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Equitable Services for Private School Students


The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires local educational agencies (LEAs) to provide equitable participation to eligible private school children, teachers, and other educational personnel in programs under the Act. The services, materials, or other benefits shall be secular, neutral, and nonideological (20 U.S.C. §§ 6320(a)(1)-(2) and 7881(a)(1)-(2)).

ESSA prohibits the private school from obligating or receiving ESSA funds. The control of funds used to provide equitable services is maintained by the LEA. Materials purchased with the funds are administered by the LEA and remain the property of the LEA. Services must be provided by an employee of the LEA or through a contract by the LEA with an individual or entity independent of the private school and any religious organization (20 U.S.C. § 7881(d)). 

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 the Act. This consultation must continue throughout the implementation and assessment of activities under the Act. 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 (20 U.S.C. §§ 6320(b) and 7881(d)).

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 cooperate 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 Title will meet those needs; and how services will be evaluated. Private school officials may choose not to participate in one or more the Titles under this Act (20 U.S.C. §§ 6320(b)(1) and 7881(c)(1)). 

Consultation Toolkit for Private School Equitable Participation

ESEA Equitable Participation in the Time of COVID-19

Providing Services for Equitable Participation Under the Federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Affirmation of Consultation with Private School Officials (form PI-9580-AC) (Revised April 2020)

When a Private School Does Not Respond to an LEA’s Attempts to Consult

Providing Title I Services to Private School Students Attending a Private School Located Outside the LEA

The Affirmation of Consultation with  Private School Officials (form PI-9580-AC) has been updated to enable digital signature collection. Please note that the form must be downloaded and opened with Adobe Acrobat Reader to use the digital signature collection functionality.

How to Upload Affirmations in WISEgrants



Statute and Non-Regulatory Guidance

Private School Equitable Share Report