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Title programs: Participation of Children Enrolled in Private Schools

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires Local Education Agencies (LEAs) or other public or private organizations receiving federal financial assistance to provide equitable participation to eligible participation to eligible private school children, teachers, and other educational personnel in programs under sections 1117(b)(1) (Title I) and 8501(c)(1) (includes Title I Part C; Title II Part A; Title III Part A; and Title IV Parts A and B). The services, materials, or other benefits shall be secular, neutral, and nonideological.

ESSA requires that timely and meaningful consultation occur between the LEA and private school officials prior to any decision that affects the opportunities of eligible private school children, teachers, and other educational personnel to participate in programs under sections 1117 and 8501, and shall continue throughout the implementation and assessment of activities under this section. The goal of consultation is to reach an agreement between the LEA and appropriate private school officials on how to provide equitable and effective programs for eligible private school children under Title I, Part A; Title II, Part A; Title III, Part A; and Title IV, Part A.

Services provided by the LEA must be designed to meet the educational needs and supplement the services provided by the private school. In order to fully participate in services, private school officials will need to collaborate with public school officials to determine student eligibility; how the needs of the students will be identified; how the services (including family engagement activities) provided under each program will meet those needs; and how services will be evaluated. Private school officials may choose to not participate in one or more of the programs under sections 1117 and 8501.

Proportionate share calculators are provided in the Supporting Documents section below as an LEA resource too. The LEA can determine the proportionate share for each program with private school participation. The tools can be used to determine the impact on the proportionate shares for LEAs that are electing to utilize the Funding Transferability option under Title V, Part A. Official published proportionate share amounts are calculated in the Grants Management System. At the discretion of the LEA and/or private school, the worksheets may be printed and maintained locally.

Complaint Procedure

Non-public school officials have recourse through the complaint process if they do not believe that the LEA has engaged in meaningful consultation, has not given due consideration to the views of the private school officials, or if they believe the LEA is not providing equitable services as discussed in the consultation process.

If a non-public school official has a complaint regarding the equitable services requirements, the official should first discuss concerns with the LEA point of contact. If, after discussing the concerns with the LEA, the non-public school official believes the issue is unresolved, the official may reach out to the Private School Ombudsman to discuss the concerns. In the event the problem is not resolved, non-public school officials have the right to file a formal written complaint with the Ombudsman.

To file a formal written complaint, please complete the complaint document and submit directly to:
South Dakota Department of Education
Attn: Yutzil Becker, Private School Ombudsman
800 Governors Drive
Pierre SD, 57501

Contact the Emily Quick at (605) 295-1090 with questions.