First and foremost, I hope that this letter finds you and your families safe and healthy. As the school year begins to wind down in much of the country, the work of federal programs may actually increasing. Over the next few weeks, I hope to follow up on the resources provided following the Equitable Services and CARES Act webinar to focus on all the federal education programs that require equitable participation. As everyone understandably works to understand CARES and obtain equitable benefits for students and teachers in private schools, it’s important to remember that the funding from this school year and into next school year for services under ESSA programs and IDEA are equally important.
A key element of timely and meaningful consultation is to discuss the amount of funds available and how those funds were determined. This is one of the elements on which public and private school officials are charged with reaching agreement under the consultation process. In light of this required piece of the consultation process, I have prepared a series of funding worksheets for you to use during consultation. Each program has its own nuances and rules for determining the equitable share of funding, and the individual worksheets reflect those requirements. These worksheets can be brought to the consultation meeting and together public and private school officials can fill in the details. By doing so, private school officials will then know the proportional share of funds and how the funding level was determined.
If you were not able to attend the recent webinar on Equitable Services and the CARES Act, you can watch a recording of it on my website, www.equitableservicesmdec.com. Click on “webinars.” Also, follow up materials to the CARES Act are available free of charge on the “publications” tab. Finally, in the same location, you can find a recent study that I conducted on the child find process under IDEA for private school students: IDEA—A Failure of Child Find. I hope these resources as well as the attached funding worksheets are helpful to you as you navigate federal education program issues on behalf of your students and teachers.
Best wishes in all you do for children everywhere!
Michelle L. Doyle
Michelle Doyle Educational Consulting