Dear Public School Official:
Under the ESEA/ESSA Act of 2015, protections for private school participation in federal programs were strengthened with the addition of the state ombudsman. The job of the state ombudsman is to make sure that public and private schools work together to ensure that the equitable share provisions under the Act are carried out and completed in a timely manner.
Under Section 1011 (A)(a)(3)(B), public schools must submit the results of the consultation agreements between the public and nonpublic schools to the state ombudsman for review and documentation. The ESEA/ESSA Act requires that the public school keep all copies of the records of the consultation agreements. These items can include, but are not limited to, agendas, minutes, sign-in sheets, and the final consultation agreement.
The Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) has developed forms to assist districts and private schools in completing the consultation process. The forms can be downloaded at the following link: http://opi.mt.gov/Leadership/Academic-Success/Title-Other-Federal-Programs/Private-Schools. Districts are not required to use these forms, but all content on district-developed forms must contain all of the information required by federal law that is listed on the OPI documents.
Copies of each districts’ consultation(s) agreements with participating private schools are due to the OPI no later than December 31, 2017. Signed copies can be emailed to the OPI to firstname.lastname@example.org, or a hard copy can be mailed to the OPI at Box 202501, Helena, MT 59620, Attention Jack O’Connor. If there are further questions, please contact Jack at email@example.com or 406-444-3083.