ESSA and CARES Act, ESSER Private School Equitable Services
This page describes TEA plans for compliance with equitable private nonprofit school (PNP) services requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Public Law 116-136, 134 Stat. 281 (CARES Act), Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) Section 18003 of the CARES Act.
COVID-19 and Federal Grant Funds
Visit the Department of Grant Compliance and Administration for information on the federal grants authorized in response to COVID-19.
CARES Act, ESSER and Private Nonprofit (PNP) Equitable Services
Providing Equitable Services to Students and Teachers in Participating Private Nonprofit Schools Under the CARES Act Programs
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Public Law 116-136, 134 Stat. 281 (CARES Act) authorized the Education Stabilization Fund (ESF) that creates funding streams for several distinct education programs that address the impact of the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on educational services. Provisions and additional information on the CARES Act relevant to the ESF and other Texas Education Agency (TEA) programs are available on the TEA COVID-19 Support and Guidance website.
Two programs in the ESF require a local education agency (LEA) that receives funds to provide equitable services to students and teachers in private nonprofit (PNP) schools:
- The Governor's Emergency Education Relied Fund (GEER) if grants are awarded to LEAs (Section 18002 of the CARES Act).
- The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) (Section 18003 of the CARES Act).
CARES Act Equitable Services FAQ: Provides information about equitable services for students and teachers in private nonprofit (PNP) schools.
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.
- 2020-2021 ESSA LEA Private Nonprofit Equitable Services Reservations by LEA
- 2020-2021 ESSA LEA Private Nonprofit Equitable Services Reservations by ESC
- 2019-2020 ESSA LEA Private Nonprofit Equitable Services Reservations by LEA
- 2019-2020 ESSA LEA Private Nonprofit Equitable Services Reservations by ESC
- 2018-2019 ESSA LEA Private Nonprofit Equitable Services Reservations by LEA
- 2018-2019 ESSA LEA Private Nonprofit Equitable Services Reservations by ESC
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.
TEA is providing the Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations (Restart) grant planning amounts for eligible private nonprofit school equitable services.
- 2018-2020 Restart Allocations Planning Amounts By PNP
- 2018-2020 Restart Allocations Planning Amounts By PNP By Region
ESSA PNP FAQs
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 and CARES Act, ESSER Equitable Services Documents
TEA has developed the following forms for districts to use in complying with the ESSA and CARES Act, ESSER equitable services requirement.
Affirmation of Consultation with PNP School Officials
In accordance with the requirements of ESSA and the CARES Act ESSER, 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 and the CARES Act ESSER that specify the PNP consultation requirements.
- Affirmation of Consultation with PNP Officials: Formula Grants
- Affirmation of Consultation with PNP Officials: Title IV Part B, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC)
- Affirmation of Consultation with PNP Officials: CARES Act ESSER Grants
- Instructions for completing and submitting the affirmation forms
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 8501(c)(6)(A-C)].
PNP Complaint Forms
The following resources are available in English and Spanish to private school officials and other stakeholders who believe that the ESSA and CARES Act ESSER equitable services requirement has been violated:
- ESSA PNP Complaints and Procedures (English)
- ESSA PNP Complaint Form (English)
- Procedimientos de cómo presentar quejas (Español)
- Formulario para Quejas: Servicios Equitativos (Español)
Approval of Participant Support Costs
Under ESSA and the CARES Act, ESSER, 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 and the CARES Act, ESSER. 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, as needed
- 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 meetings
- Participating in the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC) and International Association for Learner Driven Schools (IALDS), and Texas Private Schools Association (TPSA) meetings
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 (new dates will be added once confirmed).
ESSA and CARES Act, ESSER Equitable Services Information
Information on the ESSA equitable services requirements are available from the following sources.
In addition to the FAQ linked above, TEA has prepared the following ESSA equitable services resources:
- PNP Overview
- TEA Collaborative Partnerships E-Newsletter
- Equitable Services Training Presentation for ESCs
- LEA Self-Assessment Form
Federal Statute, Guidance, and Resources
The following links lead to federal statute and guidance describing the ESSA and CARES Act requirements for the provision of equitable services to private nonprofit schools (PNPs).
- Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)
- ESSER, Section 18003
- Equitable Services, Section 18005
- CARES Act Programs: Equitable Services to Students and Teachers in Nonpublic Schools, Interim Final Rule (July 2020)
- ESSA Title, Part A: Providing Equitable Services to Eligible Private School Children, Teachers, and Families Updated Non-Regulatory Guidance (October 2019)
- Education of Migratory Children under Title I, Part C of the ESEA of 1965 (Selected Chapters Revised Guidance, March 2017)
- Equitable Services requirements in Section V-H
- Title III, Part A: English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Equitable Services to Private School Students, Teachers, and Other Educational Personnel Non-Regulatory Guidance (July 2015)
- ESSA Section 1117
- ESSA Section 8501
- Office of Non-Public Education (USDE website)
- ONPE FAQ General Issues Related to Nonpublic Schools (August 2019)
- ESSA Fiscal and PNP Guidance
- US Secretary of Education Devo's letter to Congress regarding religious organizations serving as equitable services contract providers
- USDE fact sheet about the unconstitutional restriction on religious organizations
- NCLB Title I Services to Eligible Private School Children
- NCLB Private Schools Guidance, Title IX
For more information on ESSA and the CARES Act refer to the ESSA page of the Office of Nonpublic Education website and the CARES Act, ESSER pager of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education website.
PNP Training Schedule
TEA staff provided the following training sessions on ESSA and the CARES Act, ESSER equitable services requirements.
- ESSA PNP Program Updates (ACET Conference, October 2019)
- ESSA Program Updates and Hurricane/Restart Grant Updates (PNP Workgroup, December 2019)
- ESSA PNP Equitable Services: Basics 101 (Virtual, June 2020)
- CARES Act ESSER and PNP Equitable Services (Virtual, June 2020)
- CARES ESSER Interim Rule and Implications (Virtual, July 2020)
- ESC ESSER PNP Equitable Services Summary Review (Virtual, August 2020)
Capacity Building Initiative
TEA collaborates with ESC 20 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.
ESSA Private School Equitable Services Frequently Asked Questions Updated 07/07/2021