Equitable services for private schools

As a State Educational Agency (SEA), the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) is responsible under federal law for ensuring equitable services are provided for private school children, teachers, and other educational personnel.

May 15, 2024 Update:

Private schools that wish to participate in equitable services under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for school year 2024-2025 must complete and submit the ESEA Equitable Services Intent to Participate Survey School Year 2024-2025 to ombudsman@k12.hi.us by Friday, May 31, 2024.


Since the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) was reauthorized as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015, private school students and teachers have been eligible to participate in certain federal education programs (ESEA Sections 1117 and 8501). Educational services and other benefits provided for private school students, teachers, and other educational personnel shall be equitable in comparison to services and other benefits for public school students, teachers, and other educational personnel participating in the programs under ESEA.

ESEA Requirement

According to ESEA sections 1117 and 8501, equitable services applies to the following programs:

Title I, Part A
Designed to provide all children significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps.
Title I, Part CSupport high quality education programs for migratory children and help ensure that migratory children who move among the states are not penalized in any manner by disparities among states in curriculum, graduation requirements, or state academic content and student academic achievement standards.
Title II, Part AProvide private school teachers and school leaders with professional development opportunities to support effective instruction.
Title III, Part AServices to benefit English Learners (ELs) children and Immigrant Children and Youth (ICY).
Title IV, Part AImprove students’ academic achievement by increasing the capacity of HIDOE, schools, and local communities to: 1) provide all students with access to a well rounded education, 2) improve school conditions for student learning, and 3) improve the use of technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students.
Title IV, Part BCreate community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities for children, particularly students who attend high poverty and low-performing schools.
​Title IV, Part F
​Project School Emergency Response to Violence program (Project SERV) funds provide short-term, immediate assistance to help in the recovery of the learning environment after disruption due to a violent or traumatic crisis.

Equitable Services Informational Session Recordings

Federal Coronavirus Relief

CARES Requirement

In 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Section 18005 required HIDOE to provide equitable services in the same manner as provided under ESEA Section 1117.

Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) Program

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA Act), signed into law on December 27, 2020, includes the Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) Program for the purpose of providing emergency services or assistance to non-public schools in the wake of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).  HIDOE is responsible for administering the EANS Program (Section 312(d)(1)(A)).

The CRRSA Act EANS funding allocation was determined using the Title I calculation of applying the low-income percentage of each participating public school attendance area to the number of private school children who reside in that school attendance area.


To help ensure equitable services and other benefits under the ESEA are provided to eligible private school students, teachers, and other educational personnel, HIDOE shall designate an ombudsman to monitor and enforce the requirements. (ESEA Sections 1117(a)(3)(B) and 8501(a)(3)(B)).

Equitable Services Complaint Process and Form

A private school official has the right to file a complaint with the SEA when the official deems that the Local Educational Agency has not engaged in consultation that was meaningful and timely, has not given due consideration to the views of the private school official, or has not made a decision that treats the private school students equitably (ESEA Sections 1117(b)(6)(A) and 8501(c)(6)(A)). Private schools wishing to know more about the process and how to file a written complaint can refer to the document below.

Private schools wishing to file a written complaint may use the form below.

Address the Equitable Services Complaint Form to the HIDOE ESEA Ombudsman at:

E-mail address: ombudsman@k12.hi.us

Mailing address:
ESEA Ombudsman
Monitoring and Compliance Branch
P.O. Box 2360
Honolulu, HI  96804


Title I, Part A Equitable Services Non-Regulatory Guidance (updated May 17, 2023)
Title VIII, Part F Equitable Services Non-Regulatory Guidance (updated July 17, 2023)
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (updated March 8, 2024)
U.S. Department of Education ESSA Webpage
U.S. Department of Education Office of Non-Public Education Webpage
U.S. Department of Education CARES - ESSER Webpage
U.S. Department of Education Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools Webpage

Contact Information

Jacy Yamamoto, Ombudsman

Phone: 808-307-3600

Email: Ombudsman@k12.hi.us


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