DATE: February 9, 2018
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven M. Constantino, Ed.D., Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction

Eligibility of Private Schools to Participate in Federal Programs


Title VIII, Part F, Uniform Provisions, Subpart I – Private Schools

Under Section 8501 of Title VIII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended, 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 provisions governing equitable services apply to the federal programs listed below.

Section 1117 of Title I, Part A

Separate provisions govern private school participation requirements under Title I, Part A.  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.

Virginia Title I Bypass

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.

Equitable Services Webpage

Additional information on the provisions governing equitable services under Title I, Part A, and programs covered under Title VIII can be found on the Department’s Equitable Services webpage.


Regulations for Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) contain provisions for equitable services to students that are parentally-placed private school students with disabilities. The U.S. Department of Education has issued informal guidance on this topic entitled Questions and Answers on Serving Children with Disabilities Placed by Their Parents at Private SchoolsThis link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website`.

Informing Private Schools about Participation in ESEA and IDEA Programs

All school divisions should initiate and facilitate meaningful consultation with officials of private schools within their boundaries about their intent to participate in applicable ESEA and IDEA programs for the 2018-2019 school year. 


The Department will offer a webinar to provide technical assistance to school divisions and private school officials in understanding equitable participation requirements for private school students, teachers, and other educational personnel in applicable ESEA and IDEA programs. The webinar will explore general ESEA and IDEA federal provisions for private school participation. 

Equitable Services for Private Schools Webinar

Division federal programs coordinators are encouraged to attend the webinar to receive information about equitable services provisions under ESEA.

General questions regarding equitable services to private schools should be directed to Christopher Kelly, Education Coordinator, Office of Program Administration and Accountability, at or (804) 225-2122.  

If you have specific questions regarding private school participation in a particular ESEA program, please contact the appropriate Department staff member below:

Program Name Email Phone

Title I, Part A

Shyla Vesitis     

(804) 225- 3711

Title I, Part C

Shyla Vesitis  

(804) 225- 3711

Title II, Part A

Carol Sylvester

(804) 371-0908

Title III, Part A

Stacy Freeman

(804) 371-0778

Title IV, Part B

Marsha Granderson

(804) 786-1993

Title IV, Part B

Dawn Dill

(804) 786-9935


Christina Owens

(804) 225-4551