Agudath Israel of America applauds the U.S. Department of Education upon the release of guidance pertaining to the “Equitable Services” provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the landmark education-funding legislation passed by Congress last year. Agudath Israel worked closely with congressional leaders and departmental officials in advancing the quantity and quality of federal educational services provided to nonpublic schools, including the hundreds of elementary and secondary Jewish day schools around the country. Numerous significant changes and additions put forward by Agudath Israel were incorporated into the new law and are given further detail in the just released guidance.
At various opportunities over the past months, Agudath Israel’s Washington Office, led by Rabbi Abba Cohen, strongly encouraged the Department to release the guidance as early and as comprehensively as possible. With the release of the guidance, there will be greater certainty as to how the provisions on equitable services with be implemented, particularly the new and enhanced provisions. That they were put in place at this earlier date, before the change in administrations, is extremely important as it will provide the opportunity for schools districts and private school personnel to become better acquainted and better prepared for the changes as they go into effect. Agudath Israel also welcomes the news that the Department will be hosting two webinars that will provide an overview of the changes pertaining to private schools.
Agudath Israel’s offices in Washington and around the country will continue to work with Jewish schools and with state and local officials in clarifying and disseminating the new guidance.