Innovation & Improvement

Nonpublic School Participation

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.

Consultation (5/9/16)

Elements of the Consultation Process (5/9/16)

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 can use this sample letter word document to reach out to nonpublic schools to initiate a conversation.

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 LEA, in working with the nonpublic schools, must be sure to cover the ten consultation topics pdf format. You will also see these topics listed on the Consultation Participation Form pdf format (43-20) that is used to document your consultations with each nonpublic school. Lastly, you will need to know what funding is available, and while you await the allocations, you can follow the instructions on the Title I and II Preliminary Allocation Worksheet pdf format to estimate your funding for the purposes of having the consultation with your schools.

Nonpublic School Enrollment Data (5/9/16)

Please use the Nonpublic School Enrollment data Excel spreadsheet (5/9/16) (instructions word document) in consultations with nonpublic schools for purposes of ESEA Title IA and Title IIA. Each worksheet in the Excel workbook has its own instructions, but in general keep these points in mind:

  • The data offered here are self-reported by the nonpublic schools who have registered with ISBE. Schools were asked to do this in Fall 2015 for the first time, so there is a high likelihood of errors. Part of the consultation process will be to confirm the accuracy of the numbers.
  • The data here do not represent all possible students from the district being served in nonpublic schools. They only represent data from nonpublic schools that choose to become registered with ISBE. Districts must still be alert to the possible presence of non-registered schools with which a consultation should be done. Students at non-registered nonpublic schools are eligible for ESEA services. So the first consultation question might be “Can we confirm that the nonpublic students at this school really belong to this public school district?”
  • The data here give raw numbers of students. The consultation process should include a determination as to whether any of the students are low income.
  • Lastly, there must be a connection between a nonpublic school student and a public school with an ESEA Title I program, so the third consultation issue would be which public schools the nonpublic school students would have attended.

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Provide Equitable Services and Equitable Share of Funds

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.

  • Per Pupil Allocation pdf format

    Once the participating public school attendance areas have been established for Title I services (see “Determining Educational Need and Participation” below for more information), an LEA then calculates the per-pupil allocation for each participating public school attendance area. Then, based on the total number of children from low-income families residing in each attendance area attending public and private schools, the LEA calculates the total amount of funds for each area. From this amount, the LEA reserves an amount of funds for the private school children (equal to the per pupil allocation multiplied by the number of low-income private school students in the area) to provide equitable services to eligible private school children. Remember, the LEA should never directly pay the private school or the private school officials for services or supplies.
  • Set Aside Calculation Table

    Eligible students in private schools must also benefit from certain programs funded through set aside dollars.  
  • Equitable Participation (Set Asides) pdf format

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Determining Educational Need and Participation

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 children

    Some children may be identified as eligible solely by virtue of their status:
  • Homeless children
  • Children who have been enrolled for 2 years in Head Start
  • Children enrolled in the Even Start program
  • Children enrolled in Early Reading First
  • Children enrolled in Title I preschool program
  • Children enrolled in the Migrant education program

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Staffing and Servicing the Private School Program

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

  • Instructional services
  • Extended day services
  • Family literacy programs
  • Counseling programs
  • Computer assisted instruction
  • Home tutoring
  • Instruction using take home computers
  • Professional development targeted to help teachers better teach at-risk students
  • Paraprofessionals

    Title 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.

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Third Party Providers

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.

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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).

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Contact Information (4/29/16)

General program help, eligibility questions, allowable costs, etc.
Jane Blanton
Suzanne Dillow
Technical assistance with the Nonpublic School Enrollment Data workbook
Gary Greene

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