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ESEA Title I, Part A, Sec. 1120 – Participation of Children Enrolled in Private Schools
ESEA Title IX, Part E, Subpart 1 – Private Schools

Why Serve Private/Nonpublic Schools
The federal programs are supported from tax dollars; therefore all children and teachers are eligible to access these programs. ESEA requires equitable services to be provided to private/nonpublic school students, teachers, and other educational personnel.

Equitable Participation
For all covered programs, services should be equitable and should begin at the same time as the public school services begin. The key word is services. No public funds are distributed to private/nonpublic schools, only services and materials. The public district retains ownership of all educational materials.

ESEA Covered Programs

All Covered Programs

Title I
  • Part A–Improving Basic Programs*
  • Part C–Education of Migratory Children**
Title II
  • Part A–Improving Teacher Quality**
  • Part B – Math and Science Partnerships**
Title III
  • Part A–English Language Acquisition**
Title IV
  • Part B–21st Century Learning Centers**

* Program covered with their own equitable provision requirements.

** Programs covered by Uniform Provisions in ESEA Title IX, Part E, Section 9501.

Programs with Specific Requirements

Title I, Part A 1120– Improving Basic Programs Section - See Guidance and Other Links

Title II, Part A – Professional Development

Participation/Consultation Requirements and Documents

Participation Requirements

Public school districts must notify all private/nonpublic schools within the district boundaries of the services available under all federal programs.

Private/nonpublic schools must submit the Intent to Participate forms by the spring deadline in order to qualify for services the following school year.

Public school districts must:

  • Review Intent to Participate forms and determine which private/nonpublic schools wish to participate and which do not wish to participate.
  • Contact private/nonpublic schools that indicate intent to participate and begin the consultation process in April through June. Consultation must start prior to the public district submitting the federal grant application and must continue throughout the school year.

Consultation Requirements

Consultation between the public school and private/nonpublic schools during the design, development, and implementation of the programs must:

  • Be timely and meaningful and must happen prior to district decisions being made to ensure the needs of the private/nonpublic school are considered when professional development, teacher assignments, and other decisions are being made.
  • Take place on an annual basis, and be documented by the district. The public school district should complete a written affirmation form (required for Title I) indicating the date the consultation took place between the public and private/nonpublic school. The affirmation of consultation should be signed by both the public and private/nonpublic school officials.
  • Continue throughout the year to ensure the needs of private/nonpublic school students are being met. Consultation is an ongoing process and can occur in many ways such as phone calls, e-mails, or a site visit.
  • Cover issues such as:
    • How the private/nonpublic student needs will be identified
    • What services will be offered
    • How and where the services will be provided
    • How the services will be assessed and how the results of the assessment will be used to improve those services
    • Service delivery mechanisms used to provide equitable services
  • Who will provide the services
  • The amount of funds available to serve private/nonpublic school students
    • The public schools must discuss with the private/nonpublic school the amount of services available to them in each of the federal programs.
    • This will allow the private/nonpublic schools to better plan appropriately and make careful decisions with the public school district to serve private/nonpublic school students.
  • The size and scope of the services to be provided:
    • The public and the private/nonpublic school should have a written plan of services to be provided.
  • Supplement not Supplant: Any activity funded with ESEA/NCLB programs must supplement, not supplant (replace), private/nonpublic school funds. See the specific federal program for a definition of Supplement not Supplant for that program.
  • Consideration of the views of the private/nonpublic school officials concerning the use of third-party providers:
    • When the LEA disagrees with the views of the private/nonpublic school officials on the provision of services, the LEA must provide a written explanation of the reasons why the LEA has chosen not to use a contractor.

Private/Non-public School Documents

Complaint Process

If private/nonpublic school officials believe that timely and meaningful consultation has not occurred or that the district did not give due consideration to their views, they should first contact the federal programs representative or superintendent at the school district to discuss their concerns.

In the event the concern is not resolved, the private/nonpublic school has the right to file a formal written complaint with the Office of Public Instruction (OPI). Section 200-3 of the OPI State and Federal Grants Handbook is the guideline for the complaint process.

The formal written complaint should include:

  • A statement that the district, other educational agency, or in some cases the OPI, has violated a requirement of a federal statute or regulation that applies to a program requiring equitable participation
  • The specific requirement alleged to have been violated
  • The facts on which the complaint is based
  • The name and address of the complainant
  • The expected resolution of the alleged violation
  • The signature of the complainant

A complaint should be sent directly to:

The Specific OPI Program Director
Office of Public Instruction
P. O. Box 202501, Helena, MT 59620-2501

ESEA Title VI Flexibility and Accountability

Public districts wishing to exercise the General Transferability provision or the REAP-Flex authority must conduct consultations with private/nonpublic school officials prior to making any decision regarding the transfer or flex of funds that could affect the private/nonpublic school’s ability to benefit from programs for which they are eligible.

  • Public districts exercising either the REAP-Flex Authority or transferring to a Title IA Schoolwide program must serve participating private/nonpublic schools before flexing or transferring funds.
  • Public districts exercising the General Transferability authority, must serve the private/nonpublic schools in both the originating and receiving programs.

Private/Nonpublic Participation List

Private/Nonpublic Participation List by School Year