April 2022 | Number 474
Judge Deals LA Archdiocese a Setback in Its Lawsuit to Restore Funds for Low-Income Students

"Low-income students attending archdiocesan Catholic schools in neighborhoods such as Watts and East LA — who for several years have been deprived of federally funded academic support services that are mandated by Congress — will have to keep waiting.

"On April 20, LA County Superior Court Judge Douglas Stern ruled that he could not consider the archdiocese’s lawsuit in this matter while the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) — which the archdiocese maintains has illegally withheld federal funds — appeals to the U.S. Department of Education. The archdiocese had argued that federal statutes required a ruling on that appeal within 90 days, a deadline that expired in August 2021.

"Title I was created by Congress in 1965 to deliver academic support services to low-income students who struggle academically, whether they attend public, private, or religious schools. Public school districts are responsible for making an 'equitable' distribution of the federal funds to private and religious schools in their territory. Beginning in 2018, the archdiocese maintains, LAUSD began arbitrarily changing how it assessed this distribution, slashing the number of eligible Catholic schools from more than 100 to 17. The Title I support for Catholic schools plummeted from about $9 million in 2017-2018 to $800,000 in 2020-2021.

"In 2019 the archdiocese filed a complaint with the California Department of Education, which eventually ruled in June 2021 that LAUSD had violated the federal statutes in its assessment of need among students in Catholic schools. The LAUSD then appealed to the federal Department of Education, and Judge Stern ruled that he can’t consider the suit while that appeal is pending."
CAPE Submits Comments on Proposed Title VIII Guidance
The U.S. Department of Education has released long awaited guidance for programs governed by the ESEA Title VIII equitable services provisions. Before finalizing the guidance, the Department asked interested parties to submit public comments on its draft version, which CAPE did. You can view them here.
NAEP Launches Fall 2022 Program
During the 2022-2023 school year, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) will be conducting long-term trend assessments in mathematics and reading, administered in paper-and-pencil, to 13-year-old students.

NAEP is the largest continuing and nationally representative assessment of what students in public and private schools know and can do. Participation of private schools is essential to provide a complete and accurate picture of the U.S. education system. NAEP data have shown across subjects and over time, that the performance of private school students on average surpasses that of their peers in public schools. But, data for private school students can only be reported if enough schools participate to meet reporting benchmarks.

NAEP representatives will begin contacting private schools beginning this spring to notify them of their selection for NAEP 2022 long-term trend age 13 assessments. If your school is selected, please choose to participate and help give private schools a voice in the national education conversation. NAEP representatives provide all materials and administer the assessment at no cost to schools. Click here for more information about the NAEP program and the important role private school play.
School Choice Bills Signed in Three Southeastern States
School choice measures continue to make progress across the country. In Georgia, the General Assembly passed, and Governor Brian Kemp signed, legislation increasing the state's tax credit scholarship program by $20 million.

Meanwhile, Governor Kay Ivey signed legislation raising the giving cap for Alabama's tax credit scholarship program.

Finally, in Tennessee, an expansion of the state's Individualized Education Account to include students with dyslexia is on the governor's desk.
Learning Pod Bill Signed in WV
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has signed a bill allowing learning pods and microschools to satisfy the state's compulsory attendance requirement.

According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, "A learning pod is defined in the law as 'a voluntary association of parents choosing to group their children together' for a prekindergarten-12th grade school as an alternative to other schooling. A microschool is defined as 'a school initiated by one or more teachers or an entity created to operate a school that charges tuition.'"

Last year West Virginia approved the most expansive education savings account (ESA) law in the country, which is currently being challenged in court. Under this new law, funds from those ESAs would be able to be used for learning pods and microschools.
School Choice and Rural Areas
From reimaginED:

"For school choice opponents across America who say school choice can’t work in rural areas, say hi to Hope Rural School! Hope Rural School is a PreK-5 Catholic school in Indiantown, Fla., population 6,560. Virtually all its 135 students use school choice scholarships.

"Most of the students are children of agricultural workers. Ninety-eight percent are of Mexican, Guatemalan, or Haitian descent. They and their families love this school. Small classes. Bilingual teachers. A faith component they can’t get in public schools. Hope Rural School is oriented to their needs.

"There are classes for parents, on everything from nutrition and household budgeting to how to help their kids with homework. There’s a community garden where families hold cookouts. For alum who go to college, there’s a fund that pays for textbooks and chips in $1,000 every semester.

"For most of its 42 years, Hope Rural School thrived on philanthropy. But the pandemic showed how vulnerable fundraising can be. So the school went all in on choice scholarships.

"Hope Rural School isn’t an anomaly. The U.S. Census defines 30 Florida counties as rural. According to the most recent state statistics, those 30 counties have:

  • 10,184 private school students.
  • 10,326 home school students.
  • 5,085 charter school students.

"Private school choice is valued in those counties. According to the most recent stats from the state and Step Up For Students (the nonprofit that hosts this blog), those counties have:

  • 6,991 students using income-based scholarships, up 83% from five years ago.
  • 885 students using private school scholarships for students with disabilities.

"This shouldn’t be surprising. A 2017 Brookings report found 69% of rural families live within 10 miles of a private school. That’s higher than the percentage of rural families living within 10 miles of a charter school (17%) or a school accessible via intradistrict choice (60%). That’s just below the 74% living within 10 miles of a school accessible via interdistrict choice."

Read the whole thing here.
Green Ribbon Schools Announced
Seven private schools across the country were honored as "Green Ribbon Schools" by the US Department of Education, an award that recognizes schools, districts, and institutions of higher education that reduce environmental impact and costs, improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff, and provide effective environmental and sustainability education.

This year's private school awardees are:



Ascension School, Louisville


Principia School, St. Louis

St. Dominic School, Shaker Heights

Private Education: Good for Students, Good for Families, Good for America
CAPE member organizations:

Agudath Israel of America

Association of Christian Schools

Association of Christian
Teachers and Schools

Association of Waldorf
Schools of N.A.

Christian Schools International

Council of Islamic Schools
in North America

Council on Educational Standards
and Accountability
Evangelical Lutheran Church
in America

Friends Council on Education

Islamic Schools League of America

Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod

National Association of
Episcopal Schools

National Association of
Independent Schools

National Catholic
Educational Association
National Christian School

Office for Lasallian Education
Christian Brothers Conference

Oral Roberts University
Educational Fellowship

Seventh-day Adventist
Board of Education

United States Conference of
Catholic Bishops

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran
Synod Schools
Affiliated State Organizations a coalition of national associations serving private schools K-12

Executive Director:
Michael Schuttloffel

Outlook is published monthly (September to June) by CAPE.
ISSN 0271-145

1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Tel: 844-883-CAPE

Michael Schuttloffel
Executive Director
Phone: 844-883-CAPE