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.

October 11, 2023 Update:

Private schools that wish to participate in equitable services under Project SERV must submit any needs to pipe@k12.hi.us no later than Monday, October 16, 2023.

A Project SERV Frequently Asked Questions document is available here for your reference.

Project SERV Informational Webinar Recording
Password: aJSYTFH4

If you have any questions, please email pipe@k12.hi.us.


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.

To help ensure equitable services under ESEA are provided to eligible private school students, teachers, and other educational personnel, HIDOE shall designate an ombudsman to monitor and enforce the requirements of this section.  

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.

Equitable Services Complaint Forms

Equitable Services Informational Session Recordings


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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