Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Catholic Education Again Under Assault by the Regime...

The Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Reauthorization (currently referred to as No Child Left Behind) is coming – most likely in the next 2 months. Catholic Schools, like private schools, have a letter from the Senate asking for input.

When looking at the Regime's proposal, there are many opportunities for non-public schools to lose eligibility for services across the board. Therefore, it is important that we speak on behalf of the Catholic school students, who have always been entitled to equitable services since ESEA first came into law under President Johnson.

The Regime has gotten rid of the DC Opportunity Scholarships, what is to stop them now.

Please consider sending an e-mail or letter that is personal and anecdotal to the Senate Education Committee regarding your experiences with NCLB. The address is: ESEAcomments@help.senate.gov


This is from the USCCB - Secretariat of Catholic Education

Equitable Participation of Private School Students and Teachers in the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)

1. Major Objective:

Revise ESEA to ensure that, as a matter of fundamental fairness, federal funds which are generated by the count of students in private schools are used to benefit them and their teachers.

2. History:
Congress enacted ESEA in 1965 on the “child benefit” principle, which envisioned the needs of all eligible children being addressed regardless of where they attended school. Throughout most of this 45 year history of multiple revisions and extensions to ESEA, Congress has not only preserved this approach but has strengthened and broadened its application.

In practical terms, this has meant that:

ESEA funding has always been based on the numbers of both public and private school children, either determined through the Census or by a count of public and private school students;

since their inception in 1965, services from federal education programs were never limited only to public school students; and

services for private school students have always had a requirement of equitability when compared with services for public school students.

3. Recent Developments:
Emphasis on public school reform, especially since the No Child Left Behind Act was passed in 2002, has created new challenges in maintaining this longstanding commitment to the equitable participation of private school children and teachers in federal programs authorized by ESEA. NCLB’s creation of programs open only to the public school community, such as Title I Supplemental Educational Services and Title II All School Improvement and Teacher Recruitment, has greatly reduced the amount of funds available for equitable sharing.

4. Recommended changes to ESEA for restoring equitable participation:

a) Require that the allocation of funds to serve students in nonpublic schools under Title I- A be determined prior to funds being set aside for programs which are directed only to public schools. This would remedy an extremely serious problem for the at-risk students in private schools who need assistance under Title I and would ensure that funds generated by nonpublic school students are used to fund programs serving nonpublic students.

b) Require that the allocation of funds used for professional development under the current Title II-A and/or other professional development titles should also be determined prior to public school only set-asides such as class size reduction and teacher recruitment and retention. Once more, this would ensure that funds generated by nonpublic school students are used to fund programs serving nonpublic school students.

c) Require the equitable participation of students in private schools in new programs, including both competitive and formula programs, developed to assist students to attain high levels of proficiency in core subjects, and programs for the teachers of these students.

d) Require the state educational agency to provide information about the equitable amount of funds available for the private school programs to the public school district and private school officials simultaneously to ensure that consultation is meaningful and to eliminate a contentious issue that often makes good communication between public and private school officials very difficult.

e) Require that, where necessary, and/or at the request of the nonpublic schools, the state education agency be authorized to subcontract to a third party public or private entity to administer the program for nonpublic school students and teachers. The third party would design and implement a program of equitable services for the benefit of those students and teachers.

f) Consolidate the provisions relating to the participation of private school students, teachers, and parents in ESEA programs into a single part of the reauthorized law. These provisions currently are referenced in Titles I, V, and IX and the language differs among the three titles. This leads to considerable confusion among both public and private school personnel about what their responsibilities are under the law. Reference to the new section should be specified in each program’s statutory language to direct program coordinators and private school representatives to the requirements for private school students’ participation.

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