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June 20, 2013

Federal Funds Forging Partnership Between Public, Private Schools

"No Child Left Behind" does not just meet the needs of public school children. Private school students are also included in the federal education program.

With more than 200 students enrolled in Mennonite schools in Scotland County and dozens more being home schooled, the SCR-I School District is charged with ensuring the needs of all school-aged children are met.

The Scotland County R-I School District will hold a meeting on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. in the Elementary Art Room to conduct consultation between public school district personnel and representatives of private schools in the district.

A key component of the informational meeting will be federal funding of education. During this meeting, private schools may decline participation in federal programming or complete a planning document for services of children attending private schools.

Federal programs coordinator Rhonda McBee and elementary school principal Nathan Pippert will facilitate the meeting.

Special needs of private school students will be identified during the meeting and planning will begin to determine what services will be offered to meet these special needs.

The bulk of the Title federal education funds are income based, meaning students or private schools will need to qualify on the low to moderate income level scale.

If those guidelines are met, the private education providers could be eligible to utilize a portion of the federal funds allocated to the public school district. Those funds are earmarked by the No Child Left Behind program to help pay for teachers and to provide professional development while also promoting parental involvement. A portion of the funds is also set aside to insure homeless students are supported by the district.

To ensure that this consultation meets the needs of students and teachers in either type of school, it is required that public school personnel and administrators from the non-public school answer the following questions:

How will the needs of the private school children be identified?

What services will be offered to private school students and teachers?

How, where, and by whom will the services be provided to private school children and teachers?

How will the services be academically assessed and how will the results of that assessment be used to improve services to private school children and teachers?

Explain the size and scope of the equitable services to be provided to the eligible private school children and teachers, and the amount of funds allocated for such services.

Describe the method or sources of data that will be used to determine the number of children from low-income families in participating school attendance areas who attend private schools.

Explain how and when the public school district will make decisions about the delivery of services, including a thorough consideration and analysis of the views of the private school officials on the provision of services through a contract with potential third-party providers. If the public school district disagrees with the views of the private school officials on the provision of services through a contract, how will the local educational agency provide in writing to the private school officials an analysis of the reasons they have chosen not to use a contractor.

The SCR-I District must complete one planning document with each non-public school it serves. When completed, this plan for services must be signed by representatives from both parties and kept in the central office of each entity.

The completed document must be available to parents of both public and private school students and the general public.

This planning document will also be requested during a district's federal programs' monitoring.

Required consultation shall include meetings of public school district personnel and private school officials, and must take place before the public school district can receive a substantial approval date for its Consolidated Application for the Federal Programs.

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