Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education 2021-22 Affirmation of Consultation with Private School Officials

Memo Information

Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Public School Accountability
Regulatory Authority
Response Required
Federal Programs; Superintendents

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Memo Text

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), requires a participating Local Educational Agency (LEA) to provide eligible children attending private elementary and secondary schools, their teachers, and their families with services or other benefits that are equitable. Under ESEA Section 1117, the written Affirmation of Consultation is required. The Affirmation serves dual purpose in the following ways: 1) as documentation of participating and non-participating schools and 2) it assures the State Education Agency (SEA) that the Local Education Agency (LEA) has contacted the private schools in their attendance area and proves meaningful, timely consultation has taken place. Therefore, all districts must upload a copy of the Affirmation of Consultation form into Indistar by May 1, 2021.  


Each LEA shall maintain in their records an Affirmation of Consultation form, signed and dated by the private schools and public school officials that verifies that the required consultation has occurred. If the private school officials and the LEA have not completed or finalized their consultation process by the above date, the district must retain documentation in their onsite files to show at least three (3) good faith attempts were made to contact them.



Non-Regulatory Guidance

Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress passed, the President signed and a resolution of regulations was published on November 29, 2016; however, the updated non-regulatory guidance (October 7, 2019) document regarding equitable services is now applicable. This updated non-regulatory guidance (October 7, 2019) supersedes the U.S. Department of Education’s (Department) guidance entitled: Title I Services to Eligible Private School Children, Non-Regulatory Guidance (October 17, 2003); Ensuring Equitable Services to Private School Children: A Title I Resource Tool Kit (September 2006); and the equitable services guidance contained in Non-Regulatory Guidance: Fiscal Changes and Equitable Services Requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as Amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (November 21, 2016).

This guidance document only addresses Title I equitable services to eligible private school children, their teachers, and their families. The ESEA also includes other programs that require State educational agencies (SEAs) and LEAs to provide for the equitable participation of eligible private school students and their teachers and other educational personnel, including those programs governed by the Title VIII, Part F, Uniform Provisions, which the Department will address in separate updated guidance.


Comments addressed a variety of topics, including the following key issues: administrative costs, allowable uses of funds, consultation, obligation of funds, carryover, calculation of poverty data, proportional share of Title I funds for equitable services, pooling of funds, parental involvement, third-party contractors, religious organizations as third-party contractors, and transferability. These items can be found at: -education/files/equitable-services-guidance-100419.pdf


In response to the comments, the Department added the following new questions in the updated non-regulatory guidance:

  • A-6: Who is responsible for initiating consultation?   
  • B-9: May an LEA make a unilateral decision to pool funds among several private schools to provide equitable services?
  • B-28: How does the 15 percent carryover limitation in ESEA section 1127(a) apply to equitable services carryover? 
  • B-31: May an LEA impose reasonable deadlines on private school officials to facilitate meeting the obligation of funds requirement in ESEA section 1117(a)(4)(B)?   
  • C-2: Are preschool children in a private school eligible to receive equitable services under Title I? 
  • C-32: If an LEA contracts with a third-party provider, must the third-party provider employ Title I teachers and paraprofessionals who meet the State’s qualification requirements?
  • F-3: If private school officials or another interested party are dissatisfied with an SEA’s resolution of a complaint, what recourse is available?   
  • F-6: If a SEA determines that it must provide equitable services in lieu of an LEA in accordance with ESEA section 1117(b)(6)(C), what funds does it use to provide the services?
  •  F-9: How do private school officials request a by - pass?
  • C-33: Must a paraprofessional employed by an LEA to provide equitable services work under the direct supervision of a public-school teacher? 


The following program staff should be contacted regarding guidance on specific programs: 

Please upload the Affirmation of Consultation form into Indistar folder titled, 2021-22 Form Uploads, by May1, 2021.

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