A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Serving Private School Students With Federal Education Programs

CHAPTER 4.....Other Federal Programs Serving Private Schools and Their Students

Bloodborne Pathogens


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued regulations whose purpose is to reduce or eliminate the possibility of an employee contracting any of a series of diseases that are spread through blood contact. The Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens Standards became fully effective on October 1, 1992.

The two viruses of most concern are the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). Prevention of HBV exposure is the main purpose of these regulations in the school setting. HIV and HBV are potentially life-threatening bloodborne pathogens. These viruses are transmitted through exposure to blood and other infectious body fluids and tissues.


The Bloodborne Pathogens Standards require schools to do the following: (1) Write an exposure control plan to determine how exposure to body fluids will be handled. Every job-related task in the school must be evaluated in light of the likelihood of exposure to blood products and body fluids; (2) Offer free HBV vaccination to all employees who are required to come into contact with body fluids as a direct result of their responsibilities (such as school nurses and physical education instructors); (3) Train all employees in the use of universal precautions (such as hand washing and use of gloves); and (4) Develop and maintain records and procedures to document compliance with these regulations and to handle any exposure incidents that occur. Records of employees who have received vaccinations and written refusals of employees to receive vaccinations must be part of the documentation. Also, training sessions must be recorded.

The regulations are very specific regarding elements of the exposure control plan, precautions for employees, training, documentation, and handling an exposure. They are contained in Part 1910 of title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations. They first appeared in the Federal Register of December 6, 1991.

Further Information

For further information, contact your state OSHA office, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20210; telephone 202/219-8151.

National Service


The National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 (P.L. 103- 82), signed into law by President Clinton on September 21, 1993, is an innovative program founded on the traditional American values of offering educational opportunity, demanding personal responsibility, and building the American community. The law establishes a Corporation for National Service that offers Americans who do vital work in the national service initiative an educational award.


Through the Americorps program, about 20,000 Americans per year work to meet unmet educational, environmental, human or public safety needs. They work for minimum wage, and also receive $4,750 in educational awards for each year (up to two) they serve. The educational awards may be used to repay loans for higher education or to pay for higher education or training. Americorps members must be 17 years of age or older with a high school diploma, GED, or on their way to getting one. Funding has remained steady at $300 million per year.

Learn and Serve America

The law, through Learn and Serve America, also encourages "service learning" -- the integration of community service into the curriculum of K-12 students. Funding has remained about $33 million per year. In addition, Learn and Serve America provides grants to higher education institutions or consortia to establish or expand service learning programs on campuses of postsecondary institutions. Funding has remained at about $17 million per year.

Further Information

For further information, contact The Corporation for National Service, 1201 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20525; or call (202) 606-5000 x136 (Learn and Serve America), 1-800-942- 2677 (Americorps Information Line), or 1-800-808-SERVE (National Service Learning Cooperative Clearinghouse). The World Wide Web site for the National Service Learning Cooperative Clearinghouse is http://www.servicelearning.org/.

National Endowment for the Humanities

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) supports teachers who wish to strengthen and expand their understanding of history, literature, foreign languages and culture, and other areas of the humanities. With NEH support, teachers may join a formal study session during the summer, use the summer to pursue independent study, plan a sabbatical for a year of independent study, or develop a project to support group study.

For information about eligibility requirements and selection criteria, and for application materials, write or call: Division of Education Programs, Elementary and Secondary Education in the Humanities, Room 302, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20506, phone (202) 606- 8377, fax (202) 606-8394, Internet: nehedu@gwuvm.gwu.edu. You may obtain information about other NEH programs from the Office of Publications and Public Affairs, Room 406, at the same address, or call (202) 786-0438.

National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is the central source of Federal funding for the arts in America. With the onset of diminished resources, the NEA has reorganized its operations. Funding opportunities for organizations will be available according to four themes: Heritage and Preservation; Education and Access; Creation and Presentation; and Planning and Stabilization. To inquire about the possibility of private school participation in NEA programs, contact the National Endowment for the Arts, Nancy Hanks Center, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20506-0001. The World Wide Web home page for the NEA is http://arts.endow.gov/AboutSite.html.

National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF), through its Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education, supports activities to develop, improve, and disseminate effective curriculum and instructional materials in both informal and classroom settings; to strengthen the qualifications and effectiveness of science, mathematics, and technology teachers (pre-kindergarten to grade 12); to provide research experiences for high-potential youth in grades 7-12; and to increase public science literacy. Contact the Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education, Directorate for Education and Human Resources, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 885, Arlington, VA 22230, telephone (703) 306-1620. For questions on curriculum development, call (703) 306-1614; for teacher enhancement and development, call (703) 306-1613.

Environmental Tobacco Smoke


The Pro-Children Act (PCA) was enacted in 1994 as Part C of Title X of the Goals 2000: Educate America Act, P.L. 103-227. The PCA requires that smoking not be permitted in any indoor facility, or in some cases a portion of a facility, used routinely or regularly for the provision of certain types of "children's services" to persons under age 18, if the services are funded by specified federal programs either directly or through state or local governments. Applicable federal funds for these types of children's services include grants, cooperative agreements, loans, loan guarantees, contracts, and funds for construction, maintenance, and operations awarded by the Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, or Agriculture [only through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)].

All LEAs and SEAs that receive funding from the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, or Agriculture (through the nutrition program WIC) either directly, or through state or local governments, to provide routine or regular kindergarten, elementary or secondary education, library services, health services, or day care services to children must comply with the PCA requirements.

Application to Non-Public Schools

A non-public school must implement the PCA requirements if it receives funding from the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, or Agriculture (only through the nutrition program WIC) either directly, or through state or local governments, to provide routine or regular kindergarten, elementary or secondary education; library services; health services; or day care services to children. A non-public school is not required to implement the PCA if it does not receive this funding, if the non-public school receives funding under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program or if the private school's students receive services (such as compensatory education under Title I) through the state or local public school district.

Additional Information

Generally, smoking does not need to be prohibited if the facility is being used for a community or privately sponsored event. If the indoor facility is being used simultaneously for routine or regular children's services (i.e., school-sponsored activities that involve children) and a privately sponsored event, smoking must be prohibited in the entire indoor facility. The provider of children's services may determine whether or not it wishes to prohibit smoking in the facility when no routine or regular children's services are being provided.

For Further Information

For a complete copy of the guidance for the Pro-Children Act and for additional guidance concerning implementation of the PCA for providers of education or library services, contact the Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program, U.S. Department of Education, 1250 Maryland Avenue, SW, The Portals-Room 604, Washington, D.C. 20202, phone 202/260-3954 or fax 202/260-7767. For providers of health, day care, or early childhood development services, contact the Office on Smoking and Health, Center for Disease Control Prevention, 330 C Street, SW, Switzer Building, Room 1229, Washington, D.C. 20201, phone 202/205-8500 or fax 202/205- 8313. For WIC-related questions, contact the Supplemental Food Program Division, Food and Consumer Services, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 540, Alexandria, VA 22302, phone 703/305-2746 or fax 703/305-2420.

Nonimmigrant Students

In order for private schools to enroll nonimmigrant alien students, the school must be approved for this purpose by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). A nonimmigrant student is a student who comes to the United States for educational purposes and remains in this country only for the duration of the educational program. If the student wishes to remain longer, a change in visa status would be required. Under the current system, interested schools submit Form I-17 (Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Students), a fee, and other supporting documentation to the District Office of the INS. After the District Office reviews all supplementary documents, it approves or disapproves the application, and notifies the school accordingly. This process is designed to ensure that petitioning schools provide instruction suitable to the needs of foreign students and that they act in accordance with applicable regulations when admitting and advising foreign students.

The INC works closely with the Office of Non-Public Education when questions arise about the eligibility of individual schools. For further information, contact your INS District Office; or Morrie Berez of the Headquarters Office, Immigration and Naturalization Service, 425 I Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20536, telephone 202/514-5014. You may also contact the Office of Non- Public Education about individual cases, at the U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-0122, telephone 202/401-1365.

The Americans With Disabilities Act


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Public Law 101-336, was signed into law on July 26, 1990. It gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government, and telecommunications. The ADA applies to private schools as employers and as public accommodations providing services to the public.

Title I--Employment

The ADA, in Title I, prohibits discrimination by employers-- including private schools--with 15 or more employees as of July 26, 1994. (Previously, from July 26, 1992 to July 26, 1994, the level was 25 or more employees.) The ADA bans discrimination in all employment practices. Employers are required to make "reasonable accommodation" to the known mental or physical impairments of qualified individuals with disabilities, but only if making the accommodation would not result in an "undue hardship" on the operations of the employers. Complaints of employment discrimination may be filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Where voluntary compliance fails, litigation remedies may be pursued. Remedies include back pay, front pay, restored benefits, attorney's fees, reasonable accommodation, and reinstatement, and possibly punitive damages, subject to a cap, in certain cases.

Title I provides that if an educational institution is controlled by a religious entity it may give preference in hiring to individuals of a particular religion. It also permits a religious entity to require that all applicants and employees conform to the religious tenets of the organization.

Title III--Public Accommodation

The ADA, in Title III, prohibits discrimination in public accommodations, explicitly including private schools regardless of size or number of employees. However, it does not require a private school to provide a free appropriate education or to develop an individualized education program for each student with a disability; these requirements apply to public schools under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). A private school that is controlled by a religious organization or that is itself a religious organization is exempt from the ADA public accommodations requirements. However, even if a school is exempt from the Title III public accommodations requirements, its employment practices are still covered by Title I for the purposes of disability discrimination if it has the requisite number of employees.

Under Title III, public accommodations must eliminate unnecessary eligibility standards or rules that exclude or segregate or tend to screen out individuals with disabilities. The ADA would, however, permit imposition of safety requirements where an individual with disabilities would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of the individual or of others.

Public accommodations must "make reasonable modification" in policies, practices and procedures where necessary to provide equal access to individuals with disabilities. Modifications are not required, however, if they would fundamentally alter the goods, services, or operations of the public accommodation.

Public accommodations must provide effective communication with customers, parents, or students with hearing or vision impairments which may necessitate the provision of auxiliary aids or services, such as sign language interpreters, readers, taped texts, Brailled material, and large print materials. This requirement is flexible. Auxiliary aids are not required if they would result in an undue burden or in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the goods or services. Extra charges may not be imposed on individuals with disabilities in order to cover the cost of measures taken to ensure compliance with the ADA.

The ADA requires the removal of physical barriers in existing facilities when it is readily achievable, that is, easy to accomplish without must difficulty or expense. What is "readily achievable" will be determined on a case-by-case basis. When barrier removal is not readily achievable, the ADA requires that alternative steps be taken, if the alternative measures are readily achievable. All new construction and alterations in public accommodations must be accessible in accordance with design standards written by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (ATBCB or "Access Board") and promulgated as a regulation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Further Assistance

The ADA Technical Assistance Manual is a basic resource on the employment provisions of the ADA from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Manual provides guidance on the practical application of legal requirements established in the statute and EEOC regulations. It also provides a directory of resources to aid in compliance. The Manual is designed to be updated periodically with supplements as the Commission develops further policy guidance and identifies additional resources. The document is available in braille, large print, audiotape, and electronic file on computer disk and electronic bulletin board (call 202/514-6193). To order copies of the Manual and other technical assistance documents, call EEOC on 1-800-669-EEOC (voice) or 1- 800-800-3302 (TDD).

Contact the following agencies for more specific information about ADA requirements affecting:

Telecommunications Act of 1996


On February 8, 1996, President Clinton signed into law the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This law presents an enormous opportunity to improve K-12 schools--public and private--by providing students with access to the vast educational resources on the Information Superhighway.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 deregulates telephone service, cable, television and radio. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is directed by the Act to conduct a rulemaking process to specify the regulations to accompany the legislation. These regulations will include what services are subject to discounts and what the discounts should be. At the time of the printing of this Handbook, the regulatory process is not complete; however, the Federal-State Joint Board at the FCC will makes its recommendations to the FCC by November, 1996.

Universal Access and Service

Universal access and service is an evolving level of telecommunications services that the FCC will establish and update periodically. The Commission will consider the extent to which such telecommunication services are essential to education, public health, or public safety; have, through the operation of market choices by customers, been subscribed to by a substantial majority of residential customers; are being deployed in telecommunication networks by telecommunications carriers; and are consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity. The primary benefit of this provision for schools will be in reduced rates for telecommunications access. In fact, one of the specific requirements for rulemaking given to FCC under the Act is to issue rules requiring telephone providers to provide advanced telecommunication services to public and private schools, health care facilities, and libraries at preferential rates. As stated above, what services are subject to discounts and what the discounts should be has not yet been determined through the rulemaking process prescribed by the Act.

Further Information

For further information on the implications of the Telecommunications Act on private schools, contact the Office of Non-Public Education, U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-0122, telephone 202/401-1365.


[ Chapter 4.....Family and Medical Leave Act ] [ Table of Contents ] [ Secretary's Regional Representatives ]

Last Updated -- November 19, 2001, (eal)