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♦ Reauthorization of The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESEA requires that local education agencies provide eligible children attending private schools and their teachers with Title I services and other benefits that are equitable to those provided to eligible public school children and their teachers. Equitable participation is the process by which the needs and progress of public and private school students and teachers are assessed, addressed and evaluated in the same manner. Equitable inclusion of private school students and teachers is even more critical when faced with limited government resources, and so funds from all federal educational programs (not just those under ESEA) should be directed to the students and teachers who truly need assistance regardless of where they attend school.
♦ Parental Choice. "Parents who have the primary and inalienable right and duty to educate their children must enjoy true liberty in their choice of schools." Gravissimum Educationis, 1965. We support legislative initiatives that promote parental choice including reauthorization of the D.C. Opportunities Scholarship Program and the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014, as well as the formation of the first Congressional School Choice Caucus.
Current regulatory priorities include:
♦ School Lunch Program. USCCB is working with the Department of Education to develop guidance on the Community Eligibility Option provision's effect on Catholic school equitable participation in Title I services.
♦ E-Rate Program. USCCB is working with the Federal Communications Commission to modernize the E-Rate program to raise the program's inadequate annual funding cap, enhance the program's current focus on providing sufficient and sustainable broadband access, and streamlining its application process.
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