Under Title I, a local education agency (LEA) is required to provide to eligible private school children, their teachers, and their families Title I services or other benefits that are equitable to those provided to eligible public school children, their teachers, and their families. Private school officials have recourse through the complaint process if they do not believe their eligible children, teachers, or families are receiving equitable services.

Aspects of the complaint process that the private school officials should know:

  • A private school official has a right to complain to the state educational agency (SEA) that the LEA did not engage in a timely and meaningful consultation process or did not give due consideration to the views of the private school officials.
  • Any dispute regarding the accuracy of low-income data for private school students also can be the subject of a complaint.
  • The SEA is required to have complaint procedures in place as required by Sec. 34 CFR 299.10–12. Included in these procedures is a reasonable time by which the SEA must respond in writing to the complaint.
  • No later than 30 days following the written response by the SEA, or in the event the SEA fails to resolve the complaint within a reasonable period of time, the private school official may appeal the decision of the SEA to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. Such appeal must be accompanied by a copy of the SEA’s written response, if available, and a complete statement of the reasons supporting the appeal.
  • The secretary must complete an investigation of the complaint and resolve the appeal within 120 days after receipt of the appeal.