May 1, 2006
Last year, Secretary Spellings called on the private school community to become providers of supplemental educational services (SES) under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Since that time, the U.S. Department of Education has received questions about private school participation in providing SES. In response to these questions, and to ensure that private schools, as well as the State and local educational agencies administering SES, have the information they need, the Department is pleased to provide the enclosed guidance on the participation of private schools in providing SES.
Supplemental educational services are tutoring and other academic enrichment provided outside of the regular school day to eligible public school students to help improve achievement in reading, language arts, and math. Parents of eligible students may obtain these services for their children free of charge from an approved SES provider of their choice. Under NCLB, private schools are eligible to become approved providers and to receive payment for providing SES to eligible public school students.
The guidance on the participation of private schools in providing SES supplements the Department's SES non-regulatory guidance released in June 2005 and information on SES contained in the brochure, Opportunities for Private Schools to Provide Extra Academic Help to Disadvantaged Students, released in October 2005. The guidance amplifies certain issues addressed in these previously released documents, such as whether Federal civil rights requirements apply to SES providers, and also provides information on new topics, such as whether a private school SES provider may simultaneously provide tutoring services to its own students.
Please note that while the guidance is written with private schools in mind, its applicability is not limited to the private school community. Faith-based and community organizations and other private and public entities interested in SES may also find this guidance helpful.
Additional copies of the enclosed guidance are available at www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/onpe/sesguidance.html. Also, the current SES non-regulatory guidance is available at MS Word, (882K). The brochure Opportunities for Private Schools to Provide Extra Academic Help to Disadvantaged Students is available at www.ed.gov/admins/comm/suppsvcs/privschools/opportunities.html.
We hope this guidance will be of use to State and local educational agencies and the private school community, and will contribute to increasing participation in SES by private schools. If you have any questions about private school participation in providing SES, please contact the Department's Office of Non-Public Education at 202-401-1365 or by e-mail at OIINon-PublicEducation@ed.gov.
Christopher J. Doherty
Acting Assistant Deputy Secretary
Office of Innovation and Improvement
Henry L. Johnson
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education