Superintendent's Memo #171-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

June 19, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Revised United States Department of Education (USED) Requirements for Notice to Parents Regarding Public School Choice (PSC) & Supplemental Educational Services (SES)


As a result of final regulations under 34 CFR Part 200, Title I – Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged, effective November 28, 2008, revisions have been made to the various requirements related to the implementation of PSC and SES. The chart below provides a summary of the revisions for school divisions that need to implement the PSC and/or SES sanctions for Title I schools in improvement as well as the date for implementation of the new requirements.

USED Requirement
In the notice to parents regarding the availability of SES, school divisions must:
  • Include an explanation of the benefits of receiving SES;
  • Be clear, concise, and clearly distinguishable from other information sent to parents on school improvement; and
  • Include an indication of those providers who are able to serve students with disabilities or LEP students.

[§200.37(b)(5)]

Date of Implementation: 2009-2010 school year

School divisions must prominently display on their websites, in a timely manner:

  • The number of students who were eligible for and the number of students who participated in PSC and SES, beginning with data from the 2007-2008 school year and each subsequent year;
  • For the current school year, a list of SES providers approved by the state to serve the LEA and the locations where services are provided; and
  • For the current school year, a list of available schools to which students eligible to participate in public school choice may transfer.

[§200.39(c)]

Date of Implementation: 2009-2010 school year

School divisions that do not spend the 20 percent set-aside obligation for choice-related transportation and SES must notify the state that they intend to spend the remainder of its 20 percent obligation on other allowable activities and have met the criteria described below.

  • Partner with outside groups to help inform eligible students and their families of opportunities to transfer or receive SES;
  • Ensure that eligible students and their parents have a genuine opportunity to sign up to transfer or to obtain SES by:
  1. Providing timely, accurate notice to parents;
  2. Ensuring that sign-up forms for SES are distributed directly to all eligible students and their parents, and are made widely available and accessible through broad means of dissemination; and
  3. Providing a minimum of two enrollment “windows,” at separate points in the school year, that are of sufficient length to enable parents of eligible students to make informed decisions about requesting SES and selecting a provider.
  • Ensure that eligible supplemental educational services providers are given access to school facilities, using a fair, open, and objective process, on the same basis and terms as are available to other groups that seek access to school facilities; and
  • Maintain records that demonstrate the criteria described above have been met.

[§200.48(d)]

Date of Implementation: 2009-2010 school year through an amendment to the application for the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and/or the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds

School divisions must notify parents of eligible students about public school choice options sufficiently in advance of, but no later than 14 calendar days before the start of the school year

[§200.37(b)(4)(iv)]

Date of Implementation: 2009-2010 school year*

*USED has indicated that one-year waivers will be considered if a state’s current assessment timeline precludes its divisions from meeting the requirement. The Virginia Department of Education will submit a request for a one-year waiver from this requirement as soon as the guidelines regarding the waiver submission process are released from USED.

The final regulations under 34 CFR Part 200, Title I – Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged, effective November 28, 2008, can be accessed at the following link: http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/reg/title1/fedregister.html.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Veronica Tate, Title I specialist, at Veronica.Tate@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 225-2904, or Dr. Phil Iovino, Title I specialist, at Philip.Iovino@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 371-2934.

PIW / rs