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No Educator Left Behind is a series providing answers from the U.S. Department of Education to questions about the federal No Child Left Behind Act and how it will affect educators.

Question:

How (if at all) have the requirements for providing services to private school students and teachers changed under the No Child Left Behind Act? Do public school districts administer federal funds for students and teachers at private schools?

U.S. Department of Education:

The requirements for providing services to private school students have been strengthened, especially in the important area of consultation. The law requires timely and meaningful consultation between appropriate public and private school officials. Consultation between the entity receiving federal funds and private school officials must occur before any decision is made that could affect the ability of private school students, teachers, and other education personnel to receive benefits under NCLB. It also must continue throughout the implementation and assessment of activities. Consultation generally must include discussion on such issues as:

  • how children's needs will be identified,
  • what services will be offered,
  • how and where the services will be provided,
  • who will provide the services,
  • how the services will be assessed and how the results of assessment will be used to improve those services,
  • the amount of funds available for services,
  • the size and scope of the services to be provided, and
  • how and when decisions about the delivery of services will be made.

After timely and meaningful consultation, the local education agency (LEA) makes the final decisions with respect to the services it will provide to eligible private school children.

 

LEAs or public school districts are the fiscal agents of federal funds authorized under NCLB and always remain in control of all federal funds. Under Title I, Part A, (Section 1120(d)), the control of Title I funds and the control, administration of, and title to materials, equipment, and property purchased with Title I funds must be under the LEA. Services must be provided by employees of the LEA or through a contract with an individual or organization, independent of the private school and of any religious organization, and the employment or contract must be under the control of the LEA.

Additional information about No Child Left Behind and private schools is available through the U.S. Department of Education Office of Non-Public Education and the Department of Education Programs Serving Private School Students and Teachers.

Read previous questions and answers in our No Educator Left Behind archive.

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