Supplemental Educational Services

Title I, Section 1116(b)(5)(B); Section 1116 (e)(1-12); and Section 1116 (f)(2) (C)
Regulations: Section 200.45, 200.46, 200.47, 200.48 and 200.49
Non-Regulatory Guidance: August 22, 2003

Did You Know …

That the purpose of Supplemental Educational Services (SES) is to provide additional instruction to students in reading and math to help them meet the AYP expectations required by the state.
That the State is responsible for developing the criteria and assembling a list of qualified providers, in consultation with each school district, parents and community members.
That SES are available to students who are in Title I schools identified as needing improvement for the second consecutive year.
That the service providers do NOT have to meet the teacher quality requirements mandated of all public schools.
That SES can include tutoring, small group instruction, or computer-based instruction aligned with state standards, designed to increase student achievement levels.
That the services provided under SES must be outside of the regular school day such as before and after school, on weekends, or during the summer.
That the state, local school district, parents and the SES provider ALL play a crucial role in making SES work effectively.
That it is possible for non-profit organizations and individual school districts to qualify as service providers if they meet the federal and state criteria.
That only low-income children attending public schools are eligible for SES. Title I students attending private schools are not eligible.
If the school district cannot provide public school choice to students in its first year of improvement, and the school district voluntarily decides to offer SES in its place, the district does not have to adhere to the SES provisions of NCLB—unless the school enters into its second year of needing improvement.
That schools must continue to offer SES until they are no longer identified as needing school improvement, corrective action or restructuring.

State Department of Education Responsibilities

What is the State Responsible For in Implementing Supplemental Educational Services?
(The state must consult with parents, teachers, school district and interested members of the public to identify a large number of SES providers so that parents have a large variety of choices)

The State MUST:

Provide and disseminate broadly, through an annual notice to potential providers, the process for obtaining approval to be a provider;
Develop and apply objective criteria for approving potential providers;
Give school districts a list of approved providers available to offer services in their general geographic areas;
Develop, implement and publicly report on standards and techniques for monitoring the quality and effectiveness of services offered by approved SES providers;
Provide, at least annually, an opportunity for new providers to apply for inclusion on the state list and must ensure that interested providers are given information about the process;
Maintain a list, which must be updated at least annually, of all of the providers in the State. This information must explain which providers may deliver SES in each school district, identify the providers whose services are accessible through technology, and include a brief description of the services, qualifications and demonstrated effectiveness of each provider;
Strive to identify more than one provider for each school district, but in some cases only one, or even none, may be available;
NOT require supplemental service providers to meet the teacher quality provisions mandated of public schools in Section 1119 of Title I;
Develop and implement standards for monitoring the quality, performance and effectiveness of the services offered by the providers, and such monitoring must be publicly reported; and,
Withdraw the approval of providers that have failed for two consecutive years to contribute to increasing academic proficiency of students.

What Criteria Must the State use to Identify and Approve Service Providers?
(The criteria that the state uses should be developed in consultation with school districts, parents, teachers and other interested members of the public)

The state education agency must assure that each approved provider:
Has a demonstrated record of effectiveness in improving student academic achievement;
Will use instructional strategies that are high quality, based upon research, and designed to increase student academic achievement;
Provides services that are consistent with the instructional program of the school district and with the State academic content and achievement standards;
Is financially sound; and,
Will provide SES consistent with applicable Federal, State and local health, safety, and civil rights laws.

What Entities Must the State Consider to Qualify as a Provider?

Any public or private, nonprofit or for-profit, entity that meets the State’s criteria for approval, and meets the applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, would qualify including the following entities:
public school districts not identified as needing improvement
individual public schools not identified as needing improvement
charter schools
private schools
educational service agencies
institutions of higher education
local education funds
faith-based organizations
community-based organizations
private business
Providers using technology as a mode of instruction, i.e., Internet-based approaches and distance learning technologies

Local School District Responsibilities

A local school district must:

Notify parents about the availability of services, at least annually;
Provide parents a state approved list of providers;
Help parents who request assistance choose a provider;
Determine timelines that provide parents an adequate amount of time to select the provider;
Provide parents a list of qualified providers as determined by the state;
Determine which students should receive services, if not all of the students in an eligible school or school district can be served;
Enter into an agreement with a provider selected by parents of an eligible student;
Assist the state in identifying potential providers within the school district or surrounding areas;
Provide information that the state will need to monitor the quality and effectiveness of the services offered by the providers;
Collect, report, and forward to the state information about parent and student satisfaction with the services;
Protect the privacy of student who receive supplementary services, (See Student Confidentiality below);
Ensure that providers advertise the correct information about school district SES procedures and timelines, without restricting service providers from marketing their services;
Ensure that the lowest achieving, low-income students receive priority for services. Develop fair and equitable procedures for selecting students, giving priority to the lowest achieving students if a provider does not have enough space to accommodate all of the students that select that provider;
Seek an exemption from the state from the SES requirement if there are no approved providers offering services to the school district, and that the school district cannot provide services. An exemption extends until the next time the district updates the provider list; and,
Terminate the services of any provider who is unable to meet the academic needs of the students as specified in the contract.

What must the notification to parents contain?

Notice for each eligible student about the availability of SES;
Specific information about services;
Identification of each approved service provider within the school district and the general surrounding area, including providers accessible through technology, such as distance learning;
A description of the services, qualifications and evidence of effectiveness of each provider;
A description of the timeline and procedures that parents must follow in selecting a provider;
Notification must be understandable; in a uniform format, including alternative formats, upon request; and the extent practicable, in a language that parents can understand;
Notice about which students will be served, in the case that the school district does not have sufficient resources to serve all of the eligible students; and,
Any other information that the district deems to be helpful to parents in selecting a provider.

Which students are eligible to receive SES?

All students from low-income families who attend Title I schools that are in their second year of school improvement, in corrective action, or in restructuring;
Eligibility is NOT dependent on whether a student is a member of a subgroup that caused the school to not make AYP, or whether the student is in a grade that takes the statewide assessment as required by NCLB;
In both school wide programs and a targeted assistance school, all low-income students are eligible. In other words, eligibility does not depend on whether the student is receiving Title I services; and,
Lowest achieving eligible students must be given priority if funds are not available to serve all of the students who are eligible to receive SES.
(Note: a child may loose entitlement for services only if he or she is no longer among the lowest achieving students or no longer eligible for free or reduced priced meals)

The Role, Rights and Responsibility of Parents

At the state level, parents must be consulted in order to promote participation by a greater variety of providers and to develop criteria for identifying high-quality providers;
At the local level, parents must be able to choose all SES providers identified by the state that are within the geographical area of the school district;
Parents may request the help of the school district in selecting a provider;
Parents should ensure that their child attend the SES sessions in which they are enrolled;
Parents are the sole selector of the provider, as long as that provider is able to provide services in or near the geographical area of the school district. The school district may recommend a provider to parents, especially if they request help in selecting a provider, but parents are not required to accept the school district’s recommendation;
Once parents select a provider, the school district must enter into an contract with the provider that includes the following elements:
Specific achievement goals for the student, which must be developed in consultation with the student’s parents
A description of how the student’s progress will be measured and how the student’s parents and teachers will be regularly informed of that progress
A timetable for improving the student’s achievement
A provision for termination of the agreement if the provider fails to meet student progress goals and timetables
Provisions governing payment for the services, which may include provisions addressing missed sessions
A provision prohibiting the provider from disclosing to the public the identity of any student eligible for or receiving SES without parental written permission
An assurance that SES will be consistent with applicable health, safety, and civil rights laws
Specific terms and process for terminating a service provider
A provider must continue services to eligible students until the end of the school year in which the services were first received. However, the insufficiency of funds, or the intensity of services (how often and how long the sessions are provided) may limit the time and duration of services;
Parents may terminate the agreement with a provider if they are unsatisfied with the provider’s services. Although the law does not require that parents receive a new provider, districts may wish to allow such a move on a case-by-case basis.

Student Confidentiality

No school entity may disclose to the public the identity of any student who is eligible for, or receiving SES, unless their parent provides written permission to do so;
A school district may NOT turn over to service providers a list of students eligible to receive SES, unless their parents provides written consent;
No service provider may disclose to the public the identity of any student eligible for, or receiving SES, without the written permission of the parents;
Once a parent has chosen a provider, the provider CANNOT gain access to the students educational record unless the parent has given written prior permission;
The US Department of Education makes recommendations in its Policy Guidance on how a school district may notify parents about service providers without divulging the identity of individual students. These are:
Ask providers to give stamped envelopes to the school district containing information about their program to be mailed to the parents of eligible students. The school district may provide the number of eligible students, but not their names;
Provide ALL parents information about the provider, except for those parents who have opted out from receiving this kind of information. (Note: some school districts have policies against sending out ANY information considered to be outside the school program and curriculum to protect the identity of every student in the district);
Hold an open house and invite parents to come and meet with providers about their programs; and,
Provide information in school newsletters about provider services.

Supplemental Service Provider Responsibilities

The Supplemental Service Provider MUST:
Meet the terms of its agreement with the school district;
Enable the student to attain his or her specific achievement goals, as established by the school district in consultation with the student’s parents;
Measure the student’s progress, and regularly inform the student’s parents and teachers of that progress;
Adhere to the timetable for improving the student’s achievement that is developed by the school district in consultation with the student’s parents and the provider;
Not disclose to the public the identity of any student eligible for or receiving SES without the written permission of the parent;
Ensure SES are consistent with applicable health, safety and civil rights laws;
Ensure SES are secular, neutral and non ideological;
Develop achievement goals, measurement of progress and reporting of progress that is consistent with the student’s IEP, in the case of a student with a disability;
Develop a schedule for informing parents and the school district about the child’s progress.


NCLB requires that a school district must spend an amount equal to 20 percent of its Title I, Part A allocation on a combination of the following:
Choice related transportation
Supplemental Education Services
A combination of the above
However, guidance from the US Department of Education requires that an amount equal to 5 percent of the Title I, Part A allocation MUST be set aside for SES. This means that if a district is in danger of spending more than 15 percent of the allocation on choice transportation, not all of the children who wish to choose may be provided transportation. In this case, the district will give priority to the lowest-achieving students from low-income families.
Transportation for SES may be provided by the school district, but cannot be counted toward the 5% required to be spent on SES.
However, if the district does not incur any choice related transportation costs, it may use its entire 20 percent for SES.
The school district may use other federal monies to pay for SES including: school improvement funds under Section 1003 or Local Innovative Education program funds from Title V, Part A; Improving Teacher Quality State Grants Title II, Part A; Educational Technology State Grants Title II, Part D; and Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities State Grants, Title IV, Part A.
A district may offer SES to students who are at risk of failing to meet the State’s standards, but who are not low-income. However, the district may NOT count funds spent for non low-income students toward meeting its 20 percent expenditure requirements.
A school district may use other non-Title I resources from Federal, State, local and private sectors to meet the “equal to” provision of the law.

Action Opportunities for Community Leaders

For NCLB Supplemental Education Services to be meaningful, it is critical that the community and parents be involved, along with other stakeholders, in assuring that the providers:

meet the supplemental academic needs of the students;
give parents information in a timely fashion about the effectiveness of the service providers;
make sure the school district communicates with parents in languages and formats they can understand about their right to select a provider; and,
Ensure available services are monitored for effectiveness.

Most particularly, community leaders need to be informed about the NCLB SES provisions, the number of schools identified as being eligible to receive SES (without violating the confidentiality provisions), and the district policy regarding the fair and equitable allocation of services in the case that funding is not sufficient to meet the needs of all eligible students. Community leaders should also be informed about whether or not parents are getting the support they need from the state and the district to fully understand their SES options and the instructional consequences.

Action opportunities for community leaders:
Know the SES provisions of NCLB before the district is required to offer SES services.
Determine if your state has finalized the list of service providers and identify the providers that are eligible to serve your school district.
Determine if the district notified the parents of student’s in Title I schools that their school has not met AYP for two consecutive years and continues to be under the “needs improvement” status; in a format and language that parents can understand. Specifically, were parents informed that they can choose another public school for their student, or that their student is eligible for SES?
Work with parents in making the information about the eligible service providers available to parents. Use your communications channels to reach all parents in the parent community.
Determine if the information available to parents about the eligible service providers is truthful, in a language that makes sense to parents and is easy to understand, and provides comparisons between the providers so that parents are able to make informed decisions about the selection of a provider.
Review district procedures that allow parents adequate time to make decisions about selecting the appropriate service provider.
In addition to requiring Title I schools offer both choice and SES for not meeting AYP the second consecutive year, the school is also required to develop a school improvement plan. The plan should reflect what contributions the service providers will make in assuring that the students meet AYP. Research to determine if the schools identified as needing improvement have developed a plan, if community organizations and parents have had input in the plan, if the plan has been disseminated widely to parents and the community, and what the district is implementing to assure that the school(s) improve and do not advance to the corrective action stage.
Offer your services and expertise in developing the school improvement plan. If the district has not developed a plan, encourage them to do so. Use the planning process as a community-building activity and involve the larger community in the plan’s development.
As you analyze the service provider’s listing for the district, develop a report card for each provider that addresses the following:
Do parents have a sufficient number of providers to choose from? If not, determine which entity will provide SES: the school district itself, or will the district contract with another individual/firm to provide the services?
Do parents have the appropriate information they need to make an informed decision about the selection of service providers for their child?
Is the provider good at collaborating with parents about student progress?
Is the provider able to serve the needs of students with disabilities, consistent with the Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)?
Does the provider give appropriate instruction to English language learners?
Is the provider’s program aligned with the state standards, and the district’s curriculum?
Does the provider reinforce the student’s regular academic program and are there opportunities for parents, teachers and the provider to communicate about student progress on a regular basis?
Is the provider’s staff adequately trained, and are parents provided the background and skills of the provider’s staff?
Does the provider comply with the applicable federal, state and local health, safety and civil rights laws?
At the end of each year, make public the school district’s evaluation of each service provider selected by parents in the district to assure accountability to both the school district and parents who are interested in selecting providers in the future.
Work with the district in monitoring the impact of SES, and if the option makes a difference in the academic progress of students to meet AYP.

Action Opportunities for Parent Leaders

For NCLB Supplementary Educational Services to be meaningful, it is critical that the following elements be reflected in both the school district and the individual Title I parent involvement policies: (See Parent Involvement Policies)
Parents collaborate with community based organizations to be involved in the selection of service providers;
Parent leaders assure that parents receive information in a timely fashion about both the school choice and supplementary service options available;
Parent organizations work with the school in developing communications to parents in languages and formats they can understand; and,
Community and parent leaders have open channels of communication so that they are equipped with the information they need to provide support to parents in Title I schools and districts identified as low performing, in need of corrective action or restructuring.
Most particularly, parent leaders need to be informed about the NCLB SES provisions, as well as provisions related to public school choice.
Action opportunities for parent leaders:
Know the SES provisions of NCLB, and convene meetings for parents to explain the SES provisions BEFORE a school may be identified as needing improvement. . Organize community dialogues and town meetings to bring together parents of various language and ethnic groups to discuss critical educational and instructional issues related to selecting an appropriate provider.
Parent leaders should make parents aware of when in the year the state provides the local school district with assessment data to determine if the school has or has not met AYP goals.
The district should be developing a school improvement plan for schools that are not meeting AYP for the first time. Parents should ask school and district officials if a plan is being developed, if parents and community organizations have had input into the plan, and if parents have been informed about what the district is implementing to ensure that the school(s) improve and do not advance to the third year of needs improvement, which automatically triggers the SES provisions.
As parents consider the SES option, parent leaders should help parents answer the following questions about selecting a service provider:
Where are the services provided—at the school, at another building in the community, or by computer? If the services are provided by computer, do the students need their own computer and Internet access?
Is transportation to the service provided? (School districts are not required to provide transportation for SES)
How many sessions of services will the student receive and how long will each session last? (If parents want the student to receive more sessions than the district can pay for, the parent will need to pay for any additional sessions)
Will a qualified teacher teach my student? If not, will a qualified teacher supervise my student’s instructor?
What is the student-to-teacher ratio? (One to one tutoring is best. For group instruction, there should be one teacher for every three students)
Will the student work with the same instructor each session?
Does the provider conduct criminal background and sexual offender checks on all employees who come in contact with children?
Do the materials used in the provider’s program cover the same material my child is being taught at school? Are the materials research based and proven to increase academic achievement?
What kind of materials will the provider send home so parents can continue to work at home with the student?
Are the provider’s materials up-to-date? Do the materials contain religious or cultural messages that make parents uncomfortable?
Is the atmosphere at the provider’s facility comfortable and inviting to the student?
What kind of evidence does the provider have that their program has helped other students? Will the provider provide references from other parents?
How often will the provider report on the student’s progress to the parent and the teacher? Will the reports be phone calls, written, or face-to-face meetings?
For children with special needs, is the provider’s facility accessible? Are the materials appropriate for the instructional needs of special children? Are IEPs taken into consideration?
For children learning English, can the instructors communicate in languages that the student can understand?
As you analyze the district’s SES policy, determine if the SES policy and procedures address the following:
Does the district have space available for the number of students who are eligible to select a provider? If not, what is the process by which the district will select which students are given SES services? Share this process with other parents.
Do parents have the appropriate information they need to make an informed decision about service providers? —information on academic expectations, assessment measures, class size, teacher-student ratio, and school safety?
Has the school system arranged or encouraged service providers to provide objective information about services? Don’t forget, there is a difference between promotional advertising and research-based objective information about the success of the supplemental services.

Supplementary Service Provider Checklist for Community Leaders and Parents


American Federation of Teachers
Your State Department of Education
Title I Supplemental Educational Services and After school Programs: Opportunities and Challenges
“No Child Left Behind: What’s in it for Parents” by Anne T. Henderson
National Education Association’s “Parent’s Guide to Choosing Supplemental Services Providers”
“Using No Child Left Behind to Improve Student Achievement: An Action Guide for Community and Parent Leaders” by the Public Education Network
Region VI Education Service Center
Region VII Education Service Center
Supplemental Educational Services Quality Center
U. S. Department of Education
Tutors for Kids: State Specific Information on Supplemental Educational Services
U.S. Department of Education