Arkansas Department of Education Assurance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer

Memo Information

Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Public School Accountability
Regulatory Authority
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-110)
Response Required

Contact Information

Memo Text

Section 9524 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by No Child Left Behind (NCLB), and reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015, requires that, as a condition of receiving ESEA funds, each school district must certify in writing to the Arkansas Department of Education that it has no policy that prevents, or otherwise denies participation in, constitutionally protected prayer in public schools as set forth in this guidance. Such guidance was described in a letter from U.S. Secretary of Education, Rod Paige, to all school administrators, dated February 7, 2003.



Also, it is referenced at the following web site:


In order to be in compliance for the 2017 – 2018 school year, each school district must complete the attached assurance form and return it to the Arkansas Department of Education.


The submission deadline has been revised to September 15, 2017.