This page describes TEA plans for compliance with equitable private nonprofit school (PNP) services requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Public Comment Period: Updated Equitable Services Nonregulatory Guidance
The US Department of Education (USDE) has released draft nonregulatory guidance concerning equitable services required under ESEA Title I, Part A. The draft guidance is available for stakeholder review and comment, as follows:
- Deadline: March 26, 2019
- Send comments to: EquitableServices@ed.gov
- Include in the subject line: “Title I Equitable Services”
- Please submit: Succinct, substantive comments regarding the draft Title I, Part A equitable services nonregulatory guidance, which may include:
- Identifying Title I, Part A equitable services requirements or topics that you think USDE has not addressed but should;
- Identifying questions or answers in the document that you think are not clear and provide a suggestion for enhancing clarity; and
- Providing suggestions for enhancing the document overall.
Please include contact information, including organization name and type (i.e., state educational agency, local educational agency, private school, or private organization.
USDE will consider all comments in making revisions, as appropriate, but will not provide responses to individual comments.
USDE News: Religious Organizations May Serve as Equitable Services Contract Providers
In consultation with the US Department of Justice, USDE has determined the statutory provisions in Section 1117(d)(2)(B) and 8501(d)(2)(B) of ESEA that require an equitable services provider to “be independent of … any religious organization” are unconstitutional because they categorically exclude religious organizations based solely on their religious identity.
ESSA Equitable Services
Private Nonprofit Equitable Services Reservations
The reports below provide the amount of funds that must be reserved by LEAs for equitable services to eligible students at participating private nonprofit schools.
For Title I, Part A, the private nonprofit (PNP) equitable services reservation amount does not include any reduction for school district administration of private nonprofit services. School districts are required to consult with PNPs prior to deducting administration costs from the equitable services amount.
TEA is providing the PNP Equitable Services Calculator as an LEA resource tool. The LEA can determine the equitable share for each program with private school participation. In addition, the tool will determine the impact on the equitable share for LEAs that are electing to utilize the Funding Transferability option under Title V, Part A. This is a planning tool and not the official published equitable share amount that is calculated in the ESSA Consolidated Application for Federal Funding. At the discretion of the LEA and/or private school, the worksheets may be printed and maintained locally.
is providing the Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations (Restart) grant
planning amounts for eligible private nonprofit school equitable services.
ESSA PNP Equitable Services FAQ (Version 1, 08/23/2017) provides answers to common questions regarding the provision of equitable services.
ESSA PNP Equitable Services: Transferability Authority FAQ (Version 1, 04/25/2018) answers questions related to the authority ESSA provides grantees to transfer certain grant funds.
Restart FAQs for Private Nonprofit Schools provides answers to common questions regarding the Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations (Restart) grant.
ESSA Equitable Services Forms
TEA has developed the following forms for districts to use in complying with the ESSA equitable services requirement.
Affirmation of Consultation with PNP School Officials
In accordance with the requirements of ESSA, districts and eligible PNPs must collaborate to complete the following Affirmation of Consultation forms, as applicable, and submit them to TEA. Instructions for completing and submitting the forms are also linked below, in addition to the sections of ESSA that specify the PNP consultation requirement.
PNP Excessive Carryover Waiver Request
To ensure that equitable services are provided in a
timely manner, an LEA must obligate the funds allocated for equitable services
under all applicable programs in the year for which they are appropriated.
[ESSA Sections 1117(a)(4)(B) and 8501(a)(4)(B)]. There may be extenuating
circumstances, however, in which an LEA is unable to obligate all funds within
this timeframe in a responsible manner. Under these extenuating circumstances,
the funds may remain available for the provision of equitable services under
the respective program(s) during the subsequent school year. In determining how
such carryover funds will be used, the LEA must consult with appropriate
private school officials. [ESSA Sections 1117(b) and 8501(c)].
If an LEA is requesting carryover for PNP
equitable services due to extenuating circumstances, it must submit one
carryover waiver request per PNP school.
TEA Procedure for
Offering PNP Equitable Services Upon Request
The purpose of this policy
and procedure is to meet the ESSA requirements when a participating private
nonprofit school files a complaint against the school district and requests the
state to provide its equitable services under ESSA programs, and the ombudsman
substantiates the validity of the complaint. [ESSA Sections 1117(b)(6)(A-C) and
PNP Complaint Forms
The following resources are available in English and Spanish to private school officials and other stakeholders who believe that the ESSA equitable services requirement has been violated:
Approval of Participant Support Costs
Under ESSA, equitable services to PNPs that are required, and therefore allowable, under federal program statute include registration and travel costs for PNP staff participating in allowable professional development activities. The direct cost of providing training, including travel to professional conferences and any registration fees, meets the EDGAR definition of a "participant support cost."
School districts that expend federal grant funds on the provision of equitable services must complete the Request for Approval of Participant Support Costs: Private School Equitable Services form. The district must print the completed form and maintain the printed copy as documentation of the required approval for expenditure of federal grant funds on participant support costs. This documentation must be provided to auditors and monitors upon request.
Texas has designated an ombudsman to monitor and enforce equitable
services requirements under Title I, Part A and Title VIII of ESSA. The
ombudsman serves as the state’s primary point of contact for addressing
questions and concerns from private school officials and local school districts.
Other ombudsman duties include the following:
- Providing technical expertise in interpreting, understanding, and
implementing accountability requirements for equitable services
- Providing guidance to local school districts and private schools,
- Addressing complaints regarding consultation and/or equitable services
provisions: Refer to the PNP Complaint Forms section above for links to the complaint procedures and forms in both English and Spanish.
- Ensuring all equitable services reporting requirements are met
- Overseeing the TEA Private School Equitable Services Workgroup
- Developing monitoring protocols
- Participating in TEA’s Title I
Committee of Practitioners
- Participating in the Texas Private
School Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC) and Texas Private Schools Association
PNP Complaints and Procedures
TEA's PNP ombudsman addresses alleged violations of the ESSA equitable services requirement. Refer to the PNP Complaint Forms section above for links to the complaint procedures and forms in both English and Spanish.
Refer to ESSA Section 8503 for the statutory description of the complaint process.
Private School Equitable Services Workgroup
TEA has established the Private School Equitable Services Workgroup to fulfill part of the PNP ombudsman responsibilities. This group is made up of eleven school district representatives, two education service center (ESC) representatives, and nine PNP school representatives.
Workgroup Roles and Duties
As described in this overview of its role and duties, the Private School Equitable Services Workgroup reviews equitable services requirements such as monitoring protocols, complaint procedures, and the process for requesting the state provide equitable services. The group also provides input on the types of support needed for equitable services.
Workgroup Meeting Schedule
The Private School Equitable Services Workgroup meets regularly, as follows:
- September 5, 2018 (Austin)
- October 9, 2018 (Virtual)
- December 4, 2018 (Dallas)
- February 12, 2019 (Virtual)
- April 30, 2019 (ESC 20)
ESSA Equitable Services Information
Information on the ESSA equitable services requirement is available from the following sources.
In addition to the FAQ linked above, TEA has prepared the following ESSA equitable services resources:
Capacity Building Initiative
TEA works closely with a coordinator at ESC 10 for the Capacity Building Initiative (CBI) grant. Part of the work for the CBI is to assist with the PNP implementation requirements. In this capacity, CBI provides information and resources on our behalf. CBI is also a participant in Private School Equitable Services Workgroup meetings.
CBI has produced the following videos to assist LEAs in providing equitable services:
CBI also makes the following information available:
- Overview of ESSA requirements applicable to PNPs, including equitable services
- Video of a sample PNP consultation
Federal Statute, Guidance, and Resources
The following links lead to federal statute and guidance describing the ESSA requirement for the provision of equitable services to private nonprofit schools (PNPs).
For more information on ESSA, including an FAQ and list of key statutory resources, refer to the ESSA page of the USDE website.
PNP Training Schedule
TEA staff provided the following training sessions on ESSA equitable services requirements.
21, 2018: Ombudsman Live Conference (Washington, D.C.)
4, 2018: Department of Contracts, Grants and Financial Administration
(CGFA) Statewide Training (Austin, TX)
8, 2018: Department of CGFA Statewide Training (Lubbock, TX)
12, 2018: Department of CGFA Statewide Training (Houston, TX)
25, 2018: Association for Compensatory Educators of Texas (ACET) (Corpus
8, 2018: ESC 20 (San Antonio, TX)
14, 2018: ESC 4 (Houston, TX)
30, 2018: ESC 13 (Austin, TX)
11, 2018: Texas Education Telecommunications Network (TETN) (Selected ESC
13, 2018: ESC 11 (Ft. Worth, TX)
31, 2019: National ESEA Conference (Kansas City, MO)