

Consultation with Private School Officials

One of the key requirements of the equitable participation of private school students is that LEAs must engage in a timely and meaningful consultation with the private school officials in the development and implementation of the Title I program [Section 1120(b)]. Title I Part A funds may only be used to serve eligible children attending nonprofit elementary and secondary private schools. Annually an LEA must contact officials of nonprofit private schools with children who reside in the LEA regardless of whether the private school they attend is located in the LEA. Therefore, LEAs must consult with nonprofit private schools located within an LEA’s attendance boundary and with private schools located within the boundaries of the adjoining districts to ensure that eligible private school students are provided an opportunity to participate in the Title I program. California Education Code Section 33190 requires private schools to register with the CDE by October 15 of each year. A list of private schools that register is posted on the CDE Private Schools Web page. The consultation must include meetings with the appropriate private school staff and must occur before the districts make any decisions that affect the opportunity for private school students to participate and should continue through implementation and assessment of services provided. The consultation must include such topics as:

  • How the LEA will identify the needs of the eligible students
  • What services will be provided
  • How, where, and by whom the services will be provided
  • How the LEA will academically assess Title I services and how it will use the results of those assessments to improve the program
  • The size and scope of service, amount of funds allocated to those services
  • What method and sources of low income data the LEA will use
  • How and when the LEA will make decisions regarding the delivery of services
  • Professional development needs of the teachers of private school participants
  • How the LEA will involve the private school families in the Title I program

The consultation with private school officials is critical to providing appropriate professional development activities for teachers of Title I participants in private schools. If an LEA reserves funds under NCLB Section 1119 off the top of its Title I allocation for carrying out professional development activities, the LEA must provide equitable services to teachers of private school participants from this set-aside. As required under Section 200.65 of the federal regulations (34 CFR 200.65), an LEA calculates these equitable services from the reserved funds in proportion to the number of private school children from low-income families residing in participating public school attendance areas. It is not sufficient to merely extend an invitation to eligible private school teachers to attend the same professional development activities planned for the LEA’s Title I teachers. Activities for the teachers of private school participants must be planned and implemented to address how those teachers can better serve Title I students, such as by providing information on research-based reading and mathematics instruction. Consultation with private school officials will determine whether the LEA provides for these activities independently or in conjunction with the LEA’s professional development activities.

As stated in the instructions for Part I of the Consolidated Application (ConApp), Page 3, LEAs are required to maintain, and provide to the CDE upon request, a written affirmation signed by the officials of the participating private schools that the consultation regarding professional development and other required activities stated in NCLB Title I, Part A Section 1120(b) has occurred.

You may find the sample worksheet, (Enclosure 1) helpful in determining and planning the professional development activities for the teachers of Title I participants at the private schools.

Calculating Equitable Services from Funds Reserved for District-Wide Activities

LEAs must annually calculate the correct amount of funds to provide equitable services for the teachers and families of participating private school students. If an LEA reserves funds off the top of its Title I allocation for district-wide activities, the Title I regulations require that the LEA must also provide equitable services from these set-aside funds (34 CFR, Section 200.65). Some of the examples for the district-wide set aside are: instructional activities (such as assistance to schools, funds set aside for reading coaches, summer school, etc.), professional development, and parent involvement. The amount of funds available to provide equitable services from the applicable reserved funds must be proportional to the number of private school children from low-income families residing in participating public school attendance areas.

The instructions for the reservations page of the 2007-2008 ConApp, Part I (page 28), included examples for calculating proportional amounts for equitable services to private school students, their teachers, and families. LEAs are advised to review page 28 of the ConApp to ensure that correct amounts for equitable participation of private school students have been calculated and budgeted for the 2007-2008 school year.

The 2008-2009 ConApp will include automatic calculations of the equitable participation amounts from the appropriate reservation amounts. This revision to the ConApp will include error checks to ensure that when an LEA reserves Title I funds off the top for non-PI related activities, proportional amounts are calculated for private school participants. Funds reserved to meet the Program Improvement (PI) requirements and preschool are not subject to the equitable participation requirement.

You may wish to use the sample worksheet (Enclosure 2) to determine equitable services from the district-wide reservations.

Additional information regarding the implementation of the NCLB Title I program in private schools may be found on the following Web sites/pages:

1) Please visit the Title 1 Services for Students in Private Schools Web page for information on legislation and resources.

If you have any questions regarding the implementation of the NCLB Title I program in private schools, please contact the Title I Programs and Partnerships Office at 916-319-0854.

Sincerely,

William L. Padia, Deputy Superintendent
Assessment and Accountability Branch

MR:js

Enclosure 1: Determining Professional Development Activities for Private School Teachers Based on Needs Assessments

Enclosure 2: Worksheet to Calculate Title I Funds for Equitable Services

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