Under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), local educational agencies (LEAs) are required to provide services for public school students and eligible private school students. In particular, Section 1120 of Title I, Part A, requires a participating LEA to provide eligible children 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 children, their teachers, and their families. Eligible private school students are those students who would be eligible to receive Title I services from the district if they were attending public schools.
The consultation process between public and private school officials regarding Title I services is extremely important. Timely and meaningful consultation must 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 the Title I program.
The LEA, during the consultation process, should:
- Set up a timeline with private school officials for future meetings and for frequent visits by the LEA
- Plan for multiple meetings
- Gather input from private school representatives
- Have an agenda for each meeting
- Keep written notes and share with private school officials
- Maintain meaningful written assurance
- Plan to conduct full school year programming
The Title I program provides supplemental instructional services so that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education. The amount of Title I funds allocated to each participating public school attendance area is determined solely on the basis of the total number of low-income students (both public and private school students) residing in each area. Expenditures for private school students in each area generally are determined based on the proportion of students from low-income families residing in that area who attend private school.
Set Aside Calculation TableEligible students in private schools must also benefit from certain programs funded through set aside dollars.
To be eligible for Title I services, a private school child must reside in a participating public school attendance area and must meet the requirements of Title I, which requires the LEA to use multiple, educationally related, objective criteria in selecting children to participate in the Title I program.
What is a participating public school attendance area?A participating public school attendance area is one in which Title I money is used to provide services to children. For example, if Illinois District 1 receives Title I money and uses that money at Washington Elementary but not Lincoln Elementary, then eligible private school children residing in Washington Elementary attendance area would be eligible to receive services. Those private school children who reside in Lincoln Elementary attendance area would not be eligible since the public school is not using Title I funds in that school.
Eligible status childrenSome children may be identified as eligible solely by virtue of their status:
Title I funds are expended to implement academic research-based programs that help students improve their academic achievement in the regular private school classrooms in core academic subject areas.
Types of Services
ParaprofessionalsTitle I programs must not be staffed exclusively with paraprofessionals. Paraprofessionals must be under the direct and immediate supervision of highly qualified teachers. Paraprofessionals must not determine the program of services; only highly qualified teachers can determine the program of services.
Title I services to private school children may be provided under contract with a third party provider chosen by the district. A third party provider may be a public or private agency, organization or institution that is independent of the private school and of any religious organization in the provisions of those services. The contract needs to specify the deliverables (instructional time, academic subject areas, assessment, number of students, etc.). LEAs should choose a third party provider that would attract specialists in private school programs. Actual costs must be divided by number of months services are provided and multiple services must be broken out clearly or separately contracted.
Public school students who participate in Title I programs must be held to the same challenging content and student achievement standards that a state expects all public school students to meet. Private school students who participate in Title I programs must also be held to high standards, although these students may not be expected to meet the same standards the state expects public school students to meet. Benchmarks for success are needed to help determine the effectiveness of a program.
In addition to evaluating students, the private school Title I program must be evaluated. Every year the LEA and private school officials must consult to determine what constitutes annual progress for the Title I program. This may be determined by instructional method, grade level, school, or other appropriate basis. Results should be used to modify future programming. An LEA must annually assess the progress of the Title I program toward enabling private school Title I participants to meet agreed-upon standards (which should be determined during consultation).
- Myths and Facts
- Toolkit Resources:
- This is an evaluation tool for public school administrators to use when determining Title I program effectiveness in the private school.
- Illinois Nonpublic Elementary and Secondary School Registration and Recognition home page
- Nonpublic Enrollment Guidance
- Nonpublic NCLB Information
- Title I Services Provided to Private School Students Webinar Video (11:59)
- Title I Services Provided to Private School Students Webinar
- Title Services Provided to Private School Students