U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today announced the release of non-regulatory guidance to assist states and local educators in implementing the public school choice and supplemental educational services (SES) provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act. These provisions are intended to help increase academic achievement by giving parents of eligible students, in Title I schools identified for improvement, the options to transfer to another better public school in the district or to receive free tutoring.
"Families want choices in education because they know their children benefit from them. By offering a range of educational options for parents and injecting competition into the system, we support innovations that help students do better," said Secretary Spellings. "SES and public school choice are lifelines for students who need more resources and parents who want more options. Research shows that students participating in SES are improving in both their reading and math skills."
The two non-regulatory guidance documents released today update and expand upon previous versions of the guidance. The guidance addresses issues related to the new Title I regulations released in Oct. 2008, and includes information on other major policy guidance the Department has released over the last few years. The new guidance documents include information on the following topics, among others:
- The requirements for districts to notify parents of their transfer options at least 14 days before the start of the school year;
- The requirements for districts' SES notices to parents;
- The requirements for districts to post certain information on public school choice and SES on their Web sites;
- The allowance available to districts for costs associated with parent outreach and assistance as part of their 20 percent funding obligation;
- The requirements for districts that do not meet their 20 percent funding obligation;
- The requirements for states to approve and monitor SES providers.
To read the public school choice guidance document, please visit http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/schoolchoiceguid.doc
To read the SES guidance document, please visit: http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/suppsvcsguid.doc
To read the new Title I regulations, please visit: http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/reg/title1/fedregister.html