Title VIII: Equitable Services for Private School Students, Teachers, and Other Educational Personnel
The ESEA includes separate provisions governing equitable services for eligible private school students, teachers and other educational personnel, and families under Title I and programs covered under Title VIII, Part F, Subpart 1, Uniform Provisions- Private Schools.
Title VIII, Part F Uniform Provisions
Under Section 8501 of Title VIII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), private, nonprofit elementary and secondary school students, teachers, and other educational personnel are eligible to participate in federally-funded programs as authorized under the Act. Each school division is obligated to inform officials of private schools located within the division's boundary, that private, nonprofit elementary and secondary schools are eligible to participate on an equitable basis. Title VIII, Part F, Subpart 1, specifically addresses the following federal programs:
- Title I, Part C (Education of Migratory Children);
- Title II, Part A (Supporting Effective Instruction);
- Title III, Part A (Language Instruction for English Learners and Immigrant Students);
- Title IV, Part A (Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants); and
- Title IV, Part B (21st Century Community Learning Centers)
ESSA made a number of changes to the equitable services requirements for private school students in Title I and Title VIII of the ESEA. The original nonregulatory guidance on Title IX: Private Schools Non-Regulatory Guidance is intended to assist school divisions and other entities in providing equitable services to eligible private school students, teachers, and other educational personnel, and, under some programs, to parents. The Revised Private School Children Non-Regulatory Guidance-This is a PDF document. (PDF). discusses specific changes under ESSA. Both guidance documents include samples of consultation letters, intent to participate forms, and other reference materials that may be helpful when contacting private school officials.
Section 1117 of Title I, Part A
Sec. 1117 of Title I, Part A, requires participating divisions to provide eligible students attending private elementary and secondary schools, their teachers, and their families with Title I services or other benefits that are equitable to those provided to eligible public school students, their teachers, and their families.
Fourteen Virginia school divisions participate in a bypass provision, under which the U.S. Department of Education directly provides Title I, Part A, equitable services to private school students and teachers through a third-party provider. With the exception of these divisions, all other school divisions must inform officials of private schools that eligible children attending private, nonprofit schools are eligible to participate on an equitable basis in Title I, Part A, services.
ESSA made a number of changes to the equitable services requirements for private school students in Title I and Title VIII of the ESEA. The original nonregulatory guidance on Non-Regulatory Guidance for Title I Services to Eligible Private School Children-This is a Word document. (Word) is intended to assist school division and other entities in providing Title I, Part A services specifically to private school children. The Revised Private School Children Non-Regulatory Guidance-This is a PDF document. (PDF). discusses specific changes under ESSA. Both guidance documents include samples of consultation letters, intent to participate forms, and other reference materials that may be helpful when contacting private school officials. The Title I Toolkit-This is a PDF document. (PDF) is an additional resource for school divisions and private school officials.
Equitable Services under Title II, Part A
Divisions are required to engage in timely and meaningful consultation with private school officials during the design and development of their Title II, Part A programs, in order to provide for the equitable participation of private school teachers and other personnel in Title II, Part A, equitable services.
Equitable Services under Title III, Part A
Divisions LEA must engage in timely and meaningful consultation with private school officials during the design and development of their Title III, Part A, programs and prior to making any decision that may affect the participation of private school students, their teachers, and/or other educational personnel in Title III, Part A, equitable services. The Title III, Part A Equitable Services guidance-This is a PDF document. is intended to assist school divisions and other entities in providing Title III services for ELs enrolled in private schools.
Title IV, Part A, Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants
The Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) program is intended to increasing the capacity of local educational agencies, schools, and local communities to provide all students with access to a well-rounded education, improve school conditions for student learning, and enhance the use of technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students.
Nonregulatory GuidanceNonregulatory guidance on Title IV, Part A, Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants is available at the following link: Non-Regulatory Guidance Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants-This is a PDF document. (PDF)
Title IV, Part B , 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC)
The 21st CCLC program supports the creation of community learning centers to provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. The program helps students meet state and local standards in core academic subjects; offers students a broad array of enrichment activities to complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.
Equitable services requirement:
The equitable services provisions of Title VIII, Section 8501 are applicable.
- Private schools are eligible to apply for grants to become direct providers.
- Private school students in may attend 21st CCLC programs at divisions sponsored community learning centers that serve the school boundary in which he private school is located.
Consultation between the private and public school is necessary to ensure that a program adequately provides necessary program services under the law, and that the services meet the expressed needs of private school teachers, students and staff. Meaningful consultation must begin before any services are provided to students, teachers, or other private school educational staff.
Ongoing consultation should begin well before the start of the school year, and should continue throughout the full implementation and evaluation of services.
- Inform private school officials annually (late winter)
- Engage in timely and meaningful consultation (ongoing)
- Identify needs (early spring)
- Determine per pupil amount for private school services equal to per pupil amount for public school services. (late spring/ early summer)
- Discuss logistics of program operation (summer)
- Provide services, programs, materials, and resources (to begin in fall and continue throughout the school-year)
- Evaluate programs and services for effectiveness (spring)
Under the ESEA, school divisions may transfer funds they receive by formula under certain programs to other programs to better address local needs. Before a division transfers funds, from a program subject to equitable services requirements, it must engage in timely and meaningful consultation. The purpose of the meeting is to describe federal programs impacted by the transfer and to determine the intent of private school’s participation in programs receiving transferred funds.
Intent to Participate
Timely and meaningful consultation is initiated when the school division sends an informative invitation to the initial consultation meeting. The purpose of the initial meeting is to describe the purpose of each applicable federal programs and to determine the intent of private schools to participate.
School divisions should work with private school leaders to determine on the method or source of data that will be used to identify the number of eligible private school children from families residing in participating public school attendance zones. It is important to note that the process of determining the student count is most effective when completed cooperatively.
Providing Equitable Services
Each school division shall maintain records and provide documentation of private school participation. Forms should include consultation documents, agreements, and a written affirmation signed by officials for all program areas. In addition, school divisions must to maintain documentation of agreement of services.
Obligation of Funds
Funds allocated to school divisions for educational services and other benefits to eligible private school children, teachers and other educational personnel, and families must be obligated in the fiscal year in which the funds are received by the division. School divisions must consult with appropriate private school officials to determine an effective manner for disseminating the notice of allocation to appropriate private school officials.
School divisions should establish a process for documenting the agreement between the school division and private schools. The agreement of services should include a description of services, the content and the duration of services, a component for family engagement activities under Title I (when applicable), the cost estimates for equitable services, program timelines, and how the equitable services program will be evaluated.
If private school officials believe that timely and meaningful consultation has not occurred, they should first discuss concerns with the division point of contact for equitable services responsible for coordinating the consultation between the two entities. In the event the problem is not resolved, private school officials have the right to file a formal written complaint with the state’s ombudsman. The ombudsman serves as the primary point of contact for responding to and resolving any complaints regarding equitable services.
A written complaint should include:
- A statement that the school division or other agency has failed to meet requirements for equitable participation;
- The specific requirement not met;
- The facts on which the complaint is based;
- The name and address of the complainant;
- The expected resolution of the complaint; and
- The signature of the complainant.
- Complaints should be sent directly to:
Virginia State Ombudsman for Equitable Services
Attn: Office of Program Administration and Accountability
Virginia Department of Education
PO Box 2120
Richmond, VA 23218
Ombudsman and Division Contacts
Virginia has designated an ombudsman to monitor and enforce requirements under Title I and Title VIII of ESSA. The ombudsman serves as the state’s primary point of contact for addressing questions and concerns from private school officials and program offices, including;
- Providing technical expertise in interpreting, understanding, and implementing accountability requirements for equitable services;
- Providing consultations to school divisions and private schools, as needed;
- Addressing complaints regarding consultation and/or service provisions;
- Ensuring all equitable services reporting requirements are met;
- Oversee Virginia’s Equitable Services Workgroup; and
- Collaborating with staff from the Division of Special Education and Student Services related to equitable services.
Ombudsman Contact Information
Dr. Christopher Kelly
Education Coordinator – Equitable Services Ombudsman
Division Point of Contact for Equitable Services
To enhance the communication between the school division and private schools within its boundaries, a point of contact has been designated for each school division. The contact serves as the primary person for directing equitable services questions to the appropriate staff within the school division.
A copy of consultation forms is available upon request from the Office of Program Administration at the Virginia Department of Education. Please email your request to email@example.com.