Title II, Part A, Private School QuestionsFrequently asked questions regarding Title II, Part A, Equitable Services.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a Local Educational Agency (LEA) calculate the proportional share of Title II, Part A equitable services to private school teachers and other educational personnel?
The amount an LEA must reserve to provide equitable services for eligible private school teachers and other educational personnel for Title II, Part A services is based on the LEA’s total Title II, Part A allocation, less administrative costs. The LEA determines the amount of funds available for Title II, Part A equitable services for private school teachers and other educational personnel by calculating on a per-pupil basis.
Must an LEA count all the students in participating private schools even if some of the students enrolled in the private schools reside in other districts?
Yes. The LEA must provide equitable services based on the number of students who are enrolled in participating private schools in the geographical area served by the school district.
What types of activities may an LEA now provide to private school participants?
An LEA may continue to use Title II, Part A funds to provide professional development activities for teachers, principals, and other school leaders to address the specific needs of their students. Additionally, there may be other permissible uses of Title II, Part A funds for the benefit of private school participants. Any use of Title II, Part A funds for the benefit of private school participants must:
- Be an allowable local use of Title II, Part A funds under the authorizing statute. (Elementary and Secondary Education Act [ESEA], as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) section 2103(b)(3)).
- Meet the specific needs of students enrolled in a private school, and not the school itself. Title II, Part A funds may not be used to meet the needs of a private school or the general needs of the students enrolled in the private school. In some instances, however, a program or activity that primarily benefits a private school’s students (because it addresses specific, rather than general, needs of the students) will also incidentally benefit the school. (34 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 76.658).
Who has control of the program funds?
The public agency (e.g., an LEA) responsible for providing equitable services retains control of the funds used to provide such services. An LEA may not provide program funds directly to private schools. In addition, equitable services must be provided by either an employee of the public agency or through a contract by the public agency with an individual, association, agency, or organization. These employees, individuals, associations, agencies, or organizations providing the services must be independent of the private school and any religious organization and the employment or contract must be under the control and supervision of the public agency. (ESEA, as amended by the ESSA section 8501[d]).
Who is responsible for initiating the consultation process?
It is the responsibility of the LEA to initiate the consultation process. In most cases, the LEA contacts officials of private schools located within its jurisdiction to begin the consultation process on key issues that are relevant to the equitable participation of private school students, teachers, and other personnel.
Who participates in the consultation process?
The LEA official and appropriate private school officials or the private school official designee are required to participate in the consultation process. Private school officials can facilitate consultation by providing the LEA the names of the private school officials or the designee who should be included in the consultation process along with their roles and levels of authority.
When does consultation between public and private school officials occur?
It is required that consultation between the LEA and private school officials occur in a timely manner.In order to ensure timely consultation, LEAs should begin the consultation process early enough in the decision-making process to allow for participation of private school teachers, administrators, and other staff at the start of each school year.
How does an LEA begin the consultation process?
An LEA generally begins the consultation process each year by contacting private school officials representing the private schools located within its boundaries. One way to accomplish this is for the LEA to extend an invitation to officials of the private schools and convene a meeting with them during which LEA officials describe the Title II, Part A program requirements and allowable activities available to private school participants, amount of Title, Part A for providing equitable services, explain the roles of public and private school officials, address the specific needs of private school students and teachers, and provide opportunities for the private school officials to ask questions and offer suggestions.
What are the consultation requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)?
The topics subject to consultation have been expanded to include the following:
- How the amount of funds available for equitable services is determined.
- Whether the agency, consortium, or entity responsible for providing equitable services will provide those services directly or through a separate government agency, consortium, or entity, or through a third-party contractor.
- Whether to provide equitable services to eligible private school participants by (1) creating a pool or pools of funds with all of the funds allocated under programs covered under section 8501(b) or (2) on a school-by-school basis based on each the proportionate share of funds available to provide services in each school.
- Documentation: Each LEA shall maintain in the agency’s records, and provide to the State Educational Agency (SEA) involved, a written affirmation signed by officials of each participating private school that the meaningful consultation required by this section has occurred. The written affirmation shall provide the option for private school officials to indicate such officials’ belief that timely and meaningful consultation has not occurred or that the program design is not equitable with respect to eligible private school children. If such officials do not provide such affirmation within a reasonable period of time, the LEA shall forward the documentation that such consultation has, or attempts at such consultation have, taken place to the SEA. (ESEA, as amended by the ESSA section 8501[c]).