What This New Federal Law Means for Private Schools

The new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) corrects inequities and improves services for private school children outlined in the initial ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) of 1965.  Here is a breakdown of how:

Liaison Between Districts and Private Schools:
The new ESSA law requires states to designate an ombudsman to monitor and enforce requirements imposed.  The ombudsman is to ensure equitable services to private school students and teachers.

Direct Information:
States will let private officials know the amount of funds available for services and benefits for private school students and teachers.  Districts will also spend the funds allocated for the benefit of private school children during the same fiscal year in which those funds are received.

Strengthened Consultation:
ESSA specifies that the goal is to reach agreement with private school leaders on how to provide equitable and effective programs for eligible private school children.

New Grant:
There is $1.65 billion for 2017 to be applied to a broad array of educational purposes including those related to health and safety, the use of technology, foreign language instruction, STEM education, and other areas.  A district's application for the grant will include the ways the state will address the needs of private school students and teachers.

High-Ability Learners and Learning:
The U.S. Secretary of Education is required to provide equitable consideration for participation by private school students and teachers when awarding grants to non-profit elementary schools and secondary schools.

$250 Million Annually for Preschool Development Grants:
The stated goal is to maximize parental options from a mix of early learning childhood education program providers.

The Council for American Private Education did a great job advocating for private schools in the negotiations for this new law and has produced a Guide to ESSA to be a working outline that details the components of the legislation as they unfold for private schools.  These provisions were a big victory for private schools.

February Featured Schools

Our February featured schools are:  Christ Community School in The Woodlands, Faith West Academy in Katy, IANT Quranic Academy in Richardson, South Texas Christian Academy in McAllen, and The Crisman School in Longview.  These schools vary in mission, approach and philosopy of education, but they are all committed to excellence in education and serving parents and students well.

Seminars in January and March in Texas!
Enrollment Blitz, The Laws of the Grapevine, and Campus Safety Lab

Click here for details for seminars on March 8th in San Antonio and March 10th in Dallas!


Historic School Choice Rally in Austin

On Friday, January 29th, over 2500 people rallied for more school choice in Texas.  Participants marched in support of public schools, private schools, charter schools, virtual schools, home schools - any type of educational option that works for children and families! 

Students from St. Matthew's Episcopal School in Austin were invited to lead the pledge of allegience at the rally.  Land Commissioner George P. Bush congratulated the class on doing a great job!

St. Stephen's Episcopal School parent Jose Toscano told the crowd about his experience as a private school parent.  Jose was a recent immigrant from Mexico when he got a job taking the trash from St. Stephen's School.  He dreamed that one day he would be able to send his children to a school like St. Stephen's and he and his wife made that dream come true.  He is now the proud parent of three incredible St. Stephen's graduates and he wants more families to have the kind of opportunities that he provided for his family.



Take back control of your school's health insurance costs!  Learn what it takes to joing the Lone Star Independent School Consortium.  Lunch is on us!  Contact Jan Mobley at [email protected] for details.