Pursuant to Sec. 18003 of the CARES Act, LEA allocations are based on an LEA’s proportionate share of the Title I, Part A formula for school fiscal year 2019-2020.
The non-public proportionate share of equitable services under ESSER are based on 2019-2020 Fall Membership for LEAs and the non-public schools (within boundaries) along with the proportionate share of the LEA’s total allocation under ESSER. These figures represent 100 percent of nonpublic schools agreed to participate in equitable services provided through the CARES Act funding.
Only equitable services may be provided to participating private nonprofit schools (PNP). Funding may not be provided to the PNP.
IMPORTANT: In April 2020, the U.S. Department of Education published guidance on equitable services proposing that LEAs provide equitable services to non-public school students and teachers based on the ratio of all students in the public and non-public sectors, rather than the proportion of eligible students in poverty in each sector as indicated in the CARES Act. Given this discrepancy between statutory language and guidance, until and if Congress or the federal courts require that the U.S. Department of Education change its present guidance, Nebraska will follow that guidance, in order to ensure that critically needed federal funds are not jeopardized through noncompliance.
It is not clear if or how the U.S. Department of Education may clarify its guidance or attempt to require LEAs to allocate funds to follow the plain language of the law–that “equitable services” to non-public schools be provided in the “same manner” as Title I rather than the manner articulated in guidance. Given this uncertainty, LEAs might want to plan for the need for additional funds to be allocated for equitable services.