Participation of Children Enrolled in Private Schools

The mandate requiring local school districts to use a portion of their Title I grants to provide compensatory education services to private school students has been a part of the Title I authorizing legislation since the original 1965 law was enacted. LEAs are required to consult with private school officials on important issues such as the location of services. Furthermore, Title I personnel should meet with private school officials to discuss the design and development of the Title I program.

The 1985 Supreme Court decision entitled Aguilar v. Felton stated that sending public school teachers into religious schools was unconstitutional. This court decision resulted in Title I services being provided in "neutral sites" such as vans, mobile units or classrooms on public property. In 1988 Congress created a special "capital grants" program to provide separate funding to cover the extra costs associated with serving private school children. In 1994 the new law simply states that capital expense funds must be spent "only for capital costs incurred to provide equitable services for private school children….."

On June 23, 1997 the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Agostini v. Felton. In doing so, the Court overruled its 1985 decision in Aguilar V. Felton. Agostini v. Felton states that Title I services may be provided in religiously-affiliated private schools. This decision should have a positive impact on Title I services for both public and private school children because it eliminates the legal necessity for costly alternative arrangements for delivering Title I services to private school students.

Supporting Documents
18-19 Consultation Affirmation
FY18 Title I Private School Proportionate Share
FY 18 Title II and IV Private School Share
Ensuring Equitable Services to Private School Children, A Title I Resource Tool Kit
Equitable Services for Private Schools Powerpoint from April 2017
Title I Proportionate Share Calculator
Title II Part A, Title I Part C, Title III Part A and Title IV Part A Proportionate Share Calculator


If you have questions, please contact the South Dakota Department of Education at 605-773-4716.