Dear Select County and District Superintendents:
2023−24 Title III English Learner Student Program Subgrant:
Nonprofit Private School Participation
The California Department of Education (CDE) is required to provide subgrant awards to local educational agencies (LEAs) that meet eligibility requirements for participation in the Title III English Learner (EL) Student Program under Title III, Part A, Section 6824 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). LEAs are also eligible to apply for Title III EL Student Program funding to provide equitable services to eligible nonprofit private school EL students that reside within the LEA’s geographical jurisdiction. All references to private schools in this letter refer to nonprofit private schools.
Eligibility for a Title III EL Student Program Subgrant is based on the number of eligible EL students enrolled in public and private schools. LEAs receiving Title III EL Student Program funding are required to serve EL students enrolled in private schools whenever the administration of a particular private school requests to participate. To view the instructions on data collections and program guidance for private schools, please visit the CDE Instructions: Title II/Title III Nonprofit Participation web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/co/ca21winst2andt3npsp.asp.
LEAs must consult annually with private schools within the LEAs geographical jurisdiction to determine whether the private schools’ students and teachers will participate in the Title III EL Student Program as part of the ESEA programs available to them. To ensure timely and meaningful consultation, the LEA must consult with appropriate private school officials to address the Title III program provision of equitable services. The LEA, in consultation with the private school, together develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to include at a minimum, a description of the equitable services (programs, services, and/or products) to be provided, the estimated costs, and dates for which services will be provided. A sample MOU is avaible at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/el/t3/documents/elsamplemou.docx. As with other federal programs, LEAs should begin the annual Title III consultation process with the private school officials early to design appropriate equitable services so that those services can begin at the beginning of the school year.
LEAs may not allocate Title III EL Student Program funds directly to private schools. Instead, the LEA provide equitable services to eligible EL students enrolled in the private schools.
A federal guidance document on meaningful consultation between private schools and LEAs titled, Non-Regulatory Guidance: Fiscal Changes and Equitable Services Requirements under the ESSA, is available on the U.S. Department of Education website at https://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/essa/essaguidance160477.pdf.
For Title III EL notification of allocation and equitable services proportional share calculations and additional guidance on meaningful consultation between private schools and LEAs, please visit the CDE Equitable Services Ombudsman web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/sw/t1/ombudsmaneqservices.asp.
If the private school declines to participate in the Title III EL Student Program, documentation of the meaningful consultation, dated and signed by the private school official, must be kept on file at the local LEA level, and made available during a federal program monitoring review.
Pursuant to ESSA Title VIII, Section 7886(d), LEAs may not mandate, direct, or control the curriculum of a private school. LEAs are required under Title VIII uniform provisions to consult with the private school officials about how the Title III, Part A services provided to private school students and teachers will be assessed, and how the results of the assessment will be used to improve those services (ESSA Title VIII, Part F, Section 8501[c][D]), but may not impose additional requirements not authorized by federal law. For a sample MOU, please visit the CDE Title III EL Student Program Private Schools web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/el/t3/elprivateschools.asp.
If you have any questions regarding private school participation in the Title III EL Student Program, please contact Geoffrey Ndirangu, Education Programs Consultant, Language Policy and Leadership Office, by phone at 916-323-5831 or by email at Gndirang@cde.ca.gov.
Alesha Moreno-Ramirez, Director
Multilingual Support Division